SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The debate over gun control is front and center, and the tone seems to be changing.
Lawmakers on both sides are saying it’s time to act.
Governor Gary Herbert addressed the issue at his monthly news conference at KUED.
“I think we need to take some action and do some things,” said Herbert, (R) Utah.
The governor says the state has worked closely with schools to find solutions since the Parkland, Florida shooting.
He supports the president’s ban on bump stocks and says there are more options to consider.
“What we do as far as background checks, what we are doing with maybe age limits on how old you have to be to be able to purchase outright a gun, the mental health aspects,” he said.
Democrats say this kind of talk from Republicans gives them hope some meaningful steps can be taken.
Representative Joel Briscoe plans to reintroduce his bill to create an open-carry buffer zone around schools.
“We can preserve people’s rights to weapons while also preserving public safety. I reject the notion it’s either-or,” said Briscoe, (D) Salt Lake City.
Gun rights advocates aren’t so sure.
“We have to be careful about constitutional rights, the 2nd Amendment is there for a reason,” said former state Representative Curtis Oda.
Oda is watching the conversation closely.
He says one step will lead to another.
“Let’s face it, we know what their 50-year goal is, their ultimate goal is a total ban of firearms,” Oda said.
Representative Steve Handy, (R) Layton, plans to bring his red flag bill back for the next session.
Representative Brian King, (D) Salt Lake City, also plans to sponsor universal background checks again.
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