JAY MCFARLAND

Two gun control bills, including “Lauren’s Law,” stall in committee

Feb 21, 2019, 3:49 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm
Lauren McClusky (Photo: University of Utah)
(Photo: University of Utah)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers spent Wednesday morning refining the future of Utah’s firearm laws.

The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee evaluated four gun-related bills yesterday. Two bills survived the hearing and will be voted on by the House this session, while two others, including “Lauren’s Law,” were stalled in committee.

Rep. Andrew Stoddard, D-Sandy, drafted “Lauren’s Law” in response to the October murder of University of Utah student Lauren McClusky. H.B. 190 would create legal liability for people who lend their firearms to those who use them to commit a felony, as McClusky’s killer did.

“I’m optimistic that [H.B. 190] wasn’t killed,” Stoddard told reporters after the committee voted to hold the bill. “I do think there is something we can agree on, and I look forward to working on it and bringing it back.”

Committee members also tabled H.B. 87, which would have criminalized unsafe storage of firearms that resulted in injury or death.

“I wanted to think about something that would add another layer to asking and pleading for safe (gun) storage,” said sponsor Rep. Elizabeth Weight, D-West Valley City. Weight, a teacher, said she drafted the bill in response to a “school climate shift” after the Parkland shooting.

Lobbyists for the National Rifle Association and Utah Shooting Sports Council opposed both bills, saying they unfairly criminalize gun owners.

“This is a classic anti-gun tactic of shifting responsibly from the criminal to the law-abiding firearm owner,” said Brian Judy, an NRA lobbyist. “H.B. 190 takes Utah one step down the path away from individual accountability and personal responsibility. This bill will set up firearm owners to be targets of litigation in an already overly litigious society.”

Meanwhile, two Republican-sponsored gun bills received unanimous committee support and will be heard on the House floor.

H.B. 17, sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, would appropriate public funding for education on safe firearm handling and storage. H.B. 152, sponsored by Rep. Cory Maloy, R-Lehi, clarifies existing laws surrounding voluntary firearm surrender by family members of those considered at risk for suicide or gun violence. Maloy’s bill stands in opposition to H.B. 209,  sponsored by Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, which would implement a “red flag law” allowing judges to issue temporary suspensions of an at-risk person’s access to firearms.

Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, credited both endorsed bills for acting as “carrots” rather than “sticks” to encourage gun safety.

You can join KSL’s gun control conversation online by using #gunwatch or by texting GUNS to 57500.

Today’s Top Stories

Jay Mcfarland

neuroscience...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: The time for talk is over

JayMac: My favorite thing to hear from listeners is "You know, Jay Mac, I don't agree with everything you have to say, but I understand how you got there."
3 years ago
trump parade tanks...
KSL News Staff

JayMac: Will July 4th military parade salute America or Trump?

Will president's July Fourth military parade in D.C. be a salute to America or to Trump?
3 years ago
Nike is canceling a sneaker that featured a version of the American flag from the late 18th century...
KSL News Staff

Should Nike recall its Betsy Ross flag sneaker?

The Nike Air Max 1 USA has a retail value of $120 but is selling for more than $2,000 on resale site StockX after the shoes were pulled from retail shelves.
3 years ago
mackenzie lueck investigation...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: A cautionary tale from a young woman’s death

A young woman's death exposes dangers lurking online
3 years ago
mackenzie lueck missing...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: Don’t blame Mackenzie Lueck for her disappearance

JayMac: Resist the urge to blame the victim until all the facts are in. Mackenzie Lueck and all victims deserve better from us.
3 years ago
school...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: Sick of babysitting parents, kindergarten teacher quits

A Virginia teacher says it's not her kindergarten students who are driving her away from the profession. It's the parents.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Two gun control bills, including “Lauren’s Law,” stall in committee