Utah joins NRA fight to lift ban on handgun sales to people under 21

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  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 8, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    @Ron Burgundy

    "Book or Mormon or a gun? Why not take both? Religious nuts and gun nuts seem to go hand in hand anyway."

    If someone were to use the N word that would be considered hate speech. But if someone is called a religious nut nobody seems to mind. I wonder why that is.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 8, 2013 4:42 p.m.


    "It is a fact that the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses – is not fully developed until about age 25. This is why many teenagers, especially when hormones are in high gear, think they’re “ten feet tall and bulletproof.” Drinking, risky sexual behaviors, and reckless driving (including texting and driving) are more characteristic of those whose brains haven’t matured. Why in heaven’s name should they possess guns?"

    If that is true then we should not let 18-25 yr olds join the military.

  • Dubai Holladay Dubai, UAE, 00
    Sept. 8, 2013 4:41 a.m.

    Let's lower the drinking age to 18 as well, that's a great combo..

  • Ron Burgundy Ogden, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    Book or Mormon or a gun? Why not take both? Religious nuts and gun nuts seem to go hand in hand anyway.

    I love Utah!

  • ConservativeCommonTater West Valley City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    guns for people under 21? Great Idea! Wonderful! That means the gang bangers can now get a gun before they get a criminal record that may have been expunged or reduced to a misdemeanor because of their age.

    The upside is that they can now get arrested and tried sooner instead of having to wait until they are over 21.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    hermounts: So let me get this straight. An 18 year old who is trained in the military has no more qualifications to use a firearm than an 18 year old high school dropout who does who knows what, finds a bag of money and walks in off the street to buy a handgun at Walmart?

    C'mon. Even the logically inept can see this is not valid line of criticism.

    I don't have a lot of qualms about an 18 yr old who's pledged their sacred honor and life to the defense of this country, has had rigorous military training and is pursuing a worthy goal to be the concern for why we want to keep guns out of the hands of 18 yr olds... so I don't mind an exception for them, but for everyone?

    No thanks,

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    If an 18-year old soldier can safely handle a gun, so can his (or her) twin

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    two cents:

    I don't see your logic.

    I know a lot of "squirrelly" middle-aged adults in Washington State, but I certainly wouldn't advocate banning all adults in Washington from purchasing a firearm from an FFL dealer.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    If they really want to use the example of an 18 year old being inducted in the military why can't they pass a law whereby all honorably discharged servicemen are exempt from the 21 year old requirement. Seems like common sense to me. But maybe that is asking too much from our legislators when all they are really looking for is a fight with the federal government to send a message. They don't know how to pass legislation that makes sense!!

  • Dnquixote Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    This seems like a worthy cause, given the lack of legitimate problems in the world. Nice to see Utah again throwing in with right-wing extremists. We wouldn't want the rest of the country to every take us seriously again, would we?

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    If you can't own a firearm at 18, then you shouldn't have to serve in the military at 18. All of those here that are willing to deny an 18 year old the right to own a firearm should seriously consider what you are saying about those are willing or are drafted to protect your right to vote each year. I don't see any of you willing to do your military service to this country. How arrogantly hypocritical.

  • gehelmke Bastrop, TX
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    At age 17, with parent's consent, a youngster can join the miltary of this nation...In boot camp, he/she will be issued a weapon, and at some point while in training, he/she will be firing that weapon....Within a year,at age 18, he/she will be somewhere in the Middle East shooting at other humans and being shot at in return.....Then a year later,at age 19, he/she will separate from the military and go home.....It's ludicrous to realize that a group of people in D.C. who have never served in the military, who don't know jack about guns, can keep this 20 year old man/woman from purchasing a gun so they can go hunting.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    Since Utah is so concerned about the rights of 18-20 yr olds, how about if we lower the drinking age to 18 as well?

  • my two cents worth Ridgefield, WA
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    I've known a lot of "squirrelly" 18 year olds that I would never trust to be mature and responsible gun owners. Not everyone should have access to buying handguns from dealers. But wait...They still can buy from a private seller. Tie the transaction to a responsible adult/parent when an 18 year old wants that gun. Then the judgement will come from that adult whether that young person is mature enough to own a handgun and if he is not, then the onus falls upon that adult. Like a co-signer of a car loan.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Once again, people think Super Nanny has to be there to make sure we're all safe and well all of the time. After all, they've done such a marvelous job with stopping the violence and deaths in places like Chicago and Massachusetts with tougher laws--and they've proven themselves capable in ALL phases of life management . . . or else maybe we'd have a nearly $17,000,000,000,000 official immediate Federal debt in this country by now. Yeah, we just need all these laws to make sure we're all behaving well, doing everything we're supposed to do, and not doing all the things we're not supposed to do. Politicians, bureaucrats, and central planners always have the right answers for us, if we'd only learn to obey.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Under 21... not responsible enough to have a beer, but totally responsible enough to have a handgun. Right, then.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Let me get this straight.
    You can't buy alcohol until you're 21, but your brain is well-formed enough to own and carry a loaded weapon?

