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Sandy dumps city gun laws

Law » City bows to pressure from gun-rights group to allow weapons on trails, golf courses, rec facilities.

First Published Aug 26 2014 09:36 pm • Last Updated Aug 29 2014 09:23 am

Sandy City has repealed its laws restricting carrying guns in public places.

Council members Tuesday night unanimously approved the ordinance changes, so that it no longer will be a violation of city code to pack a gun in a park, on a trail, golf course or in any other city recreational facility.

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The amendments are being adopted now at the demand of a national gun-rights organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, which recently put Sandy on notice that its gun laws are illegal because they go beyond what is authorized by Utah law.

"Sandy City Corporation has no legal authority to adopt or enforce these sections of the Sandy City Corporation Code and should, out of respect for the supremacy of the Utah Legislature, and out of respect for the rule of law, repeal them," foundation Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb wrote in a July 8 letter to the city.

It was among 49 such demand letters sent to local governments around the state on the same date — part of a project by the foundation in which it pores through all local ordinances to flag those it considers as exceeding the authority granted by state law. Utah was the seventh state targeted in the group’s project, but it said it plans, eventually, to get to them all.

Utah, like many states, has reserved most gun-regulating authority to the Legislature — aside from allowing cities to restrict the discharge or brandishing of firearms.

Sandy still outlaws those activities. But all other gun regulation is left to state law, which has few restrictions on where a person can carry a gun.

"We’re just trying to make sure our ordinances are in keeping with what the state Legislature has said we’re allowed to do and not allowed to do," Sandy spokeswoman Nicole Martin said Monday.

"Where are the laws protecting my rights as a private citizen who does not feel safe anymore, anywhere?" said Sally Jo Fuller, a 45-year Sandy resident who was the only member of the public to speak against the amendments.

She said in an interview she didn’t like the fact that the Second Amendment Foundation can dictate to her local government.


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"They have an agenda and it isn’t an agenda that we normal people need."

Despite the changes to city gun laws, Sandy will retain plenty of restrictions on what a person can carry or do in a park or other public place outside of packing heat.

City code, for example, outlaws carrying a firecracker or other fireworks in parks and on trails. Also forbidden: "making excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noises" and, without express written permission from the city, "speech-making."

Mallory Jesperson contributed to this article.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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