Although most gun owners’ attention is on Rep. Jackson Lee’s “Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act” (H.R. 127), a few western states are making strikes when it comes to pro-gun legislation and should not go unnoticed.

South Dakota Stands Its Ground

South Dakota embodies a pro-gun, pro-self-defense state. H.B. 1212, for example, has been introduced to the South Dakota Senate by Sen. John Wiik (R). Supported by Gov. Kristi Noem, the bill clarifies the use of force under South Dakota’s exemplary “stand your ground” laws. It enhances a citizen’s right to self-defense by strengthening and explaining when justifiable force can be used in defense of person and property, so long as the individual is not engaging in an unlawful activity and is in a place he or she is legally allowed to be.

Arizona Legislation Keeps Schools Safe

One never quite knows what to expect from the Arizona legislature. Fortunately, the Arizona House passed H.B. 2840. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R), allows law-abiding citizens to store their loaded firearms in their locked personal vehicles while parked on school grounds. Likewise, H.B. 2551, which Parker also sponsors, expands areas where concealed carry permit holders can lawfully carry to include many public establishments and events. These bills will now move on to the Senate for a vote.

Utah Passes Two Self-Defense Bills

The Utah legislature adjourned after passing two more self-defense bills. Of course, H.B. 60, sponsored by Rep. Walt Brooks (R) and Sen. David Hinkins (R), was a highlight of this last session. The legislation allowing permitless carry was signed into law by Gov. Spencer Cox on February 12.

Nearly as important though receiving less press coverage is H.B. 227, sponsored by Rep. Karianne Lisonbee (R). This bill improves Utah’s self-defense laws by defining justifiable use of force and establishing procedures for the applicability of the defense. Lisonbee recognized that citizens must sometimes use force to defend themselves and argues that they should not be victimized a second time by the state bureaucracy or the judicial system. She also sponsored H.B. 216, which makes several technical and clarifying changes to improve Utah’s provisional concealed firearms permits.

Stalwarts in West

With all the focus on anti-gun news coming out of Washington, D.C., it’s refreshing to see some positive news coming from the other side of the U.S. The states of South Dakota, Arizona and Utah are protecting their gun owners. Maybe it’s time for the rest of the country to follow suit.