Utah –-(Ammoland.com)- Thank you to all who showed up at the hearing!
Good turn out by freedom supporters.
We had a great turn out from gun rights supporters at the recent Utah School Safety Commission meeting. We thank all of you who came. We realize that, due to the size of the crowd, many of you could not fit into the hearing room, and it may have felt like a wast of time. It was not. Having a large crowd at the hearing sent a message to lawmakers that we want solutions to school violence and that we do not want this issue to be used to advance the agenda of the gun control movement.
The deck was stacked.
Early on we realized that gun control would be a large part of the Commission's recommendations. This became obvious when we saw the makeup of the Commission, the USSC had one seat; two seats were held by anti-gun “March for Our Lives” organizers, as well as anti-gun organizations such as the UEA.
Focus Of The Hearings Was On Gun Control Not School Safety.
While the hearings were supposed to be on school safety, virtually all the time was spent on gun control, extreme risk protective orders in particular.
Commission refuses to even consider hardening the targets.
One of the most telling signs that the Commission was not looking for serious ways to protect our kids is the fact that they made no recommendations on hardening the targets. When we seek to protect things and people that we value, we make them hard targets. We physically make banks secure, we provide armed protection for the Governor and other VIPs. The Commission made no recommendations to provide better armed response in the event of an attack. Armed attacks almost without exception end when the attacker is met with armed force. We realize that there are those who are opposed to arming teachers, although many have already chosen to arm themselves, but there are other options, such as school resource officers. The Commission dismissed out of hand any consideration that involved shooting back at an attacker. Additionally the Commission dismissed proposals to provide better physical security at schools.
Gun control recommendations of the Commission
The Commission recommended the following laws be passed:
- Red Flag Laws or Extreme Risk Protective Order – These type of laws authorize a judge to issue an order for the police to confiscate a person's firearms even though they have committed no crime.
To see how the anti-gun movement can take a seemingly benign idea and use it against gun owners consider HB 483, from the last legislative session. This bill would have allowed a family member to ask a judge to issue an order stripping a person of their Second Amendment rights if they claim they are dangerous. The respondent to such an order would not be allowed to present evidence to the judge showing that he or she is not dangerous. There would be no penalty for persons making false accusations. Upon issue of the order, law enforcement would have been authorized to seize all of that person's ammunition and firearms. Among the things that the judge was supposed to consider in issuing the order was whether the respondent had any recent acquisition of firearms. After the order was issued, it would then be up to the person whose firearms and ammunition were confiscated to prove to the court that they are not dangerous. If they failed to convince the court that they are not dangerous, they would not be allowed to petition the court again for six months. You were basically guilty unless you could hire an expensive lawyer and prove your innocence.
- Mandatory Storage Laws – The Utah Shooting Sports Council strongly supports the proper storage of firearms, as appropriate to each persons situation. However, mandatory storage laws are a bad idea. They typically mandate a one size fits all solution to storage, often rendering home defense weapons out of service, and subject gun owners to criminal charges if their gun is used in a crime by another.
- Universal Background Checks – The Utah Shooting Sports Council opposes expanding firearm background check systems, because implementation would require gun registration, place undue burdens on law abiding citizens, all while providing little or no benefit to reducing crime.
- Waiting Periods – Nothing illustrates the fact that the real aim of the gun ban movement is to throw as many roadblocks in the path of gun owners than waiting periods. They claim that waiting periods will give the state time to perform background checks. This is a straw man argument, as most background checks can be completed instantaneously. In Utah, if the state needs more time to complete a background check, they can take as long as they need, anywhere from a few hours to forever. Waiting periods are only designed to be an impediment to exercising your Constitutional rights.
The next step
It is possible that the the Utah Legislature may convene a special legislative session this summer to pass gun control, or they may wait until the 2019 General Session. It is important to pay attention to these alerts. We will advise you when something happens. When we do, it is vital that you take the time to get involved. This may entail showing up at a hearing or shooting off an e-mail to a lawmaker.
Thank you for being in this fight. We can not win it without your help.
About Utah Shooting Sports Council:
The Utah Shooting Sports Council represents the citizens of Utah who safely and legally own and use firearms, exercising rights guaranteed under both the United States and Utah constitutions. Visit: http://utahshootingsportscouncil.org/