    Can anyone explain the logic behind this?

    Heck, let's drop the drinking age to whatever the gun-buyin' age is, and stand back and watch. Or duck.

  • l.cee Ridgefield, WA
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Hmmm, Book of Mormon or hand gun? Book of Mormon or hand gun? What should an 18 year old carry?

  • Moabmom Moab, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    If an 18 to 20 year old is mature enough to fight and possibly die defending our freedoms in the military, he is certainly old enough to own a handgun. They can already own a rifle or a shotgun. The currant law only discriminates against law-biding citizens. The criminal element already ignores the law. That's what makes them criminals.

  • slow down Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    This is an issue on which I have very little sympathy with the apparent majority opinion in Utah. The damage done by guns in this country vastly, vastly outweighs the benefits. I have done a fair bit of research into the statistics on this, and they paint a picture worse than what I even expected. I feel that our unreasonableness on guns puts a smirch on our positions on other issues, which may be more right-headed.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:14 a.m.


    Exactly how are 'we' hiding behind and distorting the 2nd amendment?

    Wasn't it to guarantee our rights?

    The 2nd amendment is quite clear:

    "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall NOT be INFRRINGED."

    Aren't you hiding behind the 1st amendment in making your comment?

    Just no logic or understanding of the constitution by left.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    If a person isn't old enough to decide if they want to drink then they sure aren't old enough to have a handgun.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    How often when a crime is reported by anyone under 21 are we subjected to hours of rationalizing that the brain of people in this age group are not yet fully developed and cannot fully recognize the impact of their behaviour and now we want to remove an impediment to their owning a handgun because why? Instead, why not have the NRA join with states to push a psychological exam for all new potential handgun owners? I believe in the right to bear arms, but where is the voice of reason here? Where do we draw a line? You could just as easily say if a child can make a decision at 8 to be baptized, a decision that will set the course of his future religious life, why not also let him have a gun? Come on folks where is the common sense?

  • gotold Ivins, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Oh Wonderful! Just when I think Utah cannot come up with something as inane as gun purchases and ownership for teenagers, they propose to do just that! Of course, wearing a gun to college classes, football games and college parties will surely follow. What has happened to common sense in our great state? Why do we not hear from parents or the church about this dangerous new potential law? Oops, I forgot this is a "red" state.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    We're incredibly inconsistent when it comes to age restrictions on anything. An 18 year old can vote and serve in the military, but can't drink. A 17 year old can consent to having sex with partners in an age group close to their own, but cannot consent to being photographed nude by them. A 13 year old cannot consent to sex because of immaturity and lack of good judgment at that age, but can be prosecuted as an adult if charged with a felony. We really need to be more consistent when we decide whether kids and young adults are mature enough to be treated as adults or if they're just too young for such decisions on their own.

    Back on topic, what could possibly go wrong with 18 year olds wandering the streets with pistols? It's not as if they ever get into fights at that age...

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    Guns is neat and if ma 13 year old wants won he can git won.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    This is John Swallows "Wag the Dog" maneuver to distract the public from the ongoing investigations into his conduct and possible violations of state and federal laws.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    Instead of lowering the age at which someone may purchase a gun, how about raising it?

    To something like 95?

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    It would be better to change the age in induction to 21 in this country. Our life expectancy is much greater that WW1 stats. I don't see an injustice to voting at 18, serving in our military at 18 and not being able to catty a concealed weapon. Perhaps we should waive the 21 year old restriction for everyone who has been honorably discharged. I can imagine an untrained 18 year old stopping off at the liquor store (which he can't do today) and picking up a fifth of booze and with his concealed 45 trot off to a Rave party , a Frat party or go to the football game . Talk about being "loaded for bear".

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:54 a.m.

    I actually sort of support DN Subscriber 2 on some points.... (feels really)

    I never have understood that government thinks an 18 year old is mature enough to sign away their life to the military, and even die for their country, but are not responsible enough to drink, or buy weapons in civilian life.

    You just can't have it both ways. Either they are mature enough, or not. If you are old enough to enlist in the military, you are old enough to decide if you want to have a beer or not.

    I disagree this has anything to do with federalism... or any other political grandstanding ploy. This is about gaining consistency in government. This rule is as stupid as foreign policy that sees Cuba a threat to American stability, but China earns most favored nation trading status. The government is full of inconsistent laws.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:12 a.m.

    This seems like an unnecessary change. We make our youth wait to a certain age to do a number of adult activities. This also doesn't exclude them from owning a rifle. I just don't understand the deep abiding need to give kids handguns.

    How about if they served a mission or are enlisted in the military service they can possess handgun below 21? That sounds fair, right?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:04 a.m.

