SB 115: Override Local Gun Control Laws
This bill passed the House 58-16 and passed the Senate 20-5.
A popular gun show in Utah recently became a target of the Salt Lake County mayor, who used her executive authority to require vendors, in their contracts to rent the county’s facility for their event, to require background checks for firearm purposes.
In response, Senator Chris Wilson is sponsoring Senate Bill 115, which would prevent local jurisdictions from enacting firearm policies like this. The bill also specifies that “the Legislature occupies the whole field of state regulation of firearms,” which would ensure that local jurisdictions do not have the authority or opportunity to deviate from a statewide standard of protecting people’s right to own, keep, and bear arms.
The bill also creates a process whereby a vendor or other aggrieved party who is subjected to a firearm restriction, contrary to the law that would change under this bill, could sue to have the policy overturned, with damages awarded if they prevail.
Fundamental rights should not be burdened or violated by local jurisdictions; the right to keep and bear arms shouldn’t be different from Salt Lake City to Spanish Fork. This bill helps ensure that Utahns enjoy a common standard of protection of their rights no matter what city they are in.