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Home > Alerts & Updates > 2015 Bill Tracking Page > HB 37: Gun Control by Bureaucrats

senate sponsor,
Howard Stephenson

house sponsor,
Curtis Oda
House Bill 37 S1: Gun Control by Bureaucrats

by statutator Curtis Oda, house district 14, "Republican".

Summary: HB 37 reauthorizes numerous "administrative rules" created by unelected bureaucrats that have the same effect as state statute. These include gun controls and many other subversions of your natural rights.

HB 37 is particularly significant in that it demonstrates the lackadaisical, lazy, and compliant nature of Utah's supposed "gun rights champions".  Rather than rein in the bureaucrats, they prefer to carte blanche approve their corruption.

Position: UT Gun Rights opposes this bill.  See its bill status page.  To contact your statutators, click here.

Status: ENACTED. This bill unanimously passed Greg Hughes' hand-picked house committee (14 yeas, 0 nays, 0 absent/not voting), passed the house (65 yeas, 5 nays, 3 absent/not voting), passed Wayne Niederhauser's hand-picked senate committee (4 yeas, 0 nays, 2 absent), unanimously passed the senate (26 yeas, 0 nays, 3 absent/not voting), and was signed by Gary "BB Gun" Herbert.

"REFRESH" this page to see latest version.  Last updated: 4/3/15 at 12:20 PM.

Jump Down to Topics:

1. The Devilish Details

2. "Spotlighting" Gun Owner Entrapment

3. Disarming Foster Parents

4. DCFS Attacks on Gun Owners

5. Statutators Approve These Gun Controls Every Year

6. Why is the Utah Taxpayers Association President Sponsoring Gun Control?

7. Appropriate Action: Contact the Two Bullies Who Dominate Your Statutators

Click picture to enlarge.
The Devilish Details

The Obama regime isn't alone in exercising executive order-type powers. On the state level, unelected bureaucrats are very busy:

"Approximately one half of Utah's codified law is written by state agencies."
Source: "Administrative Rules Affect You!" at www.rules.utah.gov/abtrules.htm

Did you get the significance of that? Half of Utah's codified statutes were written by people other than your elected statutators.

HB 37 reauthorizes state agencies to enforce gun control in the form of bureaucratically-generated "administrative rules." These crafty concoctions circumvent the checks and balances that differentiate a republican form of government from a monarchy or oligarchy.

Here's how it works in a nutshell: When statutators and Executive Monarch Herbert impose a statute, bureaucrats get together and "interpret" how government agencies will apply those statutes in the real world.

"…A properly enacted administrative rule has the binding effect of law. Therefore, a rule affects our lives as much as a statute passed by the legislature, restricting individuals AND the agency that issues it."
Source: ibid

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...can prevent "spotlighting"
"Spotlighting" Gun Owner Entrapment

For example, under "administrative rule" R657-11-14, the statutory definition of "spotlighting" (i.e. using a spotlight to hunt, which is illegal) is expanded to make people vulnerable who,

 "…use or cast the rays of any spotlight, headlight, or other artificial light to locate protected wildlife while having in possession a firearm or other weapon or device that could be used to take or injure protected wildlife," or who, "…use... a spotlight or other artificial light in a field, woodland, or forest where protected wildlife are generally found…."

In other words, an open carry camper on his way to the outhouse at night while using a flashlight is not only "spotlighting," but must rebut the charge that he is "spotlighting" even if he did not kill, or attempt to kill, any animal.

This "administrative rule" makes that camper increasingly vulnerable to being detained, arrested, charged, and convicted of "spotlighting," and having his/her firearms confiscated.

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Disarming Foster Parents

According to "administrative rule" R501-12, foster parents who do not have a concealed carry "permit," and who do not have their firearm on their person, must essentially live in a disarmed, or criminally-vulnerable, home environment.

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DCFS Attacks on Gun Owners

And according to "administrative rule" R512-202-2, Utah's Child and Family Services agency can intervene in "homes where there are... loaded weapons within the reach of the child..." If, therefore, your 17-year old minor child ever has access to a loaded firearm, a state caseworker could use that to build the case that you are guilty of "child endangerment," an abuser, and therefore subject to state intervention; potentially by having your child seized from you.

