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Bill bans perpetrators of domestic violence from having guns

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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill banning individuals facing domestic violence convictions or protective orders from having guns was supported by the full Utah House of Representatives on Thursday.

HB206 passed on a unanimous vote without debate. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said the bill would align Utah with federal law, providing more resources to prosecute offenders at a state level.

King, the bill's sponsor, said if HB206 becomes law, it would help to better ensure individuals who shouldn't own guns aren't able to and as a result would better protect victims in abusive relationships.

"If you talk to our public safety officers, they will tell you the thing that makes them the most nervous is a call for domestic violence," he said.

Testifying in a committee earlier this month, King said Utah's domestic violence crime rate has long been higher than the national average, and that a woman is five times more likely to be killed in a domestic violence incident if a firearm is present.

— Katie McKellar

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