POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

New bill seeks clarity about gun usage and controlled substances

Feb 7, 2023, 2:00 PM

a row of guns are pictured...

Canik and Springfield pistols are displayed at Impact Guns in South Salt Lake on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Legislative committees are looking into several gun bills this week. One bill seeks to clarify what substances can be in your system when using a firearm.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jason Kyle, R-Salt Lake City, is called “Weapon possession while under the influence.” 

The Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee agreed that the bill, H.B. 103, had a scary title, but passed it unanimously Tuesday.

The bill focuses on prescribed medication. Kyle argues that current codes about using firearms while on a controlled substance are too broad.

“It treats all controlled substances the same,” Kyle said.

The bill seeks to allow exceptions for those on prescribed controlled substances. A person with a valid prescription would need to take the substance as prescribed, be able to safely handle a weapon and must not be a danger to themselves or others. 

“I don’t think it’s a good idea for them [gun owners] to have to choose between their health and their second amendment right,” Kyle said.

The bill now goes to the full House for debate.

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New bill seeks clarity about gun usage and controlled substances