The controversial “stand your ground” law has recently taken center stage in the media. Several states have a “stand your ground” law which essentially allows someone to use deadly force on an individual if they feel their life is being threatened. Unfortunately for Stapleton residents, Colorado is not one of these states. “Sure, it seems like a grey area when talking about ‘life threatening’ says Stapleton resident Brandon Litton. “But if I want to shoot somebody, I should be able to shoot them.”
The law will certainly be discussed by Colorado lawmakers, but in the meantime, Stapleton is taking its own precautions. “We have modified our neighborhood watch signs just a little,” says resident Mike Gaies. “It gives the impression that Colorado does have a “stand your ground” law, and we are hoping this deters criminal activity in our neighborhood.” Residents believe that the threat of being shot coupled with a criminal’s lack of knowledge of state laws will be a strong deterrent.
The local police department does not endorse the signs, however they can do little about them. “Each neighborhood is allowed to amend their Neighborhood Watch signs as they see appropriate,” says Denver Police Sgt. Aaron Simmer. “The problem we have with the signs is that it actually may give residents the belief that using deadly force is acceptable, and we just can’t have a bunch of trigger-happy Stapleton people running around with guns.”
For now, the signs will remain, but residents are reminded that Colorado is not a “stand your ground” state. The only people that should be handling firearms are trained experts, such as pilots and mall cops.