Competing ideas on gun laws are colliding at the Capitol

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – As sure as the sun rises, the Utah Legislature will be debating gun laws.

This year, Representative Cory Maloy says there is no need.

“I think it really boils down to, do we want to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, or do we want to do what we can to protect our people, while at the same time protecting the rights of people as it relates to the 2nd Amendment,” said Maloy, (R) Lehi.

Maloy is sponsoring a resolution encouraging his colleagues to reject new gun laws this year.

It’s especially directed at red flag laws.

“I don’t think we need red flag laws, period. That’s why I’m doing this, is to point out we don’t need them because we have all these laws in place,” said Maloy.

Representative Steve Handy disagrees. He’s bringing back the Extreme Risk Protection Order.

He says it’s a crucial step in addressing Utah’s teen suicide problem and school safety.

“This isn’t a knock in the middle of the night. This is a warrant served under a judge, brought by family members not the guy down the street, by family members, close relatives who tried everything in the world to try to get their loved one to get stabilized,” said Handy, (R) Layton.

Representative Joel Briscoe also says there’s a need. He’s working on a bill to prohibit open-carry within 500 feet of a school.

“Someone has a gun out near a school, what are we to think? How are we to know, just looking at an individual with a gun, with a firearm, that oh, that’s a trustworthy person, they mean harm. How do you know,” said Briscoe, (D) Salt Lake City.

Briscoe says that’s a debate worth having.

“When I was a school teacher I taught my students to listen and to be able to explain the point of view of the people who differed from them to make sure you really understood your own case. I think that’s what the legislature should do as well,” he said.

Representative Andrew Stoddard is sponsoring a bill on firearms liability.

His bill is in response to the murder of Lauren McClusky on the University of Utah campus.

In that case, the killer got the gun from an acquaintance.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...