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Salt Lake mayor, others, send gun resolution to Congress

Jun 7, 2022, 11:20 AM | Updated: 12:08 pm
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FILE: The department can only offer up certain guns for sale. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Conference of Mayors just concluded its annual meeting in Reno, Nevada on June 6th. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall was there, and said her main takeaway was “the need for Congress to take some action about the crisis facing our children and our communities in need of greater gun control.” Mendenhall spoke to KSL NewsRadio on June 7.

“There was a resounding resolution sent by the nearly 200 mayors in attendance,” she said, “resolved together, sent to Congress, asking them to take some action.”

That resolution on gun control called for universal background checks, a red flag law, and increasing the age to purchase a handgun or assault weapon to 21.  Speaking directly to the issue of increasing the minimum age at which a citizen could buy a gun, Mayor Mendenhall said that not only are the mayors strongly supportive of the change, but Americans are too.

“It shows from polling across the country that most Americans are also in support of that.”

What the SLC Mayor says can be done re: more gun safety

When the mayor spoke to Tim Hughes and Amanda Dickson on Utah’s Morning News, they asked her what can be done on a local level. 

“This Saturday, June 11th, Salt Lake City will be doing a gun buyback program,” she explained. “Salt Lake City hasn’t done a gun buyback since the 90’s. We pretty quickly raised $10,000. We’ll be offering $50 gift cards to groceries or gas for anyone to turn in a handgun and $100 for assault weapons, and you can do that at the public safety building downtown.”

Since the gun buyback program was announced, Mayor Mendenhall said she’s received an enthusiastic response.

“A lot of enthusiasm,” she said, “and we recognize that gun buyback programs don’t necessarily decrease violent crimes. It does raise awareness about the need for greater gun safety, and it does provide opportunities for people in households – even like my own.”

Mendenhall described a unique experience of growing up in a household with guns, but that nobody in the home knew what to do with them.

“My mother was a widow, had my father’s guns. He was a hunter. She didn’t really want them in the house but didn’t quite know what to do with them. And that seems to be a consistent theme of family members who end up inheriting guns that they don’t necessarily want in the home and then turn them in to the gun buyback programs because you never know whose hands they could get into.”

What if it happens here?

In addition to the need for legislation, the mayors talked to each other this weekend about what to do in the event of a mass shooting in your city.

“Sadly, something that all mayors have to be doing and part of what the conference helped train us on, is what to do when this happens in your own city,” Mayor Mendenhall explained.

“Mayors who’ve experienced mass shootings have told us it’s not really a question of if but when . . . sadly.”

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