SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after Gov. Gary Herbert signed dangerous Stand Your Ground legislation, HB 114, into law.
“I’m so disappointed in my governor and embarrassed for my state,” said Kait Hinckley-Wood, a volunteer with the Utah chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This reckless policy makes our state less safe by making it easy for someone to shoot to kill even when they can safely walk away from danger. In allowing this dangerous policy to become law, our leaders and Gov. Herbert chose the gun lobby over the safety of Utah families.”
Stand Your Ground legislation is unnecessary in Utah – a state that already recognizes the right to use force, including deadly force, in self-defense whenever it is reasonable under the circumstances. Research finds that Stand Your Ground laws are associated with an increase in firearm homicides and injuries. The devastating impact of Stand Your Ground laws is experienced across different demographics and neighborhoods, while disproportionately affecting communities of color. Additionally, there is no evidence that Stand Your Ground laws deter crime.
HB 114 will let people shoot to kill in public even if there is a clear and safe alternative. The legislation also prohibits a judge or jury from even considering whether a person was unreasonable in refusing to avoid an armed conflict.