HB483, sponsored by Rep. Stephen G. Handy, R-Layton, may not have been perfect, but it was an urgent and essential piece of legislation that needed to be passed now to save lives. Any slight imperfection could have been tweaked in the future. The seven members of the House committee who voted it down should be ashamed and specifically targeted by voters the next time they’re up for election.
The excuses offered were dubious. They included the bill coming up late in the session, that those committing suicide can borrow guns, gun owners being denied due process, and the bill not focusing on other deadly weapons. Weak rationalizations, to say the least! Only inept legislators can’t fairly evaluate an urgent although slightly tardy bill. Domestic abusers or those contemplating suicide have it much easier if they own their own guns. The law already allows for sufficient due process for potentially dangerous gun owners. Stating the bill doesn’t focus on other deadly weapons is laughable.
Utah should follow the lead of Oregon legislators who just passed “a bill that bars convicted domestic abusers and people under restraining orders from buying or owning guns and ammunition” (The Associated Press).
Raymond A. Hult, Bountiful