Lawmakers, Judges Seek Help for SC Stand Your Ground Defense

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A group of senators is holding off on a vote on a bill to expand the Stand Your Ground defense in South Carolina even as the state Supreme Court asked lawmakers to help them better define the self-defense law.

A Senate subcommittee took no vote after hearing testimony Thursday from women who said the bill would create a culture of shoot first, ask questions later.

The bill passed the House 106-0 in February. It shifts the burden to prosecutors to prove someone was not in fear for their lives when claiming self-defense.

The Supreme Court asked lawmakers for help Wednesday in a ruling that a Charleston County woman could claim self-defense in her boyfriend’s fatal stabbing.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey says lawmakers need to carefully consider any changes.