SALT LAKE CITY -- Rep. Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, had a different take on the December school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
What if the mother of the distressed gunman had a safe-harbor option to get her guns out of the house when he was reaching the point of being unmanageable?
"Did she think, would it be wise to get guns out of the house and things away from here?" Pitcher asked about the parent.
Pitcher has introduced legislation that would give individuals the option of removing a firearm they own from a home for up to 60 days in instances where they believe another member of the household is a danger to themselves or others.
HB 121 just came out of legislative research and is expected to come out of the House Rules Committee and be assigned to a committee.
The Ogden lawmaker says he has talked to law enforcement people and insists the measure does nothing to infringe upon Second Amendment rights. The option to remove a firearm from the home and take it to the local police department or sheriff's office for safekeeping would be totally optional.
He notes that some people have sought out a religious adviser for safe harbor in volatile situations where they seek to remove a firearm from the home temporarily. He said it is unwise to try to simply hide a gun in the home. He said his bill would allow an adult to discreetly remove the weapon, without having to call 911.
"It's entirely a voluntary situation to enable people to get through a family crisis," Pitcher said of his proposal.
"This is not a question of the Second Amendment. I strongly believe there is a right to own and have guns. This just makes it easier for those who have guns and gives them an option," Pitcher said. He said he has not encountered any opposition in trying to move the proposal forward.
Pitcher is a gun owner, but does not have a concealed weapons permit. He said he would like to take the gun safety class offered by his legislative colleague, Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield.