JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - House Bill 1240 was proposed a few days ago and its goal is to create a Stand Your Ground law in Arkansas.
The bill states that a person is justified in using deadly force if they reasonably believe a person is committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence or the person is using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force.
The opinions of Jonesboro residents seemed to be split when it comes to this bill. Many residents are against this bill and said it would cause a lot of problems. Others believe it will give people the right to fight back if they fear their life is in danger.
Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said there are good things about the bill. He said it would give people "more ground" if they are placed in a dangerous situation. An issue he notices was the subjectivity involved in each case. There are many variables involved in a case, but Elliott said those will primarily concern the attorneys and the courts.
"With addition to some of these other things, it's open up to a little bit more subjectivity," Elliott said. "So it could be a little bit of a concern but that's primarily for the prosecuting attorneys, the defense attorneys and the courts to hash out."
When it comes to determining reasonable belief, Elliot said a person only has a few seconds to make a judgment call in a situation. This is not only true for police officers but with the public as well.
"It's the same thing with a homeowner or anybody involved in this kind of situation," Elliott said. "You're making a judgment call within a few split seconds. And that is weighed if you polled several other people under on those same circumstances would they consider the same response that you did. That would be reasonable."
If you would like to read the bill in its entirety, click here.