LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Senate Judiciary Committee voted down a bill that would have loosened regulations for the use of deadly force in self-defense.

After a heated and contentious debate, the committee voted 4-3 against the bill Wednesday that would have no longer required Arkansans to retreat before defending themselves with deadly force, as the current self-defense law does.

During testimony, Democratic Sen. Stephanie Flowers angrily chastised the committee for voting to limit public comment and, later, for considering the bill.

Supporters argued it would protect those who used deadly force in self-defense by not prosecuting people who have rightfully defended themselves from a threat.

But a series of law enforcement, legal, medical and activists groups spoke against the bill, arguing it would increase unnecessary gun violence and saying current law suffices.