Lawmaker wants to add teeth to laws keeping guns from domestic violence offenders

Posted at 4:15 PM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 23:37:49-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- One of the top Democrats in the Utah State Legislature is proposing a pair of bills dealing with guns and domestic violence. He's getting some support from members of the gun lobby.

House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, is planning bills that seek to prevent domestic violence homicides. He notes that nearly two-thirds of gun-related homicides are tied to domestic violence.

"We don't want people who under current law can't or shouldn't have guns, owning guns," he said.

Rep. King said Friday that one bill would remind people that false information in a gun purchase application can be prosecuted. Another would require gun owners served with a protective order or convicted of domestic violence to provide the court with an inventory of their firearms and where they are.

"Current law is very clear on this. Once you have a protective order on domestic violence issues, your guns are to be surrendered," he said.

Rep. King is getting support -- at least in concept -- from gun rights advocates like the Utah Shooting Sports Council. Clark Aposhian, the chairman of the group, said he wants to see the details.

"We have no problem with enforcing and prosecuting the existing laws," he said. "That's why we're supportive of the concept."

King is also proposing legislation that would move domestic violence cases out of justice courts and into district courts, reducing the potential for new trials. All the bills will be unveiled for the 2017 legislative session in January.