Wyoming Lawmakers Face Decision On ‘Stand Your Ground’
With both the Wyoming Senate and House having passed versions of ''stand your ground" legislation on Wednesday, it remains to be seen what version of the bill, if any, ends up being sent to Governor Mead.
The original intent of both bills was to allow Wyoming residents the right to use deadly force without retreating first in the face of an attack in a public place.
The Wyoming Senate on Wednesday signed off on Senate File 71.
On Tuesday the Senate had amended the legislation to the point where the bill's primary sponsor Senator Anthony Bouchard, had said the bill was essentially gutted. The changes included changing the standard for using deadly force from the belief on the part of the person being attacked that it was needed to wording that called for a ''reasonable" belief that the attacker was placing the person or another person at risk of death or serious injury.
But before passing the bill on Wednesday, it was amended yet again to return the legislation partially back towards the original bill. Senators approved an amendment by Sen. Curt Meier [R-Goshen/Niobrara/Weston counties] that would allow people to use deadly force in self-defense as long as they have an ''honest belief" that they or someone else is in danger.
The amendment passed on a voice vote, and Senators then passed the bill by a 23-7 margin. Wyoming House members, meanwhile, passed House Bill 168, which was essentially the original version of Senate File 71.
One of the two bills will now need the approval of the opposite house to win final approval and be sent to the governor. Either or both houses could also amend the bill, and that amended version would still need the approval of both houses before being sent to Governor Mead
Senator Bouchard said on Thursday that while he considers the House bill the better bill he believes "there is pushback all the way from the top" against that bill.
The Senator says he thinks the Senate bill has the better chance of eventually becoming law of the two bills that have been passed this session.