SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today denounced the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee’s passage of dangerous “Stand Your Ground” legislation.
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 states with Stand Your Ground laws have a clear increase in homicides. Additionally, there is no evidence that Stand Your Ground laws deter crime.
HB 129 would let people shoot to kill in public even if there is a clear and safe alternative. The bill prohibits a judge or jury from even considering whether a person was unreasonable in refusing to avoid an armed conflict.
STATEMENT FROM TERRI GILFILLAN, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE UTAH CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Politicians who voted to advance this dangerous Stand Your Ground bill are out of touch with the vast majority of Utahans. As a Utahan, I understand and appreciate our state’s long history of responsible and practical gun ownership – but HB 129 is neither responsible nor practical. Stand Your Ground is a reckless policy, long endorsed by the gun lobby, that gives a person unnecessary leeway to shoot to kill a person in public spaces. There is no evidence this policy deters crime – in fact, it has been shown to correlate with increases in homicides. At a time when the rest of the country is discussing gun violence prevention, the committee’s vote to pass Stand Your Ground is a disturbing sign of our elected leaders’ priorities. I urge the rest of the Senate to consider the safety of their constituents and reject this reckless piece of legislation.”