LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – SB24 has passed out of both chambers in the legislature and time is ticking for Governor Asa Hutchinson to take action on the bill.
The Justice Now Coalition held a rally outside the Capitol today to have their voices heard in hopes of the Governor vetoing the Stand Your Ground Bill. Dr. Jesse Hargrove was one of the speakers at the rally and said, “We are here today to protest in justice and to ask the governor, let’s ask the governor to veto SB24!”
Like many other detractors Dr. Hargrove believes Stand Your Ground will embolden those who own guns to shoot first and ask questions later, “So SB24 Bill exists to kill, exists to kill legally.”
Ed Monk is a firearms instructor and owns Last Resort Firearms Training and is a proponent of Stand Your Ground, “The law should make it easier for innocent people to defend their lives, not harder for innocent people to defend their laws.”
He says that the argument for unchecked shootings is a lackluster one because the law still states there must be a reasonable reason that someone uses deadly force, “So you still have to have a reasonable belief that death or serious bodily harm is imminent, that’s not going away.”
Opponents still argue shootings will rise if this law is enacted and that it will affect people of color more adversely, Natalie James said, “What do you think is gonna happen when people can make snap decision and get away with it? Do you think it’s gonna get better or are you gonna see people get gunned down on benches. “
Monk argues only people who want do harm or are threatening should worry about Stand Your Ground, “If you’re not going to attack me violently today then you have nothing to worry about with this change in Stand Your Ground.”
But James says this is not a law Arkansas needs and that it will paint the state in a bad light, “We’re supposed to a retirement state, a natural state. SB24 is not natural and most retirees don’t go around making snap decisions if they’re going to murder somebody.”
Governor Hutchinson announced he will make a decision on what he will do with SB24 on Wednesday.