Stand Up Against 'Stand Your Ground'

H.B. 114, Self Defense Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Cory Maloy, proposes that a person is not required to retreat against an aggressor, and that a person is justified in threatening or using force against another individual if they have reason to believe force or the threat of force is necessary for their defense. The bill also proposes that failure for an individual to retreat to safety from an aggressor before retaliating is not relevant in legally determining whether the individual acted reasonably, even if safety could be achieved by retreating. This is problematic because “no-retreat” rules have aided in the exoneration of racist, sexist, and exceedingly violent individuals in the name of self-defense.

Rep. Sandra Hollins stated outrage against this bill, saying it would open the floodgate for the “unnecessary escalation of dangerous situations.”

Email your senator today and tell them to say vote "no" on H.B. 114! 

 


 

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Sponsored by: Alliance for a Better Utah

TALKING POINTS

- The Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah opposes this bill because similar “stand your ground” laws across the nation escalate violent crime. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Texas A&M Public Research University, and the American Bar Association found these laws ineffective in decreasing theft, burglary, and assault crimes as well as increasing firearm related homicide rates by 31.6%. This research shows that this bill is dangerous and would not effectively deter crime.

- This bill has the potential to increase implicit racial biases as significant factors in the inconsistent trial outcomes seen in “stand your ground laws”, this has caused the American Bar Association to recommend repealing these laws.

- The negative impacts of this law will be felt in communities of color as white shooters, who kill black victims, have their actions deemed justifiable eleven times more frequently than when the shooter is black and the victim is white.

The Utah Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America strongly opposes this bill, stating that it will lead to more violence since Utah is already a “stand your ground” state, which doesn’t require an individual to retreat in violent situations. They state this bill emphasizes confrontation instead of de-escalation. This leaves the law more open to being used for discriminatory purposes and less for liberationist or protectionist purposes.

When there is a culture of fear around certain groups of people there can be perceived threats, a bill like this empowers individuals to act on the fears of perceived threats, even though actual danger does not necessarily exist.

Dear Senator,

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