A proposed bill that would have forbidden Utah residents from openly carrying firearms within 500 feet of any K-12 school in the state was defeated in committee this week after complaints from gun lobbyists and Republican lawmakers, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.
“It would punish hunters, one man argued,” the Tribune said of an excuse offered by a Republican lawmaker. “It would put more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners than convicted sex offenders, said another….it wouldn’t stop a would-be school shooter anyway, suggested a third,” the newspaper wrote Wednesday.
“There will be people in violation every day,” Utah Republican Lee Perry was quoted as saying by the Tribune.
The proposed legislation would have “exempted open carry within the gun-free zone by people who live or work within 500 feet of a school or have a gun in their car as they drive through one, especially when picking up or dropping off a student for class,” the Tribune noted.
But that wasn’t enough for Republicans and gun rights groups in the state, who worked together to quash the proposed legislation in its infancy.
The sponsor of the proposed bill, Democrat Joel Briscoe, said his proposal would make schools “psychologically more secure,” per the Tribune, “particularly after the Florida shooting reignited the national outcry for gun restrictions and more schools have held lockdowns out of renewed fear.”
Read the full report here.