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Senate Follows House, Expands Stand Your Ground To Places of Worship

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Rod Waddington / Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Killing another person can have legal consequences even when the shooter says it was self-defense.

The state Legislature is moving to guard Oklahomans in places of worship from prosecution if they use deadly force to defend themselves during religious services.

The Senate on Thursday followed the House in passing House Bill 2632, which extends protections provided under the state’s Stand Your Ground law to places of worship.

The bill was inspired by recent shootings in U.S. churches.

Senators voted 42-1 to pass HB 2632. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, was the lone “no” vote in the Senate.

Stand Your Ground protections currently apply to homes, businesses and vehicles. If deadly force is used, investigators will determine if the force is justified.

Individual religious organizations will still be allowed to restrict guns in their buildings the same way businesses are allowed to restrict weapons. If Senators and state Representatives agree on details of the bill, it will move on to Gov. Mary Fallin.

Copyright 2021 StateImpact Oklahoma. To see more, visit StateImpact Oklahoma.

Quinton Chandler