Alabama House Passes Broadened ‘Stand Your Ground’ After Florida School Shooting

Conceal carry pastor (Jim Suhr : Associated Press)
Jim Suhr / Associated Press

The Alabama House of Representatives voted 40-16 to expand “Stand Your Ground” the day after the Florida school shooting occurred.

The vote was to broaden the statute to allow defense of life in churches. It was presented as part of an overarching goal of removing weak spots in current law so that citizens can defend themselves when an attacker strikes.

The Seattle Times quoted state Rep. Lynn Greer (R-Rogersville), saying, “You got nuts everywhere just like you had in the high school in Florida yesterday. Occasionally, they show up in a church.”

Democrats opposed the vote to expand Stand Your Ground, with Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) describing the pro-self-defense push as “pandering.” He indicated that Alabama “already has a self-defense law” and said broadening it “doesn’t accomplish anything.” Rep. Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) said the expanded law would just encourage people to “shoot first and ask questions later.”

Nevertheless, Rep. Greer seized on small rural churches, pointing out that such congregations are on their own should an attacker strike. He explained that larger churches “can afford to hire professional security teams and off-duty police officers,” but smaller churches cannot.

The church that was attacked in Texas on November 5, 2017, was a rural church with no armed security. The attacker was able to kill 26 people before a neighbor of the church, Stephen Willeford, ran barefoot to the scene and shot the attacker with an AR-15.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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