New Utah law limits local authority of federal law officers

Apr 4 2013 - 10:51am


Utah State Legislature
Utah State Legislature


SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed legislation barring certain federal officers from enforcing local laws such as traffic violations.

The legislation, which was authored by Rep. Michael Noel, prohibits law enforcement officers with agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management or U.S. Forest Service from enforcing local laws unless there's an emergency.

The Kanab Republican says federal officers have pulled Utah residents over to cite them for things like speeding. Noel says that violates Utah's state sovereignty and many of those officers are not trained to enforce those laws.

Under the law, officers that attempt to enforce state or local laws would be charged with impersonating a peace officer, which carries a potential sentence of up to six months of jail and $1,000 fine

Herbert signed the legislation Wednesday.


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