The Utah chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement applauding Utah State Representative Andrew Stoddard for introducing HB 354, a bill requiring secure storage of firearms. The legislative measure aims to protect children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings, gun violence at schools, and gun suicides by storing firearms securely.
“This bill has a clear goal – to prevent gun violence and save lives,” said Caitlin Mecham Boyer, a volunteer leader with Utah Moms Demand Action. “As advocates, we applaud Representative Stoddard for presenting this critical measure and taking this important step in the fight to end gun violence. We shouldn’t wait for the next tragedy to strike before acting; as we have seen recently in other states, secure storage laws are essential in saving lives and keeping firearms away from at-risk individuals and children. I am proud to support this measure to make all Utah families safer.“
If adopted, the measure would require owners of firearms to keep them in a locked container or secure them with a locking device that renders the gun inoperable by anyone other than the owner themselves or an authorized user. Storing firearms protects children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings and gun suicides. This bill would also decrease the chance of children bringing guns into schools or other public places. One study found that households that lock both firearms and ammunition led to a 78-percent lower risk of self-inflicted firearm injuries and an 85-percent lower risk of unintentional firearm injuries among children, compared to those that locked neither. This bill is crucial to prevent future tragedies in Utah, as research shows these practices play a vital role in reducing the risk of gun violence.
Utah ranks 36th 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. More information about gun violence in Utah is available here.
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have been at the forefront of advocating for secure storage laws Nationwide. To speak to a Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer about our efforts, please reach out to [email protected].