OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — House lawmakers have approved legislation that would expand civil lawsuit immunity to Oklahoma churches when someone uses a gun or other deadly force in self-defense.

The Oklahoman reports that the "Stand Your Ground Law" already protects businesses and property from lawsuits that stem from an accidental injury or death by someone who was acting in self-defense on that property. The House bill approved Tuesday adds "place of worship" to the law.

Republican state Rep. Greg Babinec says expanding the legislation to include churches is proactive and "necessary based on what we've seen in the past."

But Democrats criticized the bill arguing that it would give the same immunity to the person responding to a threat. Adding a change to the bill on the House floor would allow churches to implement a policy banning guns from the premises.


Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com