The Utah chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Utah House Judiciary and Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committees passed legislation to roll back gun laws, including a “Stand Your Ground” expansion bill and a bill to force colleges and universities to allow 18-21 year olds to carry guns on campus. These bills now head to the House for a floor vote.
“With nearly 400 people dying by gun violence on an average year in our state, we need to strengthen our gun laws, not weaken them,” said Mary Ann Thompson, a volunteer with the Utah chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Legislation allowing people to shoot first and ask questions later, and letting more armed individuals on our campus only increase the likelihood of violence, and we urge the House to reject them.”
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund recently released a fact sheet compiling more than a dozen analyses on the effects of these deadly so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws. Among the studies highlighted in the resource, research shows that justifiable firearm homicide rates increased by 55 percent in states that enacted Stand Your Ground, while these rates increased by 20 percent in states that did not have such laws.
Guns have no place on college campuses, and allowing more guns on campus could increase the risk of gun violence and gun suicide for students. The rate of firearm suicide among young people (10-24) has increased 56 percent over the last decade – and access to firearms increases the risk of suicide by three times. State legislators shouldn’t make colleges less safe by forcing them to allow more concealed handguns in dorms, classrooms, sporting events, and other sensitive areas.