HB121 would allow residents to take guns to a police department for storage for up to 60 days, no questions asked. Bill sponsor Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, said the idea is to provide a "safe harbor" for weapons when a family might be despondent due to marital problems, mental illness, suicidal thoughts or other issues.
"I think it's innovative. It's out-of-the-box type thinking," said Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council.
Mass shootings in places such as Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine or Trolley Square were proceeded by foretelling or planning, he said.
"Had they had this opportunity, things might have been different," Aposhian said.
HB211 would allow out-of-state active duty military personnel stationed in Utah to get a concealed weapons permit without first obtaining one in their home states.
Maryann Martindale, executive director of the Alliance for a Better Utah, said the bills heard Wednesday impinge on Utahns' right to live safely.
"If Utah is going to be instrumental in reducing gun violence throughout America, then we must have reasoned, productive discussions about gun safety and gun regulation before we pass legislation," she said. "Today's discussion represents a serious setback for reasoned dialogue."
Contributing: Rachel Lowry
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