Wednesday, July 2, 2014

54 new Utah laws in effect, like free gun locks and rebates for gun safes

From:  The Salt Lake Tribune

Another 54 bills from this year’s Legislature took effect Tuesday — ranging from a new suicide-prevention program that provides free gun locks and rebates for gun safes to reining in force used in police raids because of two well-publicized raids that went badly.

They were among 457 bills the Legislature passed this year and that Gov. Gary Herbert either signed or allowed to become law without his signature.

The following is a look at some of the more interesting new laws that took effect Tuesday:Most took effect on May 12, 60 days after the Legislature adjourned. But others — many of them budget and appropriations measures — kicked in Tuesday, when the state’s fiscal year begins. Some general legislation also became effective, giving state agencies a little extra time to gear up for changes.

Guns » HB134 creates a program aimed at preventing suicides that includes offering free cable-style gun locks, and rebate vouchers for between $10 and $200 for buying gun safes.

Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, said the Utah Shooting Sports Council is partnering with the state to provide some of the gun locks, and the state will buy others with money from concealed-carry permits. The program also creates pamphlets on topics such as safe gun storage and helping to prevent suicides.

The law calls for distributing literature and locks to groups that teach gun safety, suicide-prevention groups, health-care professionals and school districts for use in previously required parent seminars on youth protection.

HB134 also calls for gun-safe rebate certificates to be mailed to people who apply for concealed-carry permits, and to be advertised to all federally licensed firearms dealers in the state.

Eliason testified earlier this year that Utah ranks fifth in the nation in youth suicides and that, as of 2011, 45 percent of suicides are committed with firearms. He said while lawmakers cannot alter many factors affecting suicide, they can work on gun safety.