Sen. Eric Burlison Pre-Files Legislation to Strengthen Stand Your Ground Law

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Battlefield, announces he has pre-filed legislation to strengthen Missouri’s Stand Your Ground law.

“Sadly, we have recently watched the justice system be used as a weapon against law-abiding citizens for simply defending themselves. No one should have their lives ruined like what has happened to Kyle Rittenhouse,” said Sen. Burlison. “As elected officials, the safety and security of our constituents should always be one of our top priorities. I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure Missourians have the ability to protect themselves and their families when they are threatened with physical harm.”

Under current law, the burden falls on the defendant to prove he or she reasonably believed physical or deadly force was necessary to protect themselves or a third person. Under Sen. Burlison’s legislation, there is a presumption of reasonableness that the defendant believed physical or deadly force was necessary to protect themselves or another individual.

This legislation provides a person who uses or threatens to use physical or deadly force in self-defense immunity from criminal prosecution or civil action for the use of such force, unless that force was used against a law enforcement officer in the course of their official duties. A provision in this bill also states the defendant can raise a claim of self-defense during a pre-trial hearing in either a criminal or civil case, shifting the burden of proof to the party seeking to overcome the immunity.

Each year, lawmakers may begin pre-filing legislation for the upcoming legislation session on Dec. 1.

Please visit Sen. Burlison’s official Missouri Senate website for more information on his legislative agenda at