Forth: Utah Legislators Work to Reduce Gun Violence

Forth: Utah Legislators Work to Reduce Gun Violence

(Graphic by Piper Armstrong | The Daily Utah Chronicle) As of this article, the third anniversary of the murder of Lauren McCluskey , a University of Utah student, draws near. Her ex-boyfriend shot her to death on campus on Oct. 22, 2018. This tragedy’s anniversary should have Utah legislators considering how they can help reduce gun violence in our state. Gun violence remains a prominent issue in Utah. Nearly 400 Utahns were killed by gun violence in 2019, with 51 of these deaths labeled as homicidal. 2020 also set some records for homicides in Utah, with 80% of homicides resulting from gun violence. Utah legislators need to pass gun control laws in the 2022 Utah Legislative Session to prevent gun violence. ERPO laws and laws requiring universal background checks for Utahns could potentially help reduce gun violence if passed. An Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) allows for the temporary restriction of firearms to people who are at high-risk of harming themselves or others. In practice, a family member or law enforcement officer petitions a court to instate an ERPO for an individual. The court then investigates to determine if the individual poses a threat. If the judge deems so, an order will be instated for every year a judge renews it. The state will then hold the individual’s firearms for that time. Currently, 19 states enforce ERPO laws. Of these states, Connecticut and Indiana have seen a notable decrease of gun violence. Connecticut saw a 14% reduction in gun […]

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