Utah lawmakers are mulling legislation that would require firearms to be put in safety mode and locked away while they’re not being used. And while details are still being worked out, the idea is already getting pushback from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Rep. Elizabeth Weight, D-West Valley City, is a retired teacher who taught for more than 30 years. In that time, she noticed gun violence become a more common part of her students’ lives.
Weight wants to implement safe storage laws that she argues would help prevent gun violence, accidents and suicides. She’s drafting a bill to run in 2019.
“We know that most of the guns that kids have access to come from their homes,” she said Wednesday before the Utah Legislature’s Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. “We also know from gun enthusiasts themselves that responsible gun owners secure their firearms when they are not in use.”
Details about how it would apply to concealed carry permit holders and guns stored in places like a car’s glove compartment are still being work out. But the bill has an early opponent: the NRA.
“One size fits all does not work,” NRA lobbyist Brian Judy told lawmakers. “It might be great for a home with children. It would be inappropriate, perhaps unsafe, dangerous, for a single woman living alone to have to store her firearms locked up”
The proposal is one of a package of bills Democratic lawmakers plan to run in 2019 to reduce gun violence. Those will also include measures to ban bump stocks and implement universal background checks on Utah gun sales.