STANDING THEIR GROUND: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense were out in force in red T-shirts for the good news that the 'stand your ground' bill they opposed was dead this year.

He retreated. Sen. Bob Ballinger sent his “stand your ground” bill to interim committee for study and vowed it would be back in two years.

The bill would have eliminated any responsibility to retreat in face of a threat before using deadly force. Ballinger noted that 31 states had a version of such a law. Critics say it has led to a rise in gun homicides in states such as Florida and Arkansas prosecutors and Gov. Asa Hutchinson had argued that the state’s existing self-defense law was strong. No one had produced a case of unfair prosecution of someone who’d used deadly force in self-defense.


Ballinger and Sen. Jim Hendren reported something I’d mentioned over the weekend, that prosecutors had been working on a compromise with language acceptable to them. Hendren said the NRA had also been willing to accept some changes. Ballinger had vowed Friday that the bill was coming out.

He ceded that ground today.


Hendren said he “valued” the committee process and thought, even in the case of a prosecutor-NRA compromise, the bill was a difficult topic that should be “fully vetted.” There’s not time for a full committee process in both houses before planned recess Wednesday. He praised Ballinger for not going forward.

There were reports of resistance on the House end to hurry up approval of this bill should Ballinger have pulled it from the Senate Judiciary Committee and gotten a favorable Senate vote today.