The Judiciary Committee of the Utah House of Representatives met Tuesday morning and there was one bill that curiously dropped from the agenda: House Bill 114.
House Bill 114 is the Utah Second Amendment Preservation Act and, if enacted, would prosecute “anyone attempting to enforce federal laws” restricting the right of Utahans to keep and bear arms.
Sponsored by Representative Brian Greene (R-Pleasant Grove), HB 114 has been blocked from a hearing by the committee chairman who is unsure whether states have the power to defy the federal government’s unconstitutional attempt to seize weapons from citizens.
Citing concerns over the bill’s constitutionality, House Judiciary Committee chairman Kay McIff (R-Richfield) told the Deseret News, “Sometimes it's a concern if we spend all of our time and all of our money on matters that don't look like they have a chance of survival. I'm just going to have to look at it."
The chairman’s comment begs the question of whether it would be better spending the state’s money on helping the federal government disarm citizens or on defending the right of the people to keep and bear arms from being infringed.
McIff has placed himself, rather than the representatives of the people or the people themselves, as the arbiter of what is constitutional.
The Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, Becky Lockhart (R-Provo), supported McIff’s position, saying, “I empower committee chairs to make those decisions and will back them,” adding, “when and if Chairman McIff is ready to put that back on the agenda."
While McIff thwarts the efforts of a dedicated lawmaker to defend the people of Utah from an impending federal gun grab, the people made their opinion known during a public comment session last week.
Last Friday, despite a snow storm, Utahans turned out en masse to express their support for Greene’s bill specifically and for the Second Amendment generally.
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Photo of Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah