A measure that would give the state forester authority to close down land to target shooters during periods of extremely hazardous fire conditions passed the House unanimously Wednesday.
Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, carried SB120 after a difficult season of wildfires in 2012 — with 33 directly attributed to shooting firearms. The state spent more than $16 million to extinguish the fires.
The measure would allow the state forester and local county sheriffs to formally review after 14 days whether public land areas by target shooters could be re-opened.
After both agree to closing the area, each has to sign off on the restriction when it’s initially put in.
The measure was sponsored in the House by Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, who said the legislation was in reaction to "media hype" over the wildfires.
"We felt, let’s take some action here and we think we can say did some proactive things," Oda said.
The vote was 67-0 and it now moves back to the Senate for approval of an amendment.
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