SALT LAKE CITY -- It's not a gun bill -- it's about state's rights, says Sen. Margaret Dayton.
The Orem Republican aims to get Senate Bill 11 passed. If that happens, it would mean that a firearm or one of various firearm-related items manufactured in Utah for in-state use would not be subject to federal firearms laws and regulations
It is similar in language to a bill passed in Montana and Tennessee and being proposed in 20 other states.
"This is not rogue action. Utah is not alone," said Dayton, who didn't shy away from concerns that it could be unconstitutional and cost a lot to fight in court.
The bill passed a first floor vote 19-10 with only John Valentine, R-Orem, and Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, the only Republicans voting against it.
Before the vote, Democrats repeatedly hammered at potential costs in a tight budget year and unintended consequences.
Minority Leader Pat Jones, D-Holladay, said that she'd rather spend the money on services for children and the elderly.
"We're looking for every single penny we can possibly scrape up," said Jones, who cited numerous costs to the state in court cases over the years, including a $1.2 million tab for the census challenge that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
New Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake City, said the gun bill could carry a number of unintended consequences -- including doing away with federal regulations that protect against toys with lead-based paint.
Dayton said the bill was all about unintended consequences created by the federal government's use of the commerce clause to grab power.
"Precedent is never revised until it is challenged."