SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Legislators sent Utah Gov. Gary Herbert a handful of gun bills that both tighten and loosen oversight on firearms. Nearly two weeks after the legislative session wrapped up, lawmakers are waiting to see what Herbert will do on this diverse collection of proposals.
The Republican governor has signed dozens of bills, but there are hundreds of others approved by the legislature that still need his final decision.
Here’s a look at the gun bills sent to the governor:
Utah could soon allow 18- to 20-year-olds to carry concealed weapons, despite concern from some lawmakers that it could make college campuses more dangerous. But bill sponsor Rep. Karianne Lisonbee of Clearfield argues that younger college students should be able to carry a concealed weapon to protect themselves from sexual assaults on campus, just as older college students can. Herbert has said he thinks Utah’s gun laws work well and that he isn’t sure what problem the bill would solve.
Anyone convicted of domestic violence would not be allowed to get a gun under a bill meant to reduce the number of deaths from domestic violence. Bill sponsor Democrat Brian King has said that too often, domestic violence situations lead to gun homicides.
This bill is meant to encourage gun dealers to train their staff to recognize suicidal behavior in an attempt to help curb Utah’s high suicide rate. The state has one of the highest rates of suicides in the nation, according to the most recent data available from the American Foundation for Suicide, and firearms are one of the most used methods. The bill by Republican Rep. Steve Eliason could give about $2,500 to dealers for suicide prevention education.
Law enforcement agencies that confiscate or discover abandoned guns may not be allowed to destroy them. A bill stipulates that an agency could sell or give a gun to a firearms dealer for sale, or provide it to the Bureau of Forensic Services for testing. Bill sponsor Republican Rep. Brad Daw has said it’s wasteful to destroy a working firearm.
A bill by Rep. Val Potter would require that federally licensed firearm dealer gun transactions be kept private. Calling it a privacy issue, the Republican lawmaker’s proposal would require a law enforcement official to destroy these records within about two weeks after getting them.
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