SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The number of teenagers bringing guns and other dangerous weapons to Salt Lake County schools has been on the rise the last few years. It’s the same for minors making threats to shoot up their own schools.
“This is very serious,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill stated. “You will be prosecuted, and everyone is going to be vigilant and hold you accountable.”
“We have laws in place that will hold those juvenile accountable,” Gill told ABC4’s Brittany Johnson as he provided her with the statistics.
“When you’re dealing with a developing brain of a juvenile, they’re more impulsive. That’s why we have a juvenile system.” … “Now, if you have a juvenile who is showing up with a weapon of mass destruction or something that would disrupt the school, then of course we have felonies that are available to us, albeit, in the juvenile system, and if they’re closer to age in terms of 18 then we can certainly look for certification or the appropriate mechanism that might help us transition them into the adult system.”
A supporter of the second amendment, Gill says one way to help decrease the number of weapons making it into the hands of minors starts with adults being responsible.
“If you are a parent that has access to these weapons that are in your house, there’s a responsibility you should exercise — that your weapon does not find itself in the hands of a minor in your household so it doesn’t end up in a school setting.”
Gaylynn Bennion with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America says “simple measures of universal background checks of extreme risk protective orders, safe storage in our homes — making sure you know where that gun is and it is locked up and it has no ammunition in it, that it’s not going to be used to hurt someone,” will also help decrease the number of school shootings and threats.
A recent Quinnipiac poll shows most Americans support more restrictions on guns.
“It is really the application of our policymakers who don’t seem to have the political courage to want to help execute on the wishes of our citizens,” said Gill.
“It is a growing issue and it is one that we as citizens need to look at. What am I personally doing to make my community safer,” Bennion said.
Both Gill and Bennion agree this isn’t an anti-gun or pro-gun issue, rather, it’s a public health and safety issue that needs to be addressed in the community.
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