Legislators trying to make Utah a 2nd Amendment sanctuary

Stock photo.| Photo by Bytmonas/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers will meet Wednesday in special session, primarily so they can accept more than $1.5 billion in federal coronavirus relief money.

In this file photo, a man carries his weapon during a second amendment gun rally at Utah State Capitol on Feb. 8, 2021. | Photo by Rick Bowmer/Associated Press, St. George News

But a gun rights issue may sneak onto the agenda.

Legislative sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune that there is significant lobbying to persuade Gov. Spencer Cox to include a bill declaring Utah a “Second Amendment sanctuary” on the agenda for this week.

The idea would allow the state to ignore new federal laws or regulations on firearms that lawmakers believe violate the Second Amendment, which affords people the right to bear arms. It could extend to judicial rulings or executive actions by the White House.

Experts say even if lawmakers passed such a bill, it would be mostly symbolic because federal law trumps any state provision.

“The state has no authority under the constitution to eliminate a provision of federal law,” says University of Utah law professor RoNell Jones. “The Supremacy Clause makes clear that if state law and federal law conflict, federal law prevails.”

Read the full story here: SLTrib.com.

Written by BRYAN SCHOTT, The Salt Lake Tribune.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state. Full story may require paid subscription.


For a complete list of contacts for Southern Utah representatives and senators, click here.

Check out all of St. George News’ coverage of the 2021 Utah Legislature here.

Copyright 2021 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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