NOW: Sen. Bob Ballinger is presenting his stand your ground bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill would end the duty to retreat. #arnews #arleg #arpx @KATVNews
Ballinger, present with an NRA representative, has introduced an amendment that cleans up the language he says. (The amendment passes)
Now he's presenting his bill w/ amendment to the committee. #arnews #arpx #arleg @KATVNews
Ballinger: In short, you're going to hear this is a license to kill - that isn't the way it is in California or Illinois or other jurisdictions. We have worked with AG's office, prosecutors, law enforcement... #arnews #arpx #arleg @KATVNews
NRA Rep: SB 24 does not encourage violence or give anyone a license to murder. This is a very narrow concept that simply protects victims of violent crime that choose to defend themselves before attempting to flee. #arnews #arpx #arleg @KATVNews
Sen. Stephanie Flowers: A convicted felon has the right to have a weapon at their dwelling and use it to defend themselves?
Ballinger: It's saying they don't have the duty to retreat, but you can still prosecute for felon in possession of a weapon #arpx #arnews @KATVNews
Flowers: Current law says if you know you can avoid the necessity of using deadly force, your retreat if you can safely. (In the bill) the intent "reasonable belief" vs knowing that you can safely retreat. Can you say why that is now the level on intent? #arpx #arnews @KATVNews
Ballinger: This would allow for someone who is at a shooting, but not necessarily part of the initial situation, to help and not have the duty to retreat. #arpx #arnews @KATVNews
Flowers: How do you determined the reasonable belief that the person who uses the deadly force has - in terms of the victim if they're a disabled person, different cultures. (1/2) #arpx #arnews @KATVNews
Flowers: Lawfully present? If you're in a place you have never been and culturally not acquainted it whatever that person thinks coming from where they come from? (2/2) #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Ballinger: This is just ending the duty to retreat. Prosecutors will determined those factors. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Sen. Jim Hendren: Let's discuss the need for this... One question I hear and have no answer yet - "Is there a case in Arkansas of somebody being prosecuted because they exercise their right to self-defense instead of fleeing? #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Ballinger says he doesn't know, but he shares a story of a self-defense story told to him by a mother. (Essentially the person was convicted with murder for not retreating.) #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Ballinger: I'm positive there is a prosecutor who knows of a case -
Hendren: What I'm hearing is what mom told you - but is there a case and is there a need? (Hendren plans to ask prosecutors association that's present) #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Hendren: On page 2 - not engaged in activity or furtherance of being in a gang. What does that mean?
Ballinger: I haven't looked it up in a long time, but it's part of code section. (1/2) #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Hendren: Since it's in the bill, as the sponsor - can you just tell me?
Ballinger: It's furtherance of gang activity. That's what that means. (2/2) #arnews #arpx
Ballinger: We will run your hate crimes bill eventually, but this isn't about that. Many have travelled a long distance to come and speak on my bill. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Hendren: What happened at the U.S. Capitol ... news crews were there. What if they feel threatened and feel at risk. Would they be able to just pull out a gun and shoot somebody?
Ballinger: It really comes to the facts. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Hendren: In regard to the scenario, do you think the likelihood of that defense would work whether it's a white protestor or black protestor? #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Ballinger: 80% of time both aggressor and victim are the same race.
Hendren requesting prosecutors to point to a single case where there has been a conviction because of someone's failure to retreat?
Prosecutors do not have an answer at this time.
#arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Public comment is underway.

Sen. Stephanie Flowers is signed up first to speak.

