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I received this in my e-mail today from GOUtah! It affects CCW, so I hope that it's appropriate to share it here.

GOUtah!
(Gun Owners of Utah)
http://www.goutahorg.org
...
GOUtah! Alert #255 â€" 17 January 2007
...
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED ON ANTI-GUN BILL

Short version: Please skip to the “Action Item” section below and
take action as soon as you can.

Long version: Rep. David Litvack (D-26) has introduced HB 28. This
bill contains at least two “back-door” anti-gun components.
Astonishingly, HB 28 has already passed the House and is now awaiting
action in the Senate. If you won’t take our word for it that this is
an anti-gun bill, please read on. Otherwise, you may skip to the
Action Item below.

HB 28 would enable you to obtain an ex parte protective order
(sometimes colloquially referred to as a “restraining order”) against
someone whom you are dating or whom you used to date. This would be
similar to the “domestic violence” or “intimate partner” protective
orders that a judge can issue in, for example, the case of a woman
who feels endangered by her ex-husband. Note that a judge can easily
issue such a protective order on a purely ex parte (one-sided) basis,
meaning that it can be issued without (in this example) the ex-
husband being given a chance to present his side of the case in court
and without his ex-wife having to present much, if anything, in the
way of hard evidence that he actually poses a threat.

Under a federal gun-control law passed in 1996, known as the
“Lautenberg law”, if a judge issues an ex parte “intimate partner”
protective order against you, you are required to surrender all
firearms for the duration of the order, and to refrain from even
holding a gun in your hands or having a gun in your house during the
time that the order is in effect. If you get caught in possession of
a firearm (say you’re on a hunting trip with a friend and he hands
you his rifle to hold while he cleans the deer he just shot), you are
guilty of a federal felony. If convicted, you automatically and
permanently lose your gun rights (on top of probably spending time in
federal prison

The good news is that the “dating” protective order proposed in HB 28
would not trigger the federal Lautenberg gun law, because a “dating”
relationship as defined in the bill is different from the “intimate
partner” relationship defined in the Lautenberg law. An “intimate
partner” is a spouse, ex-spouse, cohabitating intimate partner,
former cohabitating intimate partner, or the other parent of one’s
child. [Thanks to Mitch Vilos for explaining this to us.] A
“dating” partner as defined in HB 28 can be anyone who can reasonably
claim to have “dated” you without falling into any of the above
categories. Thus, a “dating” protective order would not trigger the
Lautenberg gun ban.

The bad news is that HB 28 does not make this distinction clear for
purposes of reporting and record keeping, and this could lead to big
problems for gun owners. The Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification
(BCI) is the state agency tasked with maintaining a database of
Utahns who are disqualified from owning firearms. BCI uses this
database for a variety of purposes, including running background
checks on gun buyers and concealed-weapon permit applicants, as well
as running daily checks on existing permit holders. BCI includes in
its database anyone who has a protective order against him. HB 28
does not provide any reporting requirement that would distinguish
between the two types of protective orders, and a local firearms-law
attorney informs us that he has contacted BCI and was told that any
“dating” protective orders that might be issued under HB 28 will
simply get lumped together with the “intimate-partner” protective
orders already in BCI’s database and will automatically be used to
deny firearms purchases and CCW permits, even if the “dating”
protective order itself does not include any weapons restrictions.

Suppose, for example, that you’re a single guy and your somewhat
unstable ex-girlfriend takes out an ex parte “dating” protective
order against you. BCI will simply list you as a “prohibited
person”. If you try to buy a gun, you’ll fail the background check
and BCI might contact the feds, who might falsely arrest you for
trying to buy a gun. It will be up to you to convince them that the
protective order against you doesn’t trigger the federal Lautenberg
law. Now suppose that you succeed in doing this and they let you
go. Suppose also that the judge in the case did not include any
firearms restrictions in the protective order. This means that it’s
legal for you to buy a gun. So you go back and try again. You’ll
still fail the background check, because BCI does not keep track of
whether a “dating” protective order includes any weapons
restrictions. By default, BCI will simply assume that you’re still
prohibited from owning a firearm under state law, even when this
isn’t the case. And, of course, if you have a concealed-firearm
permit it could be improperly revoked by BCI simply because of these
sorts of record-keeping issues. There’s no excuse for any of this
confusion, and HB 28 must be defeated unless it gets amended to
address this matter.

The other bad thing about HB 28 is that it gives judges the option to
include weapons restrictions (up to and including a ban on gun
ownership) in a “dating” protective order on a purely ex parte basis,
meaning that the person who is the subject of the order has no chance
to present his or her case in court. Your psycho ex-boyfriend or ex-
girlfriend can simply tell a judge that he/she is scared of you, and
the judge can issue a “dating” protective order than includes a
prohibition on having a gun, and you don’t even get a chance to tell
your side of the story to the judge. Suspending a constitutional
right on a purely ex parte basis is simply not acceptable.

