The Utah chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action issued the following statement after the House Judiciary committee advanced 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.
“The proposed legislation drastically expands the current law – well beyond what is necessary,” wrote Helen Droitsch, a volunteer with the Utah chapter of Moms Demand Action, in a public comment against SB 115. “The bill would enrich gun lobby lawyers and groups by allowing them to sue municipalities in Utah and collect damages regardless if those groups are even located in Utah.”
Local leaders should be able 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.
More information about gun violence in Utah is available here.