Utah Senate approves bill on shooting limits during wildfire season
By Robert Gehrke
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Feb 26 2013 04:05PM
The Senate unanimously approved legislation that would allow the state forester to restrict target shooting when fire risks are unacceptably high.
SB120 met resistance early in the session, to the point that Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, wasn’t sure the bill would pass.
But changes were made that require the forester to consult with the local sheriff before restricting target shooting and for the two to review the restriction every 14 days.
Ultimately, Dayton said she struck a balance between gun owners and public safety.
"Carrying [a weapon] is a right; target shooting is not," she said.
The ability to restrict target shooting became an issue during the past summer, when widespread bans on explosive targets and target shooting were imposed.
In June, a fire sparked by two target shooters in dry grass near a landfill in Saratoga Springs burned 5,507 acres and cost $2.1 million to fight.
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.