As the Utah legislature returns to Salt Lake City for the start of the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers will again have the opportunity to pass common-sense gun safety bills. Gun violence prevention is more important than ever in the new year as the pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence, and after a year of increased gun sales, continued police violence, increased risk of suicide and domestic violence, and an increase in city gun violence.
Top priorities for lawmakers should be keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and measures to ensure firearms are securely stored locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. At least 21 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner in Utah between 2014 and 2018 and over half of women killed by an intimate partner in Utah were killed with a gun. Secure storage legislation helps prevent unintentional shootings and firearm suicides — which account for nearly 85% of all gun deaths in the state.
What to know about gun violence in Utah:
- On average, nearly 388 people are shot and killed with a gun every year. Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Utah.
- Utah has the eighth highest rate of gun suicides in the country. Gun suicide accounts for nearly 84% of gun deaths in the state.
If you are interested in talking to an Utah Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action volunteer about their priorities, please don’t hesitate to reach out.