Gun Bills Stall In Utah, Georgia Legislatures

Despite holding majorities in the Utah and Georgia legislature, pro-2A lawmakers haven’t been able to get any piece of good gun legislation across the finish line in either state this year.

Utah’s legislative session just wrapped up, and while no pro-gun bills made it to the governor’s desk, gun owners were able to defeat a couple of bad bills.

House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, presented once again this year a bill to enact universal background checks on gun sales in Utah.

It met the same fate again this session: defeat.

As did Layton Republican Rep. Steve Handy’s bill, which amounted to a third try at a red-flag law. It would have allowed a family member or law enforcement to request a court remove a firearm(s) from someone who is a danger to themselves or others.

On the bill’s repeated failure, Handy said: “At this point, they’re [House Republicans] getting a lot of pushback from gun rights folks and that makes them nervous.”

Both universal background checks and red-flag legislation are huge priorities for the gun control movement at the moment, and even in states where Republicans control the statehouse, like Florida, we’ve seen red flag bills become law. It’s no small thing for Utah gun owners to have beaten back these bills, even if they weren’t successful in advancing any bills to protect their right to keep and bear arms.

The session isn’t over yet in Georgia, but lawmakers have reached the crossover deadline for bills to pass out of their house of origin, and at least one solid 2A bill failed to progress.

Legislation for gun owners to be able to pull or show their firearms failed to advance to a Senate floor vote.

Under Senate Bill 224, licensed gun owners also would have been allowed to carry their weapons in churches and in courts when there are no judicial proceedings. Under current law, a person who pulls a gun on someone can be charged with felony aggravated assault.

Meanwhile, House Bill 787, which would have established universal recognition of other state’s concealed carry license, also appears to have stalled. The bill passed out of a House committee back on February 24th, but wasn’t brought up for a full vote in the House before the crossover deadline.

It’s disappointing that we weren’t able to advance these good bills in Utah and Georgia, but at least in those states we don’t have to worry about any bad bills becoming law. As a Virginian, I’d be happy to have had that legislative outcome, instead of seeing seven new gun control bills head to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam.