House Committee Changes Stand Your Ground Expansion Bill

Feb 8, 2019

Lawmakers changed a bill that expands Indiana’s “Stand Your Ground” law to help allay concerns over it.

But some legislators – on both sides of the aisle – still have issues with the measure.

The “Stand Your Ground” law allows someone to use force to defend themselves, their property and others. This session’s bill seeks to ward off criminals from filing civil suits against people who, for instance, shoot them while defending themselves. The measure would have created a new pre-trial hearing to largely prevent the suit from moving forward. But there were concerns that is unconstitutional.

So, a House committee changed the legislation. Now, it says the person being sued can provide, as evidence, that they weren’t criminally charged for using force against the criminal who’s suing them.

Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) is dubious.

“I know enough about how prosecutors work to know that the fact that they don’t do something could have a million meanings and should not be used as a defense,” DeLaney says.

Rep. John Young (R-Franklin) goes the other way. He says the bill doesn’t go far enough to shield people who “stand their ground” from civil lawsuits.

“I think it gets to a suit," Young says. "Folks are still going to be spending money.”

The bill is now up for passage in the House.