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Home > Alerts & Updates > Alert for 3/25/2013: Is HB 76 S1 a Real Effort or a Shell Game?

Is rep. John Mathis part of the shell game?
Is HB 76 S1 a Real Effort or a  Shell Game?

(Alert for 3/25/13): With governor Gary Herbert's veto of HB 76 S1, all eyes are now on the bill's sponsor, representative John Mathis.  Only Mathis can make public the legislature's upcoming vote on whether to hold a veto override session for his bill.  Does Mathis serve you?  Or has his bill been part of an ongoing, manipulative shell game?

During the session Mathis felt compelled to meet with an antagonistic Herbert, and shortly thereafter, withdrew the original HB 76; replacing it with the watered-down substitute bill.  Only then did the house monarchess Rebecca Lockhart and senate monarch Wayne Niederhauser allow the weakened bill to move forward through the legislature to the governor's desk; whereupon Herbert promptly vetoed it.

Now the ball is back in the monarchs' court.  According to the house and senate joint rules (JR 2-2-201), each monarch is now required to "poll their respective members by mail or other means" prior to announcing their decision whether their legislature will hold a veto override session for HB 76 S1.

So can't you just imagine that the polling occurs and you're told that it was very close BUT there were insufficient votes to authorize the override session?  To avoid this scenario, here's the one mechanism you have to hold the legislature politically accountable: The bill sponsor, John Mathis, uniquely may request the results of the poll.  According to JR 2-2-201(2)(b),

"The sponsor of a bill being considered for the veto override shall be provided, UPON REQUEST, the itemized list of how each legislator responded to the poll." [bold capital letters added]

HB 76 S1 already passed the house and senate with a two-thirds majority.  But if they do not choose to override Herbert's veto, and that vote is held in secrecy, then how will you know whether your legislator's claims match reality?

All eyes are on HB 76 S1 sponsor, rep. John Mathis.
It is Mathis, and only Mathis, who can request the poll results and thereafter reveal to the public where each legislator REALLY stands on HB 76 S1.  Will he do so?  Or will he confirm growing suspicions that legislators merely serve the triumvirate gun control agenda of house monarchess Lockhart, senate monarch Niederhauser, and governor Herbert?

As we have attempted to describe, HB 76 S1 provides an excellent introduction into this ongoing political theater by which your rights are sacrificed.  This legislature and governor, displaying their actual priorities, have advanced multiple gun control bills this session.  Meanwhile, they have delayed, weakened, vetoed, and now may be smugly confident in hiding their actions regarding the one watered-down bill that could still reduce governmental subversion of your ability to protect yourself and others, HB 76 S1.

Utah currently has no effective recall provision for voters to remove errant state elected officials.  Therefore Herbert is secure in his position until 2016, and may be counting on gun owners to forget his actions by then.  Most legislators, however, are up for re-election sooner, and are more vulnerable to constituent pressure.  They will be significantly more vulnerable if their gun control complicity is revealed.

Appropriate Action

All eyes should be on HB 76 S1 sponsor, representative John Mathis.  Invite Mathis to make the legislature's veto override vote regarding HB 76 S1 public so that you can better determine whether this is a real effort, or just another diversionary shell game.  Call Mathis at 435-789-7316 and email him at jmathis@le.utah.gov

Other views & opinions to compare and contrast on HB 76 S1: Alliance for a Better Utah; Deseret News; GoUtah!; Libertas Institute; Salt Lake Tribune; St George News; Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah; Utah Gun Owners video; Utah Shooting Sports Council.



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