House Democrats Vote Against Self Defense Bill

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2018

Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(801) 326-1568 |

House Democrats Vote Against Self Defense Bill

Salt Lake City - The House of Representatives voted 58 to 11 in favor of H.B. 129, “Self-defense Amendments.” The bill would make the failure to retreat to a safe space irrelevant in court cases when an individual exercises self-defense.  

Earlier during the committee hearing, Democrats spoke against the bill:

“I am outraged,” Rep. Hollins said. “This bill opens a flood gate for the unnecessary escalation of dangerous situations. Violence should always be the last action available. As a nation, we have already seen the impact that discrimination and ‘stand your ground’ laws create in marginalized communities. We need to be working to deter violent situations, not to encourage individuals to attack others when they were clearly not justified,” Hollins added.

Rep. Elizabeth Weight said, “A perceived threat is not always a threat. In this country there is a culture of fear, and this bill empowers people to act on that fear.”

Rep. Angela Romero said, “I do not see how this bill meaningfully addresses the problems posed by situations of self-defense. It completely throws out discussion as to whether an individual acted reasonably in defending themselves and attacking another person. This committee has decided that facts do not belong in the courtroom.”

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.