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Cox says legislature may discuss gun violence, mental health measures

Posted at 4:31 PM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 00:27:16-04

SALT LAKE CITY  — Governor Spencer Cox said he has been meeting with the Senate President to discuss measures to prevent mass killings in the state.

Speaking to reporters following a Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, the governor said he fears it is a matter of time before Utah is dealing with a school shooting. He said measures the state has put in place has made a difference in preventing them, including widespread implementation of the SafeUT app.

Gov. Cox said in response to the school shooting that killed 21 in Uvalde, Texas, he has had conversations with Senate President J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, and other members of the legislature. Asked if it was over gun legislation or mental health legislation, the governor told FOX 13 News it had to look at "everything."

"Honestly, I wouldn’t trust anyone who says it’s only about guns. But I also wouldn’t trust anyone who says it’s not about guns at all. We have to have, again, I think everything has to be discussed..." he said.

The Utah State Legislature has passed bills expanding the rights of gun owners. This year, lawmakers blocked cities and counties from imposing background checks at gun shows at their venues. Last year, the legislature passed — and the governor signed — "constitutional carry" allowing gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, with some exceptions. Lawmakers also passed bills making it easier for people at risk of harming themselves or others to voluntarily surrender firearms for safekeeping while they are in crisis.