Proposal aims to clarify brandishing of guns

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SALT LAKE CITY -- State lawmakers are thinking about some changes in gun laws that would allow concealed-carry permit holders to show off their guns or verbally threaten deadly force if they feel their life is in danger.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, says HB78 would clarify what he feels is an implied right, but not a written right.

"What it would allow is to at least display in a defensive manner, maybe opening your jacket, or verbalizing that you have a weapon," says Sandstrom.

He says brandishing a weapon for any other reason than self-defense would continue to be illegal.

Some gun control advocates have criticized the proposed legislation, saying allowing someone to show a weapon during an intense situation only makes matters worse and can lead to violence or death.

Steven Gunn, a board member at the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, told the Deseret News the bill's language is "ridiculous." He says guns act as an "accelerant" during confrontations.

Sandstrom said, "The idea that it would lead to deadly violence is a misconception. It's the kind of hysteria that surrounds any type of gun legislation."


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Randall Jeppesen


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