The House will debate a bill today that would add “place of worship” to the list of locations eligible for “Stand Your Ground” legal protections.

Bill author Houma Representative Beryl Amadee says currently, if you shoot a hostile intruder in your church, the legal burden is on you to prove that the shooting was justified, but if the law were to pass…

“When it is time to go to court, you could be held under the presumption that force was correct, if the action took place in your church, just as if you take this action in your home, car, or place of business.”

But opponents are concerned, saying the legislation does not outline specific situations that would result in legal protection. Louisiana Mom’s Demand Action chapter leader Angel Bradford says the legislation is flawed, and has no definition of what actually defines a threat…

“The bill does not outline the person is shooting, it does not specify that this person has already clarified to be a threat in a serious way.”

Mom’s Demand Action is an anti-gun violence organization that opposes Stand Your Ground laws, calling them discriminatory.

Bradford says with the vague wording, this law could be applied to interpersonal conflicts that end in a death, or situations where a trigger happy congregant becomes suspicious of a new attendee, because it does not identify what “unlawful entry” is in the context of an open church…

“If someone is culturally different, or not a regular at this place of worship, are they considered a threat, and then you can shoot them? Which is possible, because the law is just that vague.”

But Amadee says her understanding of the bill is that it only would be applied in cases where a threat is obvious, like the recent, headline grabbing church shootings…

“As much as we hope that no one will ever have to use what this bill puts into effect, we know that the reality is that it is likely that in the future someone in Louisiana may need this kind of protection.”