State House passes Church Protection Act for Chilton County

Published 11:56 am Friday, May 17, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Local legislation aimed at affirming that Alabama’s “Stand Your Ground” law does apply to churches passed the state House of Representatives on May 17 and is headed to the state Senate.

Rep. April Weaver sponsored the bill for Chilton County after action was not taken on the proposed “Alabama Church Protection Act,” which would have been for the entire state.

Weaver said the local bill would “remove any doubt that ‘stand your ground’ applies to churches and religious organizations.”

“So many of my constituents have been concerned with everything going on in the world today,” Weaver said. “They want to ensure that there is protection for them and their church members, if anything were to happen.”

The issue had been brought up in several meetings Weaver had with Chilton County residents.

Rep. Ed Oliver and Rep. Jimmy Martin also approved the bill before it went to the state House of Representatives for a vote.

According to the bill, “A person may use deadly physical force, and is legally presumed to be justified in using deadly physical force in self-defense or the defense of another person, if the person reasonably believes that another person is using or about to use physical force against an employee, volunteer, member of a church, or any other person authorized to be on the premises of the church when the church is open or closed to the public while committing or attempting to commit a crime involving death, serious physical injury, robbery in the first degree, or kidnapping in the first degree.”

If the bill passes the Senate, it will be put on the ballot for Chilton County residents to vote on as a constitutional amendment.

Several counties in the state have pursued similar legislation.

The full text of the bill can be accessed here.