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Statutators Approve These Gun Controls Every Year

The only effective check on these "administrative rules" is that the state statutarium ("legislature") must annually approve or reject them, or a court must strike them down. HB 37 gives blanket approval to ALL of these "administrative rules" — including the gun controls outlined above.

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Why is the Utah Taxpayers Association President Sponsoring Gun Control?

In the 2013 Utah Government Corruption Report, a 2013 rally flier, and elsewhere, UT Gun Rights warned how false friends appear to be on your side, but fundamentally serve the purposes of your opposition. And how important it is to remain apprehensive about those who tell you things you want to hear.

Consider the sponsor of SB 35, senate statutator Howard Stephenson, who also dons the hat of president of the Utah Taxpayers Association (UTA).  Here are two of the stated objectives of UTA:

"Scrutinize tax programs, state and local budgets, and the proliferation of questionable government expenditures."

"Seek out the orderly elimination of government programs or agencies that no longer serve a useful purpose by cooperating with public officials through use of facts."
Source: UTA Purpose and Objectives page at http://www.utahtaxpayers.org/?page_id=2117

And according to the "Evaluation Criteria" utilized by UTA, the following question is supposed to be considered:

"Does the legislation result in unnecessary governmental growth?"
Source: UTA Criteria page at http://www.utahtaxpayers.org/?page_id=2124

HB 37 proliferates numerous questionable government acts and expenditures, and empowers programs and agencies that have usurped the statutory role and responsibility of the house and senate.  State agencies have been so prolific, in fact, again, "Approximately one half of Utah's codified law is written by state agencies."
Source: "Administrative Rules Affect You!" at www.rules.utah.gov/abtrules.htm

So why would the president of such an organization sponsor a bill like HB 37 35?  Note that statutator Stephenson is no stranger to gun control, scoring an abysmal 38% on the 2013 Utah Government Corruption Report.

Perhaps Senate Monarch Wayne Niederhauser realizes that someone like Stephenson can be trusted to run his dirty errands, and is less apt to be scrutinized by the people because of his position as UTA president?

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These playground bullies steal more than your lunch money.
Appropriate Action: Contact the Two Bullies Who Dominate Your Statutators

As the 2013 Utah Government Corruption Report amply demonstrates, two playground bullies abuse and dominate the house and senate and work together to destroy your rights: house speaker Greg Hughes and senate president Wayne Niederhauser. Contrary to what you learned in civics class, your house and senate statutators merely serve their gun control agenda.

How can two people possibly exercise such control? As one example, the house speaker and senate president alone appoint and remove EVERY member of EVERY committee. Hughes and Niederhauser are empowered to do this without any review or confirmation process.
Sources: "The general duties of the Speaker are to:... appoint the members of committees…" (House Rules 1-3-102. Duties of the speaker) and "The general duties of the president are to:… appoint the members of committees…" (SR1-3-102. Duties of the president)

Consider the vast implications of this incredible power. No bill may be voted on in the house or senate without going through a committee. As a result, bills live or die almost entirely upon the calculated orders of these two bullies.

Previous House Bully Becky Lockhart candidly admitted her power to the press:

"I empower [house] committee chairs..." [bold added]
Source: "Bill banning enforcement of federal gun laws 'stuck in limbo'," by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News, Feb. 22, 2013.

Lockhart's successor, Greg Hughes, now empowers the chairs of each house committee because he appoints and fires them at his will alone, as does Niederhauser for every senate committee.

Their powers are so extreme, no provision exists in the house or senate rules to fire these bullies before their two-year terms are over. They lord over each body, trade favors, and sell your rights; all while pretending that decisions are made by the will of the majority instead of their bullying.

The political buck stops with Hughes and Niederhauser for failing to advance positive gun owner bills, and for every gun control bill enacted. Until more statutators are motivated to oppose their power, your rights will continue to be undermined.

Because your house and senate statutators merely serve their will and agenda, contacting them is often just a courtesy call.  These two bullies hold the power over Utah's statutarium ("legislature"):

For House Bully Greg Hughes' contact information (and the rest of the house statutators), click here.  For Senate Bully Wayne Niederhauser's contact information (and the rest of the senate statutators), click here.

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Click here to go back to The 2015 Bill Tracking Page: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.


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