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Arkansas House panel advances ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill

Republican Sen. Bob Ballinger, right, speaks to the Senate at the Arkansas Capitol in Little...
Republican Sen. Bob Ballinger, right, speaks to the Senate at the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 about his proposal to ease restrictions on the use of deadly force in self-defense. The Senate approved Ballinger's measure, sending it to the state House. (AP Photo/Andrew Demillo)(Andrew Demillo | AP)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:56 PM CST
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas House panel on Tuesday advanced legislation loosening the state’s restrictions on the use of deadly force in self defense, weeks after rejecting the same measure.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 10-9 for the bill that would remove would the duty to retreat. The Senate-backed bill now heads to the full House for a vote. If the majority-GOP House approves the measure, it heads to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.

The bill advanced after failing before the same committee earlier this month. Most of the debate Tuesday focused on an unsuccessful effort to loosen the restrictions even further by expanding where lethal force could be used.

A similar measure failed before a Senate panel two years ago, but the bill this year moved more easily through the Legislature after groups that opposed it have said they’re neutral to the latest version. Hutchinson has not said whether he supports the legislation.

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