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’s vote to advance Stand Your Ground legislation, HB 114. The legislation passed the House last month and now goes to a third, and final, reading in the Senate.
“This legislation would make it easy to shoot first and ask questions later,” said
Kait Hinckley-Wood, a volunteer with the Utah chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Simply put, this legislation is reckless and puts Utahns in harm’s way. Our state has a long history of responsible and practical gun ownership – and this bill is neither responsible nor practical.”
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. Additionally, there is no evidence that Stand Your Ground laws deter crime.
HB 114 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.