JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill aimed at strengthening self-defense laws but dubbed the "Make Murder Legal Act" by one local prosecutor failed to advance in the GOP-led Missouri Legislature Thursday.
A Senate committee blocked the bill, which would have given shooters the benefit of the doubt that they acted in self-defense.
If passed, it would have meant that prosecutors could not bring charges against people who reasonably believed they were acting in self-defense. Police would need to find probable cause that shooters or other assailants acted unlawfully before arresting them.
Prosecutors and other law enforcement groups had warned that the change would be a significant hurdle in arresting and prosecuting violent criminals.
Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver, who spoke on behalf of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys during a hearing on the bill this week, called the measure the "Make Murder Legal Act."