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Charlie T Waite

Utah: Self-Defense Bill Heads to the Governor’s Desk as Multiple Gun Control Bills Fail at the End of Session

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The Utah Legislature has adjourned from its 2019 Legislative session.  Before the final gavel dropped, the Legislature passed House Bill 114 and, today, the bill was sent to the desk of Governor Gary Herbert for his consideration.  This important self-defense legislation clarifies existing Utah law that there is no duty to retreat when an individual is justified in responding to an aggressor with force and ensures that crime victims will not be victimized a second time by the criminal justice system.  Please contact Governor Herbert and urge him to sign House Bill 114 into law.


With the end of session, multiple gun control bills were defeated having not passed by the final deadline. Those bills include:

House Bill 87 relates to requirements for the “safe storage” of firearms and would make gun owners criminally liable if a minor or prohibited person gains access to an unsecured firearm. Under House Bill 87, a gun owner could be prosecuted if they leave their firearm in a location that a minor is able to gain access to it, even if they have permission to do so.  Further, this legislation require that dealers provide notice of this proposed “safe storage” provision or face penalties.

House Bill 190 sought to hold law-abiding gun owners liable for any felonious criminal action taken by others with their firearms.  This legislation would have placed the blame on law-abiding gun owners for the potential criminal actions of others.

House Bill 209 sought to authorize the seizure of firearms and ammunition from individuals without due process. Unchallenged statements made by a petitioner before a judge, alleging that someone is a danger to themselves or others in an ex parte proceeding -- prior to any formal court hearing at which the respondent can be represented by counsel and present counter evidence -- would be sufficient for law enforcement to enter that person's home and confiscate their private property.

House Bill 418, so-called "universal” background check legislation, sought to criminalize almost all private firearm transfers between law-abiding individuals. Gun owners would have been forced to pay fees and obtain government approval before selling or lending firearms to friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow hunters, competitive shooters or gun club members. This proposal would have had no impact on crime and is unenforceable without gun registration. 

Thank you to NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their lawmakers in opposition to these gun control bills.

Again, please contact Governor Herbert and urge him to sign House Bill 114 into law.


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