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.
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.”
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Written by BRYAN SCHOTT, The Salt Lake Tribune.
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