Guiding Principles on Gun Control
February 21, 2013
By Governor Gary R. Herbert
Respect the Second Amendment
I will not support any legislation or proposals—either in Utah or by any federal entity—that would diminish our fundamental right to bear arms guaranteed in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
Find rational solutions
Any legislation must be carefully considered and pragmatic, not reactionary nor emotional. We need to work together to find solutions that protect Second Amendment rights and ensure public safety. I will not support message bills that inflame, rather than inform, the discussion. Neither does it help to propose extreme measures that politicize or polarize the debate.
Enforce existing laws
Rather than passing new restrictive federal laws and rules, we should focus our efforts on enforcing current laws, such as preventing firearms access for criminals or the mentally ill. