Utah AG argues what’s in a name when it comes to assault weapons

File Photo: UPI/David Becker

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 16, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has joined 15 other state attorneys general to object to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union call to ban assault weapons.

In a Thursday press release Reyes said the “coalition” is calling Biden’s proposal “irresponsible, radical, and unconstitutional” in trying to ban “firearms commonly used by law-abiding Americans for self-defense.”

Reyes in the press release chides Biden’s definition of assault weapons as too broad. But Biden’s speech Tuesday was perceived to be refering to military-style automatic rifles with high capacity magazines. judging by NRA and Fox News commentators in reaction defending AR-15s as “popular” weapons.

Reyes instead refers to handguns. “Semi-automatic pistols are the self-defense weapon of choice for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding gun owners. Under President Biden’s proposed policy, the administration will deprive 100 million Americans of their ability to defend themselves, their families, homes, and businesses.”

Reyes said the coalition believes, “According to your own CDC, Americans use guns to protect themselves and their families up to 3 million times per year, if not more — far more often than guns are used in crimes, and far, far more often than guns injure people.

” … needless to say, your repeated attempts to deprive law-abiding Americans of guns that are in common and widespread use for self-defense are patently unconstitutional. We stand ready to oppose any attempt by your Administration to trample on this fundamental constitutional right.”

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led the letter effort and, in addition to Reyes, was joined by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.


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