She's discussing her viral moment in 2019 when she expressed her opinion. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: I know five of you on this committee are listed as sponsors - I won't hold you long, but I'm going to express my concerns. "I'm not trying to get a viral video." #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: I don't think this is the best policy, a good policy or better policy than what we have in our law right now. Our law right now says a person can defend themselves against physical deadly force #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: If you have friends who like guns, you carry guns, you have a party... you might have a gun party "everybody wear a holster and dress up," (1/2) #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: What if someone drinks too much and a friend feels threatened by the host of the party (homeowner) and shoots you dead? (2/2) #arnews #arpx
Flowers: Our present law gives us the right to defend ourselves and only a duty to retreat kicks in unless you're at our house defending yourself or if you are helping a law enforcement officer. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: Is it better to avoid killing someone if you know you can get away from them? Or would you just want to take the opportunity because you have a gun? #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: What if someone says I'm going to shoot you? But you don't see a gun and they may be drunk just talking... but you have reasonable belief that you're threatened so you shoot them #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: Breaks my heart to see black on black crime. I grew up in Pine Bluff and I have never seen it like it is now. When I was a little girl growing up we had safe communities - our neighbors looked out for each other. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: Those days are gone. Where I grew up, sometime in the 60s we had a thriving black community and the highway department came through my community like a snake all along black businesses and homes - gone. Called the Martha Mitchell Freeway now. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: My point is - the decline of my community. The State of Arkansas resisted desegregation for decades. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: A bill such as SB 24 - I guess it's to address things going on in my community. I don't see gun violence, homicides etc.. in your community, Ballinger, Stubblefield, hardly any in Garner's.
Sen. Alan Clark: We have quite a bit
Flowers: Not as many #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: To me, the bill represents a solution that is grounded in fear that will cause unintended consequences - #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: You become the judge, the jury and the executioner. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Flowers: Our law enforcement needs tools and training. What we're saying in SB 24 - we're letting the private citizen without training just go out there... we don't need courts or law enforcement - we have stand your ground. That's not the way we should go #arpx #arnews @KATVNews
Sen. Alan Clark: Where does your son live?
Flowers: Not going to tell you
Clark: I know where he lives
Flowers: Don't mess with my son
Clark: I'm not. He lives in a stand your ground state
#arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Sen. Gary Stubblefield inquires about Flowers' community and the factors associated such as single parent homes, drug abuse, education etc...
Flowers: It's about legislators making laws that keep people from moving up. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Public comment:
Tamara is speaking against the bill.
I ask you to truly consider people that look like me... If you step foot in a community you're not familiar with - you don't know the consequences this bill has. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Tamara: My cousins, friends etc... they don't know what's going on at the Capitol, I'm here for them. If you want to make laws, bring people to the table that it's going to affect the most. Start going into the community. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Sen. Trent Garner: I would love to get your contact and speak with you. I do agree with you - you need to sit down with all voices. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Tamara Bates moved to Arkansas to attend Philander Smith. Tamara is explaining to lawmakers that people don't understand what's in these bills. It can be harmful for people who don't understand the law. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Sen. Ballinger: I just wanted to say how I appreciate you coming here. You're real, you're not playing a game - your testimony will be the most impacting. You have touched people's hearts. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Tamara: One more thing, I had the opportunity to sit and speak with Trayvon Martin's mom. She got the opportunity to speak with her lawmakers. I would recommend a legislative community day and share with us. Get uncomfortable and talk with us. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Sen. Alan Clark: If you invite us, we will come.
Tamara: I'll hold you to that.
#arnews #arpx #arleg @KATVNews
Downtown resident, grandma of 5, volunteer with Moms Demand Action: I'm urging you to oppose SB 24, it's a dangerous stand your ground bill. Same policy this body rejected two years ago. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Jan Morgan, President of 2A Women, NRA and State Police certified instructor. (She also ran against Gov. Hutchinson in the 2018 primary) wants the bill to have an amendment. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Morgan: I am concerned... I want us to be as secure as possible and make this wall between our state citizen and federal government. When you say lawfully present - it may not be lawful months from now. #arnews #arpx
Tim Loggains: Lawfully present is troubling. What is lawful today, could not be lawful tomorrow. (Tim is the ex-fiancé of Rebecca O'Donnell - the woman in prison who murdered state Sen. Linda Collins) #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Loggains: As Miss. Morgan said - where we remove the ability of another person to defend an unborn child of a pregnant mother. This is reducing the value of that child's life. We can defend the mother, but removed the child as a person to defend. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Sen. Flowers: You're suggesting the criteria the prosecutors association supports (in terms of when a person is not required to retreat) Are you suggesting a business that posts a sign that says no weapons allowed - does not have the right to do that? #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Loggains: I have missed a sign before in a business... we shouldn't be faulted for that. It's troubling. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Ballinger clarifies his bill. The defense for a pregnant woman is there. I agree an unborn baby is a person and should be able to protect them - however - that language is in another bill and it's not being changed in this bill. #arnews #arpx @katvnews
Ballinger: We are talking about exceptions - when it's not allowed. You can still protect the woman, not the unborn child. There's a gap/hole in our Arkansas code. It should be addressed this session, but there are 100 other gun laws that need to be addressed. #arnews #arpx
Sen. Garner motions for immediate consideration. It's seconded. Motion is carried. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
BREAKING: SB 24 passes out of Senate Judiciary Committee 5-2.
Sen. Flowers asks for a roll call. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews
Hendren: No
Stubblefield: Yes
Rice: Yes
Johnson: Yes
Garner: Yes
Ballinger: Yes
Flowers: No

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