Here is an email I got from the Utah Shooting Sports Council with a wrap-up of this year's legislative action.
We got some good things, but didn't get others. We've got a couple of very anti-gun RINOs in the House that have sabotaged us. Fortunately, the bad bills (including a good bill turned bad) were defeated.*********************
LEGISLATIVE SESSION FINAL UPDATE
There is some good news for gun rights out of the 2008 session.
(a) LOSS- SB 67- "Protection of Constitutionally Guaranteed Activities in Certain Private Venues" proposed by strongly pro-gun Senator Mark Madsen, for the THIRD year in a row! This was a "parking lot bill" that restricts employers from infringing on the self defense rights of law abiding employees. The Senate passed by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority (23-4)(with similar strong margins in the previous two attempts). This is the common sense reform to allow law abiding citizens to keep legally possessed weapons in their private vehicles. However the house leadership (specifically Speaker Greg Curtis (R-Sandy) and Rules Committee Chairman Steve Urquhart (R- St. George)) controlled the system to make sure this bill got shot down by an unfriendly committee. They did so after PROMISING it would go to a different, friendly committee. These two gents confirm some of the worst stereotypes about politicians. If you live in their districts, they are not your friend and !
they should be replaced. (Curtis and Urquhart- remember the names!)
(b) WIN- SB 157- (1st Substitute) "Rights of Citizens to Carry Firearms in Declared Emergency" - also by Sen. Mark Madsen. This is a "Katrina bill" to prohibit seizure of guns from law abiding citizens in a disaster situation. The Senate passed by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority (26-2). After sitting untouched in the House for 9 days due to delaying tactics by Curtis and Urquhart, it was finally overwhelmingly passed (72-2) only hours before the session ended. GUN RIGHTS ARE INCREASED BY THIS BILL! THANK YOU to Sen. Mark Madsen for running this bill in the Senate, and to Rep. Carl Wimmer (R-Herriman) in the House. The bill goes to the Governor for his approval.
(c) WIN & LOSS- HB 473- "Firearms Amendments" by Rep. Curt Oda made minor, but important, technical changes to clarify possible confusion about CWP Permit holders being allowed to or forbidden from having their self defense weapon visible. This excellent bill got twisted into a BAD bill, by Rep. Steve Urquhart with his amendment to BAN permit holders from carrying openly in colleges or universities. The University of Utah and their allies were extremely busy quietly lining up support for this amendment and they managed to get it pushed through by a vote of 49-21. Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R-Orem) and Curt Oda (R-Clearfield) were especially strong defenders of gun rights in the House.
The GOOD GUYS in the House were Representatives: Daw, Donnelson, Dougall, Duckworth, Julie Fisher, Fowlke, Frank, Garn, Gibson, Greenwood, Grover, Hansen, Harper, Hendrickson, Herrod, Hughes, Kiser, Mathis, Morley, Newbold, Noel, Oda, Painter, Ray, Sandstrom, Sumsion, Tilton, Walker, and Wimmer. Remember to help these people get reelected, as they stand up for your gun rights.
Note that Curtis and Urquhart were the main culprits in sabotaging a good gun bill. Fortunately, our friends in the Senate, led by gun rights champion Sen. Mike Waddoups (R- West Jordan) blocked consideration of this twisted bill, so it was defeated.
The real problem is that if this bill passed with even minor restrictions, the anti-gun crowd would try to expand these restrictions next year. NO MORE INCREMENTAL GUN CONTROL! Gun control is a failed concept that just does nothing to stop criminals!
(d) WIN- HB 14- was a "drive by shooter" bill but adds an exemption for firing from vehicles at a range for training (which is technically illegal now). Passed by both houses and awaiting approval by the governor. Gun owners gained a tiny bit with this one.
(e) WIN- HB 110- "Discharging a Firearm Within a Municipality" was aimed at shootings not falling under assault type charges. This one had some problems and appeared to be unnecessary and overly restrictive on lawful activities. It also chipped away at the "preemption" which keeps every little municipality from making their own set of gun laws. THIS BILL WAS KILLED, which was good for gun rights.
(f) NEUTRAL- HB 195- "Concealed Firearm Permit Amendments" by Rep. Merlynn Newbold fixed the problem of non-U.S. citizen eligibility for and processing of Concealed Weapon Permits, primarily Canadian citizens. The House passed this 62-0, but the Senate refused to vote on it, so it died. We suspect the Senators were a bit peeved about their excellent gun bills getting stuck in the House and were sending a message to quit playing games.
THANK YOU USSC MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS!
When we asked, you responded with a flood of emails, calls and faxes to elected officials. That was a major part of our victory defeating the one bad gun bill again this year, and advancing good bills. Although we were not successful getting the absurd parking lot problem fixed, or clarifying the open/concealed controversy, we will be back again next year.
Our goal is to incrementally restore gun rights that had been steadily chipped away for decades. The "powerful gun lobby" is actually the thousands of people who are willing to step up and make your voices heard to help defend our gun rights.
USSC avoids asking you to contact lawmakers unless it is really important, but we will certainly need you to be heavily involved again next year.