POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

From 18 to 21: Utah lawmaker wants to raise firearms purchasing age

May 25, 2022, 8:05 PM | Updated: May 26, 2022, 7:43 am

marriage Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen firearm codify...

Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen says party switching is partly blame for loss in last month's Democratic primary election. Photo credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Early Wednesday, Sen. Derek Kitchen opened a bill file to raise the age of eligibility to buy a firearm from 18 to 21 years of age.

A bill file is a collection of documents produced during a bill’s journey through the legislative process. 

Buy a firearm

“If you are not able to consume alcohol, why should you be able to buy a gun?,” Kitchen said in a press release.

“I have been a student made to participate in active shooter drills. I have met with children and parents who are scared to go to school. That we offer condolences is not enough. Where is the urgency?” said Kitchen. 

According to the Utah State Senate, Tuesday’s shooting in Texas marks the 27th school shooting that took place in 2022. 

The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence website said that on average there are 400-gun deaths yearly in Utah. Also, Utah is ranked 25th for the highest gun-death rate in the country. 

Current gun laws in Utah

Currently, Utah is a constitutional carry state. In other words, the state’s law does not prohibit citizens who can legally own a firearm from carrying handguns. Citizens of Utah can openly and/or carry in a concealed manner. 

The state of Utah does not require a permit to openly carry a firearm and/or in a concealed manner

More information about legal and illegal locations you can carry a firearm can be found at the Utah Firearm Laws website

Giffords Law Center’s study on lowering the purchase age to 18

According to a study conducted by Giffords Law Center’s study, young people disproportionately commit gun homicides. 

The Center found that 21 out of the 26 school shootings that have occurred this year have been committed by someone under the age of 21. 

The study also found that 18 to 20-year-olds make up four percent of the U.S. population. However, they account for 17 percent of known homicide offenders.

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From 18 to 21: Utah lawmaker wants to raise firearms purchasing age