MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama lawmaker wants protections for the use of deadly force to defend churches, and their parishioners.

The bill — which expands the state’s self-defense law — says a person is presumed justified in the use of physical force if they reasonably believe someone is about to seriously harm someone inside a church.

Republican Rep. Lynn Greer, the bill’s sponsor, on Wednesday cited deadly church shootings in Tennessee and South Carolina, as he urged the House Judiciary Committee to approve the bill this session.

Greer argued armed parishioners could stop the violence.

Members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America opposed the bill. Anne Leader of the group argued that Stand Your Ground laws embolden people to “shoot first and ask questions later.”