The Giffords Law Center published their most recent gun law scorecard recently, and Utah … didn’t do great.
The state received a D- from the group, and Giffords identified at least eleven areas in which gun laws could be improved by the state legislature, including some pretty glaring deficiencies when it comes to background checks, licensing of dealers and gun owners, limiting the number of firearms a person can buy in a certain time period, and curtailing possession by the mentally ill.
Despite this, and despite Utah’s gun death rate being higher than the national average, House Republicans - on a strictly party line vote - passed a Joint Resolution this week saying that the laws they have on the books are fine, and should be enforced before any new laws are considered.
The resolution came before the House on the one-year anniversary of the mass-shooting massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which had a cascade effect of multiple states considering and enacting new gun laws in its wake.
The anniversary of the shooting was mentioned by Rep. Brad King, D-Salt Lake City, who did not agree with language in the resolution that stated “that the Legislature recognizes that the laws already found in the Utah Code provide sufficient tools for protecting its citizens from the threat of fatal violence.”
LEAP Forward is grading HJR 7 and scoring opposition. Utah’s report card also has seven new laws that are being scored in support, including HB 209, a red flag law that has 68% support among Utahans but one that Republicans in the state apparently don’t think is necessary.
HJR 7 now moves to the state Senate.