In a recent article, Deseret News “reporter” Katie McKellar expresses her deep disappointment at the failure of three victim disarmament bills in the Utah legislature. And no, this isn’t (intended to be) an opinion piece.
All three bills — one to enact universal background checks, one to criminalize irresponsible storage of guns, and one to create liability for people who give or sell their firearms to someone who later uses it to harm someone — were either rejected or held in two separate House committees on Monday.
But those bills sound so reasonable. Why kill them?
I’ll tell you why. McKellar mischaracterized them. As for the first bill . . .
“one to enact universal background checks”
Those background checks would be far from universal. They would not apply to the unlawful channels through which 90% of criminals obtain their firearms, as illustrated in McKellar’s own report.
Neca Allgood, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, told lawmakers that the man who shot and killed her brother, Jordan Allgood, at his St. George coin store in 2003 was on parole from a prior felony conviction and would have never passed a background check, and the person who provided him the gun was also a felon.
The background check bill that failed was designed to make lawful purchases more difficult, expensive and complicated, unfairly and disproportionately affecting poor people.
Next up . . .
“one to criminalize irresponsible storage of guns”
That bill was designed to render firearms in the home useless for self defense, ensuring safe workplaces for violent criminals. A “safe storage” mandate worked out really well in the case of the “Merced pitchfork murders.”
And while that case predated Heller, every judge since then who has allowed “safe storage” laws to stand has deliberately indulged in unconstitutional judicial malfeasance.
Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.
– District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)
Every legislator filing such a bill should be removed for violating his or her oath of office. Passing “safe storage” laws is a violation of civil rights under color of law.
Finally . . .
“one to create liability for people who give or sell their firearms to someone who later uses it to harm someone”
This one requires a person to be prescient, able to divine the future. Current law already makes it unlawful to knowingly provide a firearm to a prohibited person, or to conspire to arm a person for a crime.
The Utah bill that was defeated would have mandated omniscience to predict what one does not know. In fact, this so-called “Lauren’s Law” was written in response to a case where the police took no action when a young woman reported — with evidence — multiple threats and extortion.
The woman eventually ended up dead, killed by a felon who had been innocently loaned a firearm by a friend who had no idea of his criminal background or his intent. The now-defeated bill would have held a person selling a firearm responsible for what they don’t (and can’t) know even as the police disclaim all responsibility for what they, in fact, did know.
Accuracy in reporting is important. When a “reporter” goes beyond saying what a bill is to describing the effect it is alleged by its proponents to have, they cross the line from reporting to advocacy. In other words, just another dishonest violence-enabling victim disarmer.
I had emailed Katie McKellar about my concerns with her story. This evening I received her answer.
I stand by my reporting.
We can see which career she chose.