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Lawmaker Wants to Put an End to the Banning of Specific Dog Breeds

Brian Grimmett
Captain Cowpants, a pit bull, attended the committee hearing.

Pit bull owners scored a small victory today when a bill that would prohibit local governments from creating ordinances that ban specific breeds of dogs narrowly passed out of a house committee.

There are 10 cities in Utah that currently ban pit bulls, including South Jordan, but Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake, says that those laws paint with too broad of a brush, don’t work, and shouldn’t be allowed. Rep. Curt Webb, R-Logan, says he agrees with Rep. King that breed specific ordinances are a bad idea, but he’s not so sure that a statewide law is the right way to go.

“These things make no sense at all," he says. "They just don’t. I mean, I think that’s what we’ve heard here today. Maybe not everybody agrees with that but that’s my impression. But, should we, as the legislature than dictate to those cities that these kind of ordinances or prohibited? I’m really uncomfortable with that.”

But fellow Republican Rep. Marc Roberts disagreed.

“And to the extent that property rights are violated in those cities, those towns, those political subdivisions, I think it is the duty of the state to step in and to uphold and support fundamental property rights,” he says.

HB97 passed by a vote of 6 to 5. It will now head to the House floor for more debate. 

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