New statewide polling from the Deseret News in partnership with the Hinckley Institute of Politics poll shows Utah voters overwhelmingly support red flag laws and stronger gun safety laws. The latest poll measured significant growth across the board for measures aimed at curbing gun violence, including raising the legal age to buy firearms to 21, requiring background checks on all gun sales, and implementing emergency risk protection orders. In an average year, 400 people die by guns in Utah, and gun homicide increased by 88% within the last decade.
Some notable findings from the poll include:
- 72% of Utahns support red flag laws.
- 79% of Utahns support raising the minimum age to buy a gun in the state to 21.
- 90% of Utahns favor requiring background checks on all gun sales which drew the highest support.
Support for gun safety regulation has increased significantly since last year. An April 2021, Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll found 65% of Utah voters favor universal background checks.
Despite this growing popular support for strengthening Uthah’s gun laws, state lawmakers have worked to block important gun safety regulations, including HB 133, legislation to expand firearms background checks. The Republican-led Utah legislature has rejected proposals — introduced by lawmaker Rep. Steve Handy (R-LAYTON) — for a red flag law three times in recent years.
Elected officials in Utah should honor the will of the public and take action to strengthen the state’s gun laws by implementing a red flag law, requiring background checks on all gun sales, and raising the age to purchase a gun to 21. Elected officials can follow the example of Senator Mitt Romney, who worked across the aisle to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which includes red flag law funding.
And here are three things Governor Spencer Cox can do right now:
- Keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a risk to themselves or others with actions to improve education on secure storage.
- Uplift community violence intervention programs that are already doing life-saving work in some of the communities most heavily impacted by gun violence.
- Require firearm safety training for gun owners
If you would like to speak with a volunteer with Utah Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please feel free to reach out.