Live Mic: Dem seeks universal background checks on almost all gun sales

Jan 27, 2020, 7:01 PM
background checks...
Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, talks during a press conference for Latino Media Day at the Capitol as the State Legislature begins its session on Jan. 28, 2013. Photo: Deseret News File

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly 90 percent of Americans support expanding universal background checks to all firearms sales.1

As the Utah Legislature began its annual session,  Salt Lake City Rep. Brian King wasn’t wasting any time: He wants Utahns to debate his bill that would require background checks on virtually all gun purchases.

The Democrat legislator joined Lee Lonsberry on his show Live Mic to discuss the merits of his legislation (H.B. 0109).

Even at gun shows, King said vendors who sell a certain amount of firearms must provide background checks.

Details of King’s bill

King described his bill as a modest, reasonable extension of the process of selling guns that is already in place for the majority of firearm sales. He said his bill would require people who are not licensed to sell guns to perform a background check on all gun sales.

“I’m a gun owner myself,” said King. “The Supreme Court has made it clear we all have an individual right to bear arms. I am not trying to change the law.”

King said he wants to advance his bill out of the various legislative committees so that the public can have its say.

“If people want to come and oppose it, I’m fine with that,” he said.

King said his bill is no magic solution to gun violence, saying if it could bring about fewer gun deaths than it would be worth doing.

Lee asked King if he knew of any cases in which a person who should not have possessed a gun under the law used a firearm to commit a crime.

“Are you legislating the hypothetical?” Lee asked.

King cited the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017 that left 26 church-goers dead.

The Air Force failed six times to submit records to the FBI that would have barred Devin Patrick Kelley, a troubled former airman, from buying the guns he used in the Nov. 12, 2017, shooting at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a Pentagon inspector general’s report concluded, according to the Washington Post.

Background checks for Internet sales

King said if universal background checks could prevent 10 percent to 15 percent of mass shootings, then “We’ve accomplished something good at very limited costs,” he said.

The lawmaker added that his bill would include a background-check exemption for intra-family transfers of weapons.

But he said he would work to require checks on all private online firearm sales.

“I don’t have a problem with people buying guns on the Internet,” he said, “but I do think it’s reasonable to say that they should go through the background check process.”

Related stories:

OPINION: Background checks for all gun show sales likely to face challenge

Salt Lake County requires background checks for purchases at gun shows (updated)

US mass shooters exploited gaps, errors in background checks

President Trump says he wants background check laws, also reassures NRA


1According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 89 percent of Americans support expanding federal background checks to cover private sales and gun-show transactions. Both measures are supported by at least 8 in 10 Republicans, white evangelical Christians, members of gun-owning households and other traditionally conservative groups.

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


FILE - A doctor loads a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ...
Aimee Cobabe

Bill banning vaccine passports heading to Utah Senate

A bill to ban vaccine passports is heading out of the Utah House and into the Utah Senate. The bill is similar to a failed bill from 2022.
2 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
5 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
5 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
6 days ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
7 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Live Mic: Dem seeks universal background checks on almost all gun sales