The Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Alabama House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 263, which would expand Alabama’s Stand Your Ground law to allow church members to use deadly force in a church, even before a reasonable threat of violence has materialized:
“The best way to keep people safe in houses of worship is to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, not embolden people to shoot first and ask questions later,” said Dana Ellis, volunteer leader with the Alabama Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our state already has one of the most expansive Stand Your Ground laws in the country. This expansion is not just unnecessary, it’s dangerous.”
At least 30 people are killed every month nationwide because of Stand Your Ground laws. Stand Your Ground laws are associated with clear increases in homicides and encourage violence, often among those with violent backgrounds. In Florida, nearly 60 percent of people who claimed Stand Your Ground defenses had been arrested before. And when white shooters kill Black victims, the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable 11 times more frequently than when the shooter is Black and the victim is white. More information about Stand Your Ground laws is available here.