State Representative April Weaver has filed local legislation that seeks to provide churches and places of worship in Bibb County with an added layer of protection against violent attacks.

HB 562, a local Bibb County bill, expressly allows individuals to use physical or deadly force in self-defense or the defense of others while on church grounds. HB562 was read for the first time on May 2 and referred to the House Committee on local legislation. 

Based upon proposed statewide legislation known as the “Alabama Church Protection Act”, Weaver’s local bill provides criminal and civil immunity to church members and others who use force to prevent crimes involving death, serious injury, kidnapping, robbery and other specified violent crimes that might occur upon church grounds.

In essence, the bill removes any doubt that Alabama’s existing “Stand Your Ground” statute covers religious services, churches, and places of worship. It is a local constitutional amendment and, if passed, would allow Bibb County voters to decide.

April Weaver has been a member of the Alabama House of Representatives since 2010 and serves House District 49, representing Bibb County and parts of Shelby and Chilton counties.