The Utah House of Representatives advanced HB114 on Monday, a bill that claims Utah gun laws outweigh federal statutes. It passed with a House Judiciary Committee vote of 7-2, with democrats opposing.
The legislation, proposed by Representative Brian Greene-R, Pleasant Grove, was revised to leave out charging members of federal law enforcement with felonies for attempting to enforce federal gun laws by seizing weapons. Greene calls the revision “a much more condensed bill,” but says it still establishes “that we are the primary safeguards … of our state.”
President Barack Obama has proposed a ban on military-style assault weapons, limiting multiple shot ammunition magazines, and universal background checks for gun purchasers.
The Utah Legislature has proposed more than two dozen possible laws in response to the policy change including the arming of public school teachers, not sharing background check information, ending the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and carrying an unloaded weapon in full view.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert has indicated he is happy with current gun laws possibly indicating the use of his veto. Legislation that conflicts with the federal government’s legal supremacy as outlined in Article Six of the Constitution will probably not stand in court. While the Second Amendment does provide for the “right to bear arms,” to does not provide for the right to bear any and all arms.
Utah gun advocate Clark Aposhian, chair of the Utah Shooting Sports Council considers the limit on arms unconstitutional and a violation of the Second Amendment. He said he believes the bill sends a strong message to the federal government not to play “fast and loose” with the Bill of Rights.
The 2013 Session is scheduled to end Thursday, March 14. The next step is for the bill to go before the entire House. It is not currently on the calendar.
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Source: Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Legislature, US Constitution, Bill of Rights