(KCPW News) Governor Gary Herbert has signed a bill to exempt ammunition and firearms manufactured and sold in Utah from federal regulations. But only yesterday, he said he was still deliberating the bill because of the cost of a potential lawsuit.
“What is going to be the cost to the implementation of that bill and other bills, and is it something that the taxpayers should be shackled with?” he said at his monthly news conference on KUED. “So I’m actually looking at the cost factor, probably as much as anything right now.”
In a statement released this afternoon, Herbert said, “Sending the message that we will stand up for a proper balance between the state and federal government is a good thing.”
Montana has already passed a similar law, which is currently tied up in the courts. Speaking on KCPW’s Politics Up Close, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said if Utah’s own law also goes to court, he can delay its implementation until the outcome of the Montana case is decided.
“Once it’s in the court system, then as the attorney representing the state, I can go in there, as long as I don’t have the opposition of the governor and the legislature, and agree to stay implementation of the law and the lawsuit pending the results in another court,” he said. “And so I’ve told them that’s a possibility here, and so there may not be any money spent.”
Senate Bill 11, the “Utah State-made Firerarms Protection Act,” was sponsored by Republican Senator Margaret Dayton, and had the support of nearly all Republican lawmakers, but few Democrats.