(KCPW News) Governor Gary Herbert must decide by tomorrow whether he’ll veto a controversial bill that would exempt Utah firearms and ammunition that are manufactured and sold within the state from federal regulation. In his monthly news conference on KUED, Herbert said this is a state’s rights bill, not a gun rights bill.
“It is not a gun bill. It’s unfortunate that it’s been characterized as that. I’ve had people say, you don’t support the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, that’s not true,” he said. “This is clearly an interstate commerce issue. Most all of us agree that the federal government should not, in fact, regulate commerce intrastate, meaning things that are developed, produced, manufactured, and sold within our boundaries.”
Herbert said he’s considering how much it would cost the state to pass the bill, which could get tied up in a court battle over its constitutionality.
The governor says he tried unsuccessfully to convince state lawmakers to amend the bill, so that it wouldn’t be implemented until the court case surrounding a similar law in Montana has run its course.
“I thought that was a wise approach to take – let’s see what happens in Montana,” said Herbert. “Maybe that’ll give us a little more clarity as far as how our legislation should proceed.”
Senate Bill 11, the “Utah State-Made Firearms Protection Act,” is sponsored by Republican Senator Margaret Dayton. It garnered the support of nearly all Republicans in the legislature, but very few Democrats.