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'Stand your ground' bill heads to governor

CHEYENNE – A “stand your ground” bill is on its way to Gov. Matt Mead’s desk for his signature.


March 13, 2018

CHEYENNE – A “stand your ground” bill is on its way to Gov. Matt Mead’s desk for his signature.

Both the House of Representatives and Senate passed their “stand your ground” bills – House Bill 168 and Senate File 71 – through their chambers of origin. They didn’t coast through, however, after lawmakers in both houses expressed concern over civil and criminal immunities in the legislation.

Wyoming already has a castle doctrine, which provides a person can legally use weapons in self-defense in the home without a duty to retreat. In any other venue, a self-defense shooter would only have immunity from legal penalties if they could not reasonably retreat. The “stand your ground” bill would expand the castle doctrine to anyplace a person can legally be.

The Senate amended its bill, essentially gutting its sponsor’s intent, but then changed it again to give the measure back some of its teeth. While HB 168 made it out of its chamber of origin without amendments, the Senate committee amended it to reflect the Senate’s changes. Then when it made it to the House floor, it was amended on third reading to clarify shooters could face legal consequences if they accidentally injure or kill someone not posing a threat in a defensive shooting.

But the House’s last-minute amendments didn’t matter Saturday when the House concurred with the bill passed by the Senate.

SF 71 with the House amendments was left to die without further consideration.


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