LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday that the state's current self-defense law is "strong" and that he's hesitant to change it.
The Republican governor's comments came in response to questions about a "stand your ground" bill that was voted down by a Senate Judiciary Committee 4-3 last week. The bill's author, Sen. Bob Ballinger, R-Berryville, said he plans to run the bill again.
"We'll see where it goes," Hutchinson said to reporters at the State Capitol. "Beyond that, I think our current law is strong, in terms of allowing self-defense and protection. And we will continue to see if there's a case made that it should be changed. But I'm hesitant to change from what we have right now that I think works very well in Arkansas."
The bill would end a requirement that Arkansans retreat before defending themselves with deadly force. More than 30 states including Florida, Tennessee and Texas have adopted some form of a "stand your ground" law.
The fight in the Arkansas legislature over the bill gained national attention last week. Video of Sen. Stephanie Flowers, D-Pine Bluff, making a passionate argument against the bill during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing went viral. It has been viewed millions of times and shared online by politicians, gun control advocates and celebrities.
"It doesn't take much to look on the local news every night and see how many black kids, black boys, black men are being killed with these 'stand your ground' defenses that people raise ... So I take issue with that. I'm the only person here of color," Flowers says in the video.
Flowers used profanity and when she was asked to stop speaking, she replied, "No, I don't. What the hell you going to do? Shoot me?"