“I thought that we already have the right to stand our ground in our home…what would this bill do differently?”
As Wyoming Gun Owners prepares for a fight over Stand-Your-Ground legislation during the upcoming session, we are getting some questions from our members (sample above) regarding the specifics of what this bill would accomplish.
So as we work to mobilize gun owners to advance this bill, I wanted to take a moment and explain — in detail — what Stand-Your-Ground law would mean for Wyoming.
When you’re done reading this, I’ll give you the option to sign our petition calling on the legislature to pass this important bill. More on that below.
First off, Wyoming currently has a ‘Castle Doctrine’ law on the books.
This means that if you are attacked in your own home, it is presumed that you were legally allowed to defend yourself from a violent attack — without having to retreat.
But that’s it, it only applies if you are at home.
If you’re attacked in your business, you are expected to retreat before defending yourself.
If you’re attacked in your car, same thing.
If you’re attacked in a parking lot, grocery store, church, in a rest area -– anywhere outside of your home — you are legally required to retreat before taking defensive action.
What Stand-Your-Ground law would do is extend these areas where you can ‘stand your ground’ and defend yourself, without having to first retreat, to any place you are legally allowed to be.
Did you catch that?
A Stand-Your-Ground law defense only comes into place if you are legally present at the location where you were forced to defend yourself.
So despite what you’ll hear from the FAKE NEWS and anti-gun lobby groups in Cheyenne, an armed robber can’t shoot you and claim a Stand-Your-Ground law defense.
The same thing applies for any other criminal, if he’s engaged in criminal actions, he cannot claim Stand-Your-Ground law as a defense.
Stand-Your-Ground legislation has always consisted of three parts, which are:
>>> The removal of the duty to retreat before taking defensive action against a violent criminal any place you’re legally allowed to be.
>>> The establishment of criminal immunity language which states that if the underlying shooting was justified, you cannot be prosecuted for not retreating before defending yourself.
>>> A similar civil immunity protection which states that if you were not charged or were found ‘Not Guilty’ in criminal court, you cannot be civilly sued.
After all, it’s little comfort to survive a life-threatening attack only to wind up destitute after spending 5 years in civil court defending yourself from a spurious civil suit.
As important as it is to notice what constitutes Stand-Your-Ground law, you should also notice what is not listed above.
There are no changes to Wyoming’s current use of force statues.
Despite what the media will tell, you as the session gets underway, there is no ‘shoot first ask questions later’ language in this bill.
Nor is there any language that says that the authorities can’t investigate a self-defense shooting, as they would any other shooting.
The bottom line is that when you are facing a lethal attack from an armed criminal, the last thing you should be worrying about is whether or not you’ve backed up far enough before defending your loved ones.
Dozens of states have already enacted this life-saving legislation, and it’s time that Wyoming does the same thing.
It’s no secret that the legislature in Cheyenne, while professing to be pro-gun, are all too willing to allow gun bills to die.
And, of course, after Governor Mead’s veto of our bill to repeal ‘Gun Free Zones’ in government buildings, it’s clear that we can’t trust that he’ll stand up for gun owners either.
We are going to need all hands on deck — an overwhelming amount of grassroots pressure — to ensure that this bill passes into law.
Either way, please sign your petition, that’s most important.
And if you have any friends who have questions about the impact of Stand-Your-Ground law, please be sure to forward this message to them right away!
P.S. With the buzz over Stand-Your-Ground heating up, there are a lot of questions about the impact of a Stand-Your-Ground law here in Wyoming.
In the email above, we answer some of the questions about the bill and give you a detailed breakdown of the specifics.
And when you’re done, please consider a donation to help Wyoming Gun Owners push for this bill next session!