Pine Bluff Democrat Files Bill that Would Expand Use of Deadly Force

NOVEMBER 17, 2006 - Posted at 7:20 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A proposal filed for next year's legislative session would make it easier to use deadly force in self-defense.

Arkansas state Senator Jerry Taylor, a Democrat from Pine Bluff, pre-filed the first Senate bill yesterday for the legislative session that begins January 8.  Wednesday was the first day for lawmakers to begin filing legislation for the session.

Taylor's proposal, Senate Bill Two, would remove the requirement that a person who is attacked has a "duty to retreat" before turning to deadly force.

State law already allows the use of deadly force if the person is attacked in their home and they're not the aggressor.  It also removes the retreat requirement if the person using force is a law enforcement officer or a person assisting at the direction of a law enforcement officer.

Representative Shirley Walters, the bill's House sponsor, says she signed onto the bill after several constituents in her district said they were concerned they could be charged for defending themselves.

The proposal is similar to measures that gun rights groups have backed in other states.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)