SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Wednesday was a busy and hectic day at the Utah State Capitol as Utah lawmakers spent the majority of their time talking about guns.
The topic packed committee rooms. Siri Davidson said she is so worried her 2nd amendment rights are in jeopardy, she pulled her kids out of school so their voices could be heard-- even her nine year old son’s. “We shouldn't ban guns,” said Alexander Davidson. “They are the protection again the people who want to kill us.”
The Payson mom of five is supporting House Bill 114 that takes aim at the federal government enforcing gun laws in Utah.
“I refuse to stand by and watch things happen in our country and our state that take away our God given rights,” said Siri Davidson.
The bill would essentially empower local authorities to arrest any federal agents trying to take guns away from Utahns. Supporters say its well within the state's rights. “I do not feel it's extreme any more than a sheriff or police officer arresting a person for a crime, this just happens to be in violation of the constitution,” said Clark Aposhian, Utah Shooting Sports Council.
Another bill gaining traction among 2nd amendment activists is one that would allow people to carry a loaded or unloaded concealed weapon without a permit. Critics say diluting the conceal weapons permit would strip away an important background check.
“People tend to gloss over the fact that having a weapon is a serious thing,” said Monica Bellenger, Utah Parents Against Violence. “It can pose a threat to others whether intentional or an accident. We do want to make sure that the people who are going to be able to have a conceal carry that they pass a minimal standard.”
Gun laws have come under scrutiny in the wake of the Newtown shooting when a gunman first killed his mom at home then dozens more at Sandy Hook Elementary. A Utah lawmaker wants prevent a similar tragedy here with a so-called “safe harbor law”. Troubled families would have the option of storing their guns with police for up to 60 days or until things cool off at home.
That bill and the conceal carry bill passed out of committee Wednesday. HB 114 will be heard in the Judiciary Committee Friday.