Bill Expanding 'Stand Your Ground' Law Advances In Oklahoma

Mar 6, 2018

State legislators are moving to expand a powerful self defense law to give Oklahomans in places of worship a legal shield, if they kill in self defense.

The law known as Stand Your Ground gives people who kill or seriously wound someone in self defense immunity from prosecution — even if they didn’t try to evade the danger first.

That law could could soon cover churches, synagogues, mosques and any other “building, structure or office space … used for worship services.”

The state House voted 62 to 21 to pass House Bill 2632, which extends Stand Your Ground to religious sanctuaries. Some legislators criticized the bill because it broadly defines places of worship and said it could be applied anywhere people are worshiping.

The bill’s author, Cushing Republican Greg Babinec, says the definition is intentionally broad to accommodate the diverse faiths practiced in the state.

Without further action from the House, the Senate could vote on the measure in a few days.