    So get the state government out of the booze business and legalize marijuana. Why do guns have special status. The whole gun lusting has gotten out of control and become perverse.

  • vcsheffield Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:14 a.m.

    Milihini: Great comment!

    DN Subscriber 2:
    a- There is a problem with that.
    b- The more guns sold (legally or not) the more easily they are available to thugs.
    c- Apples and oranges, but yes, raising the driving age would save lives. Restricted licenses until 18 exists in some states, and I personally would not allow any of my freshman children to have a car at college...and they were relatively responsible.
    d- Wouldn't be a bad idea, but not possible. Statistically, many in that age range lack maturity compared to older individuals. Car rental companies know this. Many restrict rentals until age 25. Where is the outrage at that?
    e- Hopefully the military is a growing up experience with discipline, and "issued" comes with restrictions. I doubt that they are not "issuing" nuclear weapons to 18 year olds. If they were, we probably would have a few being launched.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Sept. 4, 2013 1:32 a.m.

    It is a fact that the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses – is not fully developed until about age 25. This is why many teenagers, especially when hormones are in high gear, think they’re “ten feet tall and bulletproof.” Drinking, risky sexual behaviors, and reckless driving (including texting and driving) are more characteristic of those whose brains haven’t matured. Why in heaven’s name should they possess guns? This has nothing do to with the Constitution and everything to do with common sense! I taught high-school and college students for 17 years, and I know what I’m talking about.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 8:49 p.m.

    Those who argue that 18-21 year olds are all irresponsible and should not be trusted with a gun ignore many facts:

    a- They already can buy rifles and shotguns and we do not see that causing a problem.

    b- Teenage gangbangers (including those under 18) already get all the guns they want, so we are only talking about a law that will benefit law abiding citizens.

    c- Automobiles are the biggest killer of people of all ages, so should we ban sale and use of cars by anyone under 21, instead of allowing 16 year olds to drive?

    d- 18-21 year olds can vote, marry, enter into contracts, and serve in the military. All of those require maturity, judgment and restraint. Want to raise the ages on those?

    e- Thousands of Utah residents serve(d) in the military where weapons are issued, (some even nuclear weapons!) but if take off the uniform and they cannot have a handgun until they are 21?

    I applaud Utah for standing up for this common sense reform, and supporting the principle of federalism.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    When will we admit that hiding behind and distorting the 2nd Amendment is an NRA media-blitz fraud? In this very newspaper we see one article about a slain police officer in Draper and then the next article is about how UT is working to make sure hand guns continue to be accessible.

    Maybe UT should work with the federal government to restrict frivolous gun ownership and encourage more restrictive gun control laws.

    I know this is blasphemy to so many right-wing conservatives, but remember that when James Madison wrote the Federalist papers he wrote that virtue would be the underlying governing power of the people. But when the people reject virtue, then there must be control.

    Can we please see things as they are and admit that: yes, guns really do kill and harm people. Gun control is not a political agenda. Rather, it is a response to a violent people who are not governing themselves properly.

    It is time to protect the innocent, see the reality of the situation, and not be deceived by clever marketing and worn out slogans.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    I... I actually would agree with this, but in the spirit of never giving an inch (the gun advocates' philosophy when it comes to things like background checks that have 85% support nationwide) I hope this fails... purely out of spite.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:53 p.m.


    The German Weapons Act of 1938 specifically prohibited Jews from owning firearms at all. I'm no historian, but I'll go out on a limb and guess that had more to do with the Holocaust than 18 year old Germans getting a permit to buy a handgun.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    So Eighteen-year-olds are responsible enough for a gun... but not Alcohol????

  • Love skiing Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:32 p.m.

    They should be allowed to buy guns at 18. They should be able to stop at the liquor store and pick up a 6 pack of beer also. They are adults.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    Instead, I think they should raise the legal age to 25!

  • vcsheffield Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    What are you people thinking? Rule of thumb: Find out the NRA position and take the opposite. Next they will want the state to pay for everyone to have a gun.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:05 p.m.

    Its gratifying to see Utah and all these other states come out in support of gun rights for 18 to 20 year olds. If memory serves correctly at 18 people are allowed to join the military.

    A constitutional right shouldn't be abridged just because it's convenient. If that were allowed what is the point of having constitutional rights?

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    Uncle Sam issued me an M1911 .45 when I was 20 years old. I carried it loaded while on duty. It was idiotic that I couldn't buy my own then, and it's still idiotic that a 20 yr old soldier can't buy his own Beretta M9 today.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    This sounds very familiar. In 1938, the right-wing NSDAP lifted the ban on guns and ammunition for those under 20 to the age of 18, contrary to the misguided belief that the NSDAP was in favor of gun control. It is just absolutely amazing to see history repeat itself. I just hope we don't end up the same way as Germany.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Sept. 3, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    What could possibly go wrong? Idiots.