HB 28 may well contain other anti-gun stuff. We are still
researching it. In the meantime, it’s important that we make every
effort to stall the bill in the Senate so that it can either be
killed or fixed. The last thing we want is for this bill in its
present form to get quickly railroaded through the Senate.

ACTION ITEM

It is imperative that you contact your own Utah State Senator as soon
as possible and ask him to vigorously oppose HB 28 unless the anti-
gun language is removed.

If, after you’ve contacted your own senator, you still have a bit of
time, we suggest also sending a fax or e-mail or leaving a phone
message for one of the following two senators (please flip a coin to
pick one of them):

Senator Chris Buttars (R-10) [email protected]
Senator Ed Mayne (D-5) [email protected]

These two senators sit on the Senate Rules Committee, which has the
power to effectively kill or stall this bill to enable changes to
it. Both of them have supported the Second Amendment in the past,
and they need to be made aware that HB 28 has some serious problems
in this regard. They need to hear from people ASAP.

You may use the pre-written letter below if you wish, or write your
own letter or make a phone call. You may send a fax to your senator
at the Capitol, or leave a message during the day at the main
switchboard, or you may contact him at home this evening before 9:00
p.m., or you may send e-mail, or any combination of the above.
Please remember to be polite and brief in your communications with
all legislators.

Utah State Senate
W115 State Capitol Complex
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: (801)538-1035
Toll-free Phone: (800)613-0677
Fax for Republican senators: (801)326-1475
Fax for Democratic senators: (801)326-1476

To find the e-mail address and home phone number of your senator, go
to http://www.goutahorg.org and click on “Legislative Contacts” in
the left-hand column. If you send e-mail, please include something
like “Please oppose HB 28” or similar wording in the “subject” line
of your message. However, faxes and phone calls are better. If you
leave a phone message, you can say something like: “I live in Senator
so-and-so’s district, and I encourage the senator to oppose HB 28
until all anti-gun language gets removed from it.”

________________________________
That concludes GOUtah! Alert #255 â€" 17 January 2007.
Copyright 2007 by GOUtah!. All rights reserved.

PRE-WRITTEN LETTER BELOW

------------------------ Cut Here ------------------------

Date:

From:

To:

Dear Senator ____________ :

As a politically active gun owner, I encourage you to oppose the
current version of HB 28, the “Dating Protective Order” bill
sponsored by Rep. David Litvack. This bill contains at least two
anti-gun components that need to be eliminated. Both of these could
be removed without altering the primary objective of the bill.

The first is a simple but potentially serious records-keeping problem
that could be easily remedied.

Under the federal Lautenberg domestic-violence gun ban, anyone who
has a ex parte protective order issued against him at the request of
an “intimate partner” (spouse, ex-spouse, cohabitating sexual
partner, etc.) must immediately surrender all firearms and is
prohibited from possessing or even touching firearms for the duration
of the order, even if the order itself contains no weapons
restrictions. Any possession of a firearm by a person subject to
such a protective order is a major federal felony.

The new “dating” protective order proposed in HB 28 would not trigger
the federal Lautenberg gun law, because the “dating” relationship
defined in the bill does not qualify as an “intimate partner”
relationship under federal law. However, HB 28 does not provide any
reporting requirement that would make this distinction, nor does it
require the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) to
differentiate between these two types of protective orders in its
database. BCI has indicated that it has no plans to make such a
distinction if HB 28 passes, and that all “dating” protective orders
will automatically be interpreted as disqualification for owning a
firearm. The potential for federal authorities to falsely arrest
someone who is incorrectly designated by BCI as a “prohibited person”
is high. Even if this doesn’t happen, there remains great potential
for someone to be illegally prohibited from purchasing a firearm or
to have his CCW permit improperly revoked when the “dating”
protective order to which he is subject contains no weapons
restrictions.

The second major problem is that HB 28 provides judges with the
option of suspending a citizen’s right to own and carry firearms on a
purely ex parte basis. While an ex parte “dating” protective order
would not trigger the federal Lautenberg law, it would nonetheless
empower a judge to suspend, at his discretion, an individual’s
constitutionally protected rights without giving that person any
chance whatsoever to present his case in court. HB 28 needs to be
changed to require the court to hear both sides when considering
whether to include any weapons restrictions in a protective order.
Suspending a constitutional right on a purely ex parte basis is not
acceptable.

Unless HB 28 is revised to address these concerns, it must be defeated.

Please let me know how you intend to vote on HB 28. Thanks.

Sincerely,
 

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Done! Hopefully elimination of these items, or the deliberate "killing" of this bill, in general, will occur. :D
 
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