Live Mic: Expanding background checks on Utah gun sales is shot down again

Mar 4, 2021, 6:52 PM | Updated: 6:54 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, Utah- For the third year in a row, House Minority Leader Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, has sponsored legislation for expanding background checks on gun sales in Utah.

King joined Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to discuss why he’s pushing for this bill again after past failed attempts.

“I’ve been very clear. I am not a supporter of universal background checks. And yet I have each year that this comes up a conversation with Representative King. I do so because it is important to understand and hear both sides.” Lee said.

King said most people would agree that those who have been convicted of a violent crime or domestic abuse should now be able to buy or even possess a firearm.

“It’s very well-established under federal and state law that individuals in those categories are not to be in a position where they can own or purchase or possess firearms,” he said. “I’m a gun owner myself, but I think that there are some individuals who by virtue of their behavior shouldn’t be gun owners.”

Background checks

King’s bill, HB205, requires background checks for the transfer of a firearm between persons who are not federal firearms licensees (FLL), creates exceptions for family members, law enforcement agencies and officers, and others. It also provides criminal penalties for a violation of the provisions of the bill.

King said if you purchase a firearm from a retail outlet, such as Gallenson’s Guns and Ammo in downtown Salt Lake City, you have to undergo a background check.

“They have to be federal firearm licensee, and they have to run those background checks,” he said. “[But] It’s very clear under Utah law, when you purchase a gun, either at a gun show or at a private purchaser . . . you don’t have to go through that background check process.”

An online survey of 1,613 adult gun owners in 2015 found:

  • 22 percent overall said they obtained the guns without a background check. But that includes guns that were purchased or received in another way, such as through a gift or inheritance.
  • 13 percent who purchased firearms — for example, from a friend or online — said they had done so without a background check.

Third time not a charm

King also spoke with Lee about the standing of his current bill and his previous attempts at passing the same legislation.

“The bill file that I have opened ended up [is] not getting out of the [House] Rules Committee this year. Last year, the same bill ended up having a hearing before a committee and was voted down,” King said. 

“Representative King, I’m grateful to you for for walking through this with us,” Lee said.


Utah Democrat resurrects bill for universal background checks on gun sales

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.

Crime, Police + Courts

Eastyn K. Tueller, 19, is accused of going nearly 100 mph when her vehicle smashed into another veh...

Pat Reavy, KSL.COM

Intoxicated woman in fatal ’22 crash was going 98 mph in 35 mph zone, charges say

A West Valley woman accused of traveling nearly 100 mph in a 35 mph zone while driving impaired has been charged with causing a fatal crash in 2022.

8 hours ago

Sandy Police Sgt. Clay Swensen, the department's public information officer, talks with member of t...

Devin Oldroyd

Sandy Police looking for missing endangered 35-year-old

The Sandy Police Department is asking the public for help locating missing and endangered 35-year-old David Galloway.

10 hours ago

crime Ballpark...

Curt Gresseth

Cop talks knocking down violent crime in Ballpark Neighborhood

Violent crime in the Ballpark Neighborhood of Salt Lake City is down. A deputy chief details how the SLCPD achieved the results.

10 hours ago

A UHP vehicle...

Peter Johnston

3 minors and an adult arrested in Millard County drug bust

According to Utah Highway Patrol, three minors and one adult were arrested in a Millard County drug bust on Monday.

19 hours ago

A pail rests next to caution tape on a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2...

Associated Press

Young girl killed when a hole she dug in the sand collapsed on a Florida beach, authorities said

A young girl died Tuesday when a deep hole she was digging collapsed on her at a south Florida beach, authorities said.

22 hours ago

K9 officers stand with police dogs next to a Life Flight Helicopter. A new program by Intermountain...


New Life Flight program will fly police dogs injured in the line of duty

A new program by Intermountain Health will allow for any police K-9 injured in the line of duty to be flown by Life Flight.

23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Live Mic: Expanding background checks on Utah gun sales is shot down again