Utah's gun culture is based on respect for the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia vs. Heller (2008) established that individuals have a fundamental right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. At the same time, Utah has a moral obligation to take on a leadership role to reduce Utah's accidental deaths and high number of suicides involving the use of guns, especially among teenagers, address the unacceptable murders in domestic violence cases, and minimize the possibility of mass shootings placing a multitude of people in harms way.
Utah needs to balance the freedom of the use of guns and the malicious lethal use of guns in a responsible and Constitutional way. I commit myself to upholding the Constitution's obligations and will carefully adhere to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling when it comes to passing gun safety laws. A careful reading of the Court's opinion leaves open the door to pass state laws that will save innocent people's lives. I will work hard to pass gun safety laws that have a possible chance of obtaining State Legislative approval that will help to further reduce gun violence. I support the following recommendations presented by our Utah Safe Schools Commission to improve safety in our schools and that appears to extend to the safety of the public-at-large:
* a law creating gun violence restraining orders to be reviewed and issued by a court
of law (i.e., for use in domestic violence situations)
* ways to improve federal background reporting and its current reliability (i.e.,
especially as it concerns people with certain severe mental disorders)
* universal background checks (overseen and administered by the State of Utah not
the Federal Government),
* development of high risk mental health assessment teams at our high schools.
Furthermore, we live in a State that has consistently believed in the value of education, if not always with our pockets. In order to work together, Democrats and Republicans, on saving lives on this issue, I believe it is important that the State Legislature act on this issue with urgent studied policies instead of our heated, irrational emotions and support further scientific study into ways we can reduce gun violence.
UPDATED October 19, 2018: I have received two ratings on my gun control positions, one from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and one from March for Our Lives Utah. The NRA rated me an "F" based on my responses submitted back on March 30, 2018 and March for Our Lives Utah, a local gun control advocacy group rated me a "C+". Since March, my positions on gun safety have evolved a bit. I am political realist when it comes to passing laws at our State Capitol. I will not waste precious time and effort by making news headlines with positions that sound good but will never get approved. Instead, if elected, I want to work with my colleagues to actually pass gun safety legislation that will begin to make a difference in saving lives and help treat and prevent people from hurting other people. October 20, 2018: Vote Smart reports that I have a 13% rating by the NRA.