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Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statement on Tragic Shooting in Enoch

January 5, 2023

The Utah chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after an Enoch man fatally shot his family, including his five children, wife and mother-in-law before taking his own life. Authorities were called to the scene about a welfare check where they found the bodies inside  the family home. 

“Our hearts are breaking for the entire community impacted by this horrible tragedy,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Domestic violence coupled with easy access to guns is a deadly combination for families and children. Utah leaders must do more to protect communities from this preventable, senseless gun violence.”

While there is no one solution to gun violence, lawmakers can present measures that seek to prevent tragedies like these. Utah has taken some recent steps to address gun violence—such as a policy prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing guns, yet the state legislature has been inconsistent. As recently as last year, Utah officials adopted SB 115, an extreme proposal that tied the hands of local officials by further prohibiting them from taking steps to prevent gun violence in their communities, shortly after repealing permit requirements for concealed carry the previous legislative session. Leaders at every level of government should be empowered and work together to ensure the safety of Utah families. As Utah lawmakers return to the State Legislature for session, they must prioritize policies that promote the responsible use of firearms, that seek to prevent tragedies like the one that just unfolded in Enoch. 

Utah ranks 36 in the country for gun law strength in Everytown’s 2023 Gun Law Rankings.  Everytown’s interactive gun law platform – which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws – is available here.  Research shows that access to a gun in a household makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed in a domestic violence situation – this session lawmakers have an opportunity to change that.  

Each year, 400 people die by guns in Utah. Gun violence costs the state $5.5 billion annually, $50 million of which is paid by taxpayers. More information about Utah gun violence is available here.

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