It appears the battle to veto HB76 leans in favor of the supporters of the bill, which allows people to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, and Rep. Carol Spackman Moss is urging people to call Gov. Gary Herbert and turn the tide.
Moss, D-Holladay, addressed an auditorium of about two dozen people Wednesday evening, one of several speakers discussing education and advocacy on progressive gun control at an event at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. After relating her experience as a teacher and her concerns about other teachers arming themselves, she asked the room: "Have you called the governor to veto it?"
She was met with affirmatives, and she urged people to rally their neighbors to make that call.
The Utah Senate passed the bill during the last session, setting up a showdown between Herbert and the Legislature. The bill has given Herbert some consternation and he has seen pressure from a variety of groups to veto the measure — including from the League of Women Voters and a newly formed group called Utah Parents Against Gun Violence. Moss wants him to hear more.
From what she understands, Moss said the Governor’s Office has heard more calls in favor of it than against, by a ratio of about four to one.
Since it was unveiled near the beginning of the legislative session, HB76 has become a rallying point for gun-rights advocates who view the bill as a rebuke against the national push for tougher gun laws and a further move toward guarantees they believe are harbored in the Second Amendment.
But when it comes to reducing gun violence, legislation alone isn’t enough, said Robert Cox, a founder of Sandy Hook Promise, who also spoke at the event. Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit that advocates for a holistic approach to reducing gun violence, not only through legislation, but by addressing mental health and violence in American culture.
"Simply passing legislation isn’t the answer," he said. He advocated for a change in attitude toward guns as well, such as everyone asking themselves what they can do on a personal level to curb gun violence.
Sandy Hook Promise formed in the wake of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 26 people died, including 20 children.
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