New laws a boon to gun rights

Second Amendment advocates may rejoice Sunday, and even carry a concealed weapon into church, when new laws take effect, expanding concealed weapon and self-defense rights. On July 1, a host of new state laws kick in. That includes the so-called “stand your ground” law, which allows anyone to use “reasonable defensive force” without retreating to protect themselves or others against real or perceived threats. If a person believes he or she is in danger, that person can injure or even kill with immunity. Rep. Andy Schwartz, D-Teton, said he strongly opposed the law, arguing it could have unintended consequences. For example, someone may fire a gun in self-defense but accidentally hit an innocent bystander. “Everybody plays video games and watches movies where people are deadly accurate and never miss their target,” he said, “but that’s not the case.” Rep. Mike Gierau, D-Teton, said he understands the need to protect oneself, but he condemned the legislation as an “awful bill.” However, he said it has only been used in a few cases in other states. “To me,” he said, “it legalizes murder under the guise of you feeling fear.” Sen. Leland Christensen, R-Teton, could not be reached Friday for comment. Thanks to another new law, anyone authorized to carry concealed weapons can carry them into church. That’s because the Legislature repealed a restriction on concealed weapons in places of worship. Gierau said he believes in Second Amendment rights but felt this law was unnecessary. “When I go to church on […]

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