CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utahns react to Pres. Biden’s gun control executive orders

Apr 8, 2021, 7:29 PM | Updated: 7:30 pm
gun control...
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, right, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, second from right, departs after speaking about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

SALT LAKE CITY – There are some high praise and a lot of harsh criticism in Utah for President Biden’s executive orders on gun control.  Supporters believe his orders will curb gun violence while others say the president’s information is wrong. 

President Biden listed six different orders aimed at curbing gun violence and not all of them impact guns, directly. For instance, the administration is proposing $5 billion over eight years to fund violence prevention programs in urban areas. 

State Representative Angela Romero said she’d like to see more funding go to after-school programs and the Boys and Girls Clubs to provide kids safe places so they’re not lured into a life of crime.

She says, “If you start early and you do preventative education, it does work.”

Romero also supports the president’s call for the DOJ to publish a model for “red flag law” legislation. Lawmakers have failed to pass similar laws in Utah, which would allow guns to be taken away from someone, temporarily, if they’re going through suicidal thoughts or making threats to other people. 

Romero supports these bills, saying they could significantly reduce the number of suicides and domestic violence attacks in Utah.

“Those guns could be turned in and, hopefully, those guns can be returned when that person is no longer in distress or a threat to themselves or others,” according to Romero.

However, critics compare these laws to gun-confiscation schemes.

Clark Aposhian with the Utah Shooting Sports Council said, “What the ‘red flag’ folks want to do is, essentially, confiscate the gun then deal with due process later.”

Aposhian is also taking aim at the president’s call to tighten restrictions on so-called “ghost guns,” which are described as guns that people can order and put together at home. President Biden said these guns are showing up at crime scenes and can’t be traced because they don’t have serial numbers.    

Aposhian said that’s not accurate.

“Ghosts are imaginary and so are the problems that are associated with these so-called ‘untraceable guns.’  They are, in fact, traceable.  Any time that person sells the gun that they legally manufactured, it has to have a serial number on it,” he said.

A spokesperson for Senator Mitt Romney issued a statement to the Deseret News, saying Romney might support updating background checks, but gun rules should be left to individual states.

The statement said, “He believes that it’s not appropriate for the federal government to tell states what to do with their gun laws and that it should be left up to state legislatures to decide.”

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Utahns react to Pres. Biden’s gun control executive orders