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Rep. King Says More People Should Know When A Domestic Abuser Tries To Buy A Gun

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake

Utah House Minority Leader Brian King got broad support for a bill last session that makes it harder for people with domestic violence backgrounds to buy a gun. Now that it’s law, he’s planning another bill to strengthen it.

Starting this year, people with a history of domestic violence are banned from buying a gun. And if they try, that information is passed along to law enforcement. Now, Rep. King wants to make sure that if someone fails a background check, that information is also given to courts, adult probation and parole, and others. King says, for example, if someone tries to purchase a gun who is going through a contentious divorce, he wants the judge in the case to know.

“There’s an increased likelihood that if the judge knows about it, there’s going to be an attempt made  to make sure that that individual gets rid of any  guns that they already have  or that measures are taken that are reasonable and responsible to make sure that that individual doesn’t get a hold of a gun,” he says.

Recent mass shootings, such as the one in Sutherland Springs, Texas have intensified scrutiny over the link between domestic violence and gun laws.

King is also planning a bill to ban “bump stocks” like those used by the Las Vegas shooter in October. The device alters a semi-automatic gun to make it shoot more like an automatic. 

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