A bill that would do away with the current legal requirement that Wyoming residents retreat from an attack in public before using deadly force to defend themselves has been filed for consideration by the upcoming session of the Wyoming Legislature.

Senate File 71 was formally filed on Monday. It is co-sponsored by four state senators and 17 state representatives. If it becomes law it would allow people to defend themselves from an attack rather than retreating first, offering protection both against criminal charges as well as civil lawsuits if the person was clearly acting in self-defense against an attack.

Under current state law, Wyoming residents have the right to defend themselves if attacked in their homes under the ''castle doctrine." But that doctrine doesn't apply outside the home under current state law.

The Laramie County Republican Party passed a resolution in favor of a statewide ''stand your ground'' law in January. Laramie County GOP chair Darin Smith said people shouldn't label the proposal as a ''vigilante" bill, but rather understand it as a personal freedom issue.

Florida was the first state to pass a ''stand your ground" law, and it came to the forefront in that state in the highly-publicized shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.

Some critics of the Florida law argued that if Zimmerman had been required to retreat first, Martin either would not have been shot or else Zimmerman would have been convicted for shooting Martin. He was instead acquitted.

Senate File 71 is co-sponsored by Senators  Bouchard (R-Laramie County),  Driskill (R-Crook/Campbell/Weston counties), Meier (R-Goshen/Niobrara/Weston counties) and Moniz (R-Albany County) in addition to the 17 house co-sponsors.

More From Laramie Live