University of Utah

Two proposed Utah gun laws — including 'Lauren's Law' — stall, while others advance to House floor

By Katie McKellar, KSL | Posted - Feb 20th, 2019 @ 1:16pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Days after the one-year anniversary of the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, Utah lawmakers had a busy morning deciding which new gun legislation would get a chance at a vote on the House floor.

While two bills survived, receiving an endorsement from a House committee, two others sponsored by Democrats stalled, including "Lauren's Law," a bill inspired by the slaying of University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, and HB87, a bill that would have criminalized unsafe storage of firearms that result in injury or death.

Along with voting to table HB87, the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee voted to hold "Lauren's Law," HB190, which would create liability for people who lend their firearms to someone that later uses it to commit a felony.

Both bills stalled after representatives from the National Rifle Association and the Utah Shooters Sports Council spoke in opposition.

It's unclear whether the bills will be given another shot at advancing to the full House, though the sponsor of "Lauren's Law," Rep. Andrew Stoddard, D-Sandy, said after the vote he's hopeful he'll be able to tweak the bill to address concerns.

Meanwhile, two gun-related bills sponsored by Republicans received unanimous endorsements from the House committee and now advance to the House floor for consideration.

They included HB17, a bill sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, that encourages education on safe firearm handling and storage and HB152, a bill sponsored by Rep. Cory Maloy, R-Lehi, that clarifies Utah's law that allows spouses, blood relatives and other people who live with a gun owner to voluntarily surrender a firearm to law enforcement if the cohabitant believes the owner is at risk of harming others or him or herself.

This story will be updated.

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