The state Senate has passed an expansion of Missouri’s laws regarding self-defense with a firearm, to allow deadly force to be used without retreating by a person who thinks a reasonable threat exists.  The “stand your ground” provision was sponsored by Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia).  It would expand Missouri’s “castle doctrine,” which allows a person to use deadly force to defend themselves at home or on their property.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia)

Sen. Kurt Schaefer

“If you’re leaving a restaurant, let’s say, at 10:30 at night with your family. You’re walking to your car in a dark alley and you feel that same need to use lethal force to protect you or your family that you should not be able to do it then? You should have to take your kids and you should have to run down the alley and try and get away before you would have the ability,” said Schaefer.

Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) says there are other options besides using lethal force.

“There’s negotiations. There’s diplomacy,” said Holsman.

“Diplomacy with somebody that’s pointing a gun at you or your kids in a dark alley as you walk to your car? You want to rely on diplomacy,” asked Schaefer.

Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City)

Sen. Jason Holsman

Schaefer said he should be able to protect his family.

“I don’t want to think do I have to actually try and run down this alley and herd my wife and kids down here because I’m going to be the one who gets in trouble if I actually defend myself,” said Schaefer.

“In that scenario, you probably put your wife and kids at a lot more risk if you pull your firearm,” said Holsman.

“I think that’s a judgement call in every circumstance but I would say that’s generally not the case,” said Schaefer.

The bill is headed to a committee that evaluates the cost of implementing the changes proposed.

The House passed an expansion of the “castle doctrine” earlier in the week.