Republican Gov. Matt Mead chose not to veto a measure expanding protections in cases where defensive force may be used and allowed the bill to become law without his signature.
Mead, a former federal prosecutor who has stumped to bring gun industry to the state, stood aside on HB 168, a popular bill that widens areas where no duty to retreat exists and provides immunity from civil liability in aftermath of a reasonable use of force. While the proposal’s sponsor welcomed the move, Mead said in a statement he did not feel the change was needed.
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“I believe existing law adequately addresses the concerns raised in the Stand Your Ground Bill,” Mead told as the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
The measure makes a number of changes to Wyoming’s justifiable use of force and self-defense laws, clarifying that a person attacked in a place they have a right to be has no duty to retreat before they use defensive force. In the event that force leads to a civil lawsuit, the person sued can seek a pre-trial hearing to decide if reasonable force was used, which would result in blocking the suit.
The measure passed the Senate 26-4 and the House 49-11 with the strong support of gun rights advocates to include the National Rifle Association.