Community questions gun safety in Utah after mass shootings

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Gun control is sparking heavy debates after seven mass shootings in as many days; most recently 10 people shot dead in Boulder, Colo., Monday.

Here in Utah gun legislation is changing.

Starting in May, Utah will not require a permit to conceal carry in public for those 21 and over. The beehive state will join 15 others in this practice.

Amos Guiora, a law professor at the University of Utah, who also specializes in counter-terrorism, said the state is becoming too dependent on tradition and needs to do what’s best for the community.

“First of all we need to have what I would call an honest discussion about gun rights,” said Guiora.

Guiora served for 20 years in the Israeli Defense Forces..

He said Utahns need to be willing to compromise on public safety.

“The question is how are we as a society in a place, frankly, when you hear about what happened in Boulder last night I don’t think any of us really are surprised,” said Guiora.

The Congressional Research Service defines mass shootingsas multiple, firearm, homicide incidents, involving four or more victims at one or more locations close to one another.

Ten people died in the mass shooting in Boulder Monday and eight died in the Atlanta mass shooting last Tuesday.

“You have to take out the emotion and what you need to do is now look at what are common sense gun laws that could have prevented that,” said Scott Howell.

Former Democratic State Senator Scott Howell said conversations about gun laws are heated on the Senate and House floor.

He said good dialogue is important.

Meanwhile Guiora told ABC 4 Utah is seeded in tradition and that may get in the way of what’s right for the state when it comes to gun safety and regulations.

“I think the second amendment discusion, I use the word discussion in air quotes because I don’t really think there is a real discussion,” said Guiora. I think line a talks to line a and line b talks to line b.”

The legislative session is over but that doesn’t mean the conversation on gun rights stops.

Nationally, President Biden is pushing for gun reform.

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