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‘Shameful’: Despite Opposition, Governor Cox Signs Bill to Strip Local Control on Gun Safety

March 25, 2022

The Utah chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action issued the following statement after Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed SB 115, an extreme proposal that would tie the hands of local Utah officials by further prohibiting them from taking steps to prevent gun violence in their communities. This session, volunteers and supporters sent over 1,500 calls and emails to legislators to reject bills that would weaken gun safety laws in the state. 

“It’s shameful that the priorities of the gun lobby are more important to our leaders than the lives of Utah residents,” said Helen Droitsch, a volunteer leader with the Utah chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We will continue to work to keep our communities safe locally and we’ll be back next year to advocate for gun safety measures next session.”

Local leaders need to be empowered to decide what is best for their communities. Utah already has a law that prevents counties, municipalities and local officials from creating local laws or rules that regulate firearms in almost any way. This bill would unnecessarily expand that law and line the pockets of gun lobby executives outside of Utah with lawsuits against already ailing Utah cities. Every year, gun violence costs Utah $2.4 billion, of which $47.5 million is paid by taxpayers – and this law could potentially increase that number. 

Utah ranks 37 in the country for gun law strength – lacking every foundational gun violence prevention law such as background checks on every gun sale, extreme risk laws, and secure storage.  More information about gun violence in Utah is available here.

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