SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — Utah Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after House lawmakers voted to advance common-sense gun safety legislation. The bill passed, HB 481, that now goes to Gov.Spencer Cox’s desk and will strengthen youth suicide prevention efforts in Utah by ensuring families get information about limiting access to firearms when a child or teen may be experiencing a mental health crisis or possess.
“This bill has a clear goal – to keep students, teachers, and families safe from gun violence,” said Callaway Zuccarello, a volunteer with the Utah chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Utah families deserve to feel safe from the threat of gun violence in every corner of the state, including at our homes and schools. We look forward to continuing our partnership with lawmakers and leaders to promote similar policies and work together to fight gun violence in all its forms.”
The legislation would add a requirement that schools give parents who have been notified of a threat of suicide or a bullying incident suicide prevention materials and information on ways to limit the student’s access to fatal means, including firearms. In addition, the state superintendent would be responsible for selecting the materials to distribute in collaboration with the state suicide prevention coordinator and public education suicide prevention coordinator.
According to a study of pediatric firearm injuries, nearly 90 percent of unintentional shooting injuries and deaths among children under the age of 15 occur at home. A study on storage practices showed that households that locked both firearms and ammunition had an 85 percent lower risk of unintentional firearm injuries among children and teenagers than those that locked neither.
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].