Starbucks shooting raises questions about Utah’s ‘stand your ground’ law

Local News

MILLCREEK (News4Utah) – Various states around the country have stand your ground laws, including Utah.

The issue comes to the forefront once again, after police say a man with a concealed carry permit shot a suspect who was attacking a barista at a Millcreek Starbucks. Officials say the incident is still under investigation, and the man could face charges.

The line between justified and not can often be blurred, and Adam Eaton from Joe Firearms in Sandy says Utah’s ‘stand your ground’ law is unique. 

“In many states, you have to try to flee or get away from a potentially life-threatening situation. In this state, you can stand your ground, you can remain where you’re at and you can use your concealed carry firearm or whatever weapon you have to stop an attacker,” said Eaton.

However, gun violence prevention advocates say the law is weak.

“Stand your ground laws seems to me to be encouragement for people to use firearms irresponsibly,” said Gary Sackett with the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah.

Eaton says he believes it’s important to know how to protect yourself and thinks it’s a good thing Utah has a ‘stand your ground’ law.

I believe that if you are a person that is competent and confident, and you believe in protecting your family, I think absolutely,” said Eaton.

Sackett says the four-hour class it takes to get a concealed carry permit is not enough.

“Police officers go through extensive training, they go through extensive simulations, they go through extensive on-site training at firing ranges, and even they sometimes get it wrong,” said Sackett.

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