GOVERNMENT

Utah Legislature passes bill barring cities and counties from enacting gun regulations

Feb 18, 2022, 10:45 AM | Updated: 4:19 pm
utah state capitol first responders mental health...
(File photo: The reflecting pool at the Utah State Capitol. Photo: Paul Nelson)
(File photo: The reflecting pool at the Utah State Capitol. Photo: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers have approved Senate Bill 115, which would bar the creation of firearm regulations by locally elected officials.  It is now on its way to the governor.

The bill’s House sponsor, Republican Rep. Cory Maloy, of Lehi, told his legislative colleagues that the bill clarifies that the power over firearm laws in Utah belongs to the Legislature. 

“The political subdivisions of this state cannot create firearm laws or ordinates above and beyond what the state has done,” Maloy said.

The Utah Constitution gives the authority to firearm regulation to the state, and to the state only.” 

A similar version of this bill was first introduced two years ago, but it failed in 2020 and 2021. 

In 2020, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson enacted a rule to require background checks at gun shows in county-owned properties. 

“I support the rights of lawful gun owners, but the risk of a private transaction resulting in the sale of a firearm to someone with a violent criminal record or history of domestic abuse is a risk we cannot accept in Salt Lake County,” she said in 2020 when announcing the rule. 

Another part of the bill allows anyone to request a local government repeal a firearm regulation. If the city doesn’t repeal it, the city could be sued.

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Utah Legislature passes bill barring cities and counties from enacting gun regulations