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Weekly Address – January 21, 2020

From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.

The Senate has already approved one of the most controversial measures of this year’s legislative session – the so-called “Stand Your Ground” bill.

It repeals a provision from current state law that obligate a person to retreat from a confrontation, but only if they can do so in complete safety.

There is nothing in current law that requires you to turn your back on someone who is threatening you.

Current law gives you every right to defend yourself, and others, in dangerous situations.

If you are in your own home, there is no obligation to retreat. You have every legal right to defend your home.

Clearly, there is no necessity for the Stand Your Ground bill. Neither the prosecutors nor law enforcement agencies have asked for this bill, in fact, they are the ones who will have the challenge of determining the truth after confrontations become deadly.

This bill is likely to cost human lives, innocent lives.

It does nothing to change statutes that guarantee your Second Amendment rights. It does not affect current law governing who can own a firearm, and where they can take it, and whether it must be concealed or carried openly.

Arkansas prosecutors don’t press charges against people who defend themselves. They never have and they never will, so this bill is unnecessary.

The Senate approved legislation that allows liquor stores to deliver to your residence. The delivery must be made by an employee of the liquor store, not by a third party contractor.

Of course, deliveries can only be made to customers aged 21 or over. And deliveries are only allowed within the county in which the liquor store is located.

If enacted, the bill would make permanent a temporary allowance that was put in place last year at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

In other business, the Senate Education Committee advanced legislation that makes it easier for Arkansas National Guardsmen to qualify for free tuition at state colleges and universities.

Currently, they have to complete active duty training in order to be eligible for free tuition. However, some circumstances call for a waiver of soldiers’ active duty training.

The Senate bill clarifies that National Guard soldiers are not penalized by a quirk in the current law, and are eligible for free tuition.

From the Capitol, it is always my greatest honor and most sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.


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