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Monday, January 21, 2008

[UT] Federal gun law isn't specific enough for victims to be safer

Firearms law often shirked Loophole keeps guns in hands of people served protective orders
The Salt Lake Tribune
By Brooke Adams and Jason Bergreen
01/21/2008
Seven states take guns away from a person covered by a domestic violence protection order. In another 12, judges issuing the orders are explicitly allowed to ask police to seize a gun. Utah isn't among them. WHILE FEDERAL LAW BARS ANYONE UNDER A PROTECTION ORDER FROM HAVING, POSSESSING OR BUYING A FIREARM, IT DOES NOT SET UP A MECHANISM FOR STATES TO CONFISCATE WEAPONS. UTAH RELIES ON AN HONOR SYSTEM that assumes a person under a protection order will stay away from firearms - even when there is a record of a threat to use one... "That order doesn't say we have to take it away from you, it just says you can't have it," said [Salt Lake County sheriff's Lt. Paul] Jaroscak, which highlights the loophole between federal law and state practice... Utah judges assume that a person under a protective order will get rid of any guns... a family member or friend is usually put in charge of making sure a restricted person doesn't have access to a gun... But no one checks. If a restricted person is later found to be in possession of a weapon, he or she can be arrested...
[Full article here]

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