Grass Roots
Committed to Promoting the Principles of Limited Government, Constitution, Representative Government,
Participatory Republic, Free Market Economy, Family and Separation of Powers

Legislative Updates - 17 February 2020

<< All 2020 updates

Dear Friends:

This is GrassRoots’ third weekly legislative update of this year’s General Session of the Utah State Legislature.

At this time (three weeks into the session), there are about 540 numbered bills for this session. Read on for coverage of some bills that we consider noteworthy.

A couple noteworthy firearms-related bills:

HB109, “Universal Background Checks for Firearm Purchasers”, sponsored by Representative King, would:

  • require background checks for the transfer of a firearm between persons who are not federal firearms licensees (transferors and transferees who fail to arrange and pass the required background checks would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor on the first offense, and a 3rd degree felony on a second or subsequent offense);
  • create exceptions for family members, law enforcement agencies and officers, and others;
  • allow for temporary transfers under specific circumstances; and
  • set penalties.

HB109 awaits consideration by the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.

This proposal is a step deeper into the territory of criminalizing peaceful behavior, as the new “criminals” who participate in an unapproved transfer of firearms become eligible for a year in the slammer for the first offense. This is also a step in the direction of gun registration. HB109 constitutes blatant disregard for the Bill of Rights.

Also, with the exceptions spelled out in HB109, this bill would also seem to constitute an attack on the principle of Equal Treatment Under The Law, enshrined in our country’s Declaration of Independence, and in the Utah State Constitution, which states, “All laws of a general nature shall have uniform operation” (Article I, Section 24).

GrassRoots favors a “no” vote on HB109.

HB136, “Safe Storage of Firearms Amendments”, sponsored by Representative Weight, would:

  • make it a criminal offense (class B misdemeanor) if a firearm is stored in a place that the firearm owner knows or has reason to believe a minor or person legally restricted from possessing a firearm has access to and a person is injured by a minor or restricted person using the firearm; and
  • require a firearm dealer to post written notice of possible prosecution for negligent storage of a firearm and provides a penalty for failure to post the notice, with violation of this requirement being a class C misdemeanor.

HB136 awaits consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.

A firearm dealer failing to post the required notice is eligible to be tossed in the slammer for up to 90 days. A firearm owner “having reason to believe” something could go wrong is eligible for up to 6 months in the slammer for his “negligence” if something does go wrong. HB136 thus constitutes a search for additional ways to criminalize firearms owners and dealers. GrassRoots favors a “no” vote on HB136.

Another noteworthy bill:

HB241, “Kindergarten Attendance Amendments”, sponsored by Representative Shurtliff, would:

  • define terms to amend the age at which school enrollment is required to include kindergarten-age children (one year younger than required under pre-existing statute); and
  • require a local school board to provide certain information to the parent of a child excused from kindergarten attendance for home schooling.

HB241 awaits consideration by the House Education Committee.

HB241 would increase government school system infringement on parental stewardship, as parents would have to file an affidavit that their child is to be home-schooled one year earlier than is already the case. GrassRoots favors a “no” vote on HB241.

Updated bill status:

SB62, “Reauthorization of Administrative Rules”, sponsored by Senator Anderegg and Representative Roberts, states: “All rules of Utah state agencies are reauthorized.” Additional coverage of SB62, along with discussion of the principle of Separation of Powers, may be found in our update of February 10th.

SB62 passed the Senate 27-2 on February 11th, and awaits consideration by the House Government Operations Committee.

To the extent that any administrative rule is legislative in its nature, this would seem to be contrary to Utah State Constitution, Article V, Section 1.

To the extent that any administrative rule is executive in its nature, the need for the Legislature to authorize it seems nonexistent given that "The executive power of the state shall be vested in the Governor who shall see that the laws are faithfully executed" (Utah State Constitution, Article VII, Section 5).

We are still unaware of any sound reason for passing SB62. GrassRoots still tentatively favors a “no” vote on SB62.

If you have any questions about these bills, GrassRoots’ position on these bills, or related matters, please contact either of us or any other member of the Board of Utah GrassRoots.


Steve Stromness
Vice-Chairman, Bill Review Coordinator, Utah GrassRoots

Don Guymon
Chairman, Utah GrassRoots

PS Do you want to contact a legislator? Go to and click on “Legislators”.

Do you want to read and follow legislation yourself? Go to and click on “2020 General Session Page” then click on “2020 Bills”.

Do you have other questions about how to effectively participate in the political process? Please contact us, and we will try to help as appropriate.

Do you have friends that would appreciate this legislative update? Please feel free to forward it to them.

Would you like to help us with review of legislation in a small or large way? Consider taking a special look at bills sponsored by your own representative or senator. Please contact us with your findings and/or with any questions we might be able to help you with.

Website management by Doran Barton. Design by Doran Barton & David Baker