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Several gun bills up for debate this session

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – The controversial “red flag bill” on the Capitol may be getting the most buzz, but, there are several other gun bills that legislators are trying to push forward.

Under current law, a gun owner can fire their weapon in self-defense, and they’re not required to try and flee the scene, first.  But, Representative Cory Maloy says prosecutors could use that fact against them in court.

“You’ve defended yourself so that you can do everything you can not to be that victim, but, if you end up in court, that victimization continues on with that kind of questioning,” Maloy says.

If HB 114 goes through, prosecutors would no longer be allowed to ask why someone fired their weapon instead of leaving the area.  Maloy is also pushing HB 152, which would allow someone to turn over their own weapon to police if they believe there is a potential danger.

“[Police] can hold it and store it for you and no questions are asked.  There’s no investigation, criminal intent or anything like that,” he adds.

That bill is getting the support of Representative Andrew Stoddard.

“That’s what they should be doing is turning it over to the police department, instead of to a friend and saying, ‘Take this gun away,’” Stoddard says.

Currently, it’s legal for a gun owner to hand over their weapon if they feel it’s going to be used to harm someone.  However, people will want to think twice about doing that if HB 190 goes through.  Stoddard says the weapon’s owner would be held liable if someone lends the firearm to someone who later uses it in a crime.  He says there are some exceptions.  For instance, the gun owner wouldn’t be liable if the weapon is stolen.

However, “If that person did voluntarily hand their gun over, then they would be liable,” Stoddard says.  His bill is currently stuck in committee.

Also being discussed is HB 332.  If that goes through, people convicted of domestic violence would be prohibited from ever owning a gun.