JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri lawmaker is planning to introduce a new bill that he claims will strengthen the state’s “stand your ground” law.
Sen. Eric Burlison (R-Battlefield) pre-filed the legislation Wednesday. It would grant a person criminal immunity for using deadly force in self-defense unless the force is used against a law enforcement officer in the line of duty.
“Sadly, we have recently watched the justice system be used as a weapon against law-abiding citizens for simply defending themselves,” said Burlison in a press release. “No one should have their lives ruined like what has happened to Kyle Rittenhouse.”
Missouri’s current “stand your ground” law requires a person to prove he or she reasonably believed deadly force was necessary to defend themselves. Under Burlison’s bill, there will be a presumption of reasonableness that the person believed deadly force was necessary to protect themselves or another person.
“As elected officials, the safety and security of our constituents should always be one of our top priorities. I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure Missourians have the ability to protect themselves and their families when they are threatened with physical harm,” said Burlison.
The bill would also allow a person to claim self-defense during a pre-trial hearing in either a criminal or civil case.