INDIANAPOLIS (WDRB) -- Changes could be made to Indiana's "Stand Your Ground" law through a new proposal, according to Fox 59.
House Bill 1284 would expand protections for people who use deadly force to stop a crime.
The proposed changes have gained both support and criticism.
A committee heard testimony regarding the proposed bill on Monday.
Supporters of the bill say it's necessary to protect law-abiding citizens who use force to keep themselves or others safe. Critics say if the bill passes in its current form, it will lead to vigilante justice.
State Representative Jim Lucas said the bill will keep people from being sued after using justifiable force. Currently, state law protects someone from criminal penalties, but not civil penalties.
"Basically, in a nutshell, we're just taking existing Indiana law and expanding on it a little bit," said Lucas.
The law would also shift the burden of proof to the plaintiff, who would have to convince a judge on why the person who used force against them did so unlawfully.
Opponents say the bill is too broad.
Alexa Griffith spoke on behalf of the group Moms Demand Action, which advocates for stricter gun control measures across the country. "The bottom line is that House Bill 1284 encourages folks to shoot others without a de-escalation process," said Griffith.
Indiana University law professor Dr. Jody Lynee Madeira also testified against the bill, although she did say that people who use justifiable force shouldn't face civil penalties.
She also said the bill needs more focus on specific types of felonies. "The bill, as it stands now, references a felony, and I think we want to make sure that we know this only applies to the commission of forcible felonies that carry a risk of serious bodily harm," said Madeira.
At the end of the Monday hearing, officials decided to table the bill and bring it up for discussion at a future time.
Review the full bill as it currently stands here.
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