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Gun control advocates spark controversy in Utah

Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 08:34:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Gun control advocates in Utah are determined to create a public conversation about shooting deaths, in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

The board of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah met in the Salt Lake City Main Library on Tuesday, and discussed regular business with new determination, said board member Dee Rowland.

"How many more mass killings do we have to have before our legislators act?" Rowland asked.

Utah's legislature has shown no inclination in recent years to pass measures restricting access to guns, and gun rights advocates like Clark Aposhian with the Utah Shooting Sports Council say that's the way it should be.

"[Utahns] can walk in and walk out of here with a firearm, and yet we have one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, so it's not the easy access to firearms that's causing it. It's the individual themselves," Aposhian said.

Aposhian and Rowland agree that mental health is a serious concern when it comes to gun violence, though there is little agreement about policy. An Obama-era rule to ban mentally impaired Social Security recipients from buying guns was overturned this year by President Trump, and in one of the few bi-partisan moments of the year in Washington, four Democratic senators backed the repeal.