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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A bill that would have required pawnbrokers to perform mandatory checks on used firearms has been defeated by Republican lawmakers.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Judy Buffmire, was intended to keep stolen guns off the street and prevent criminals from having "easy access" to money, Buffmire said.
The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee voted Friday 8-3 against the bill.
"It was just a simple bill to help curb some crime," Buffmire said.
Lobbyists and several committee members criticized the bill for being unspecific about the legal responsibilities of pawnbrokers in dealing with a stolen firearm, and cited concerns about the cost, accuracy and speed of firearm checks.
"How is this going to stop (criminals) from taking the gun back to the street," asked Rep. LaVar Christensen, a Republican.
The bill was opposed by the National Rifle Association and Utah gun rights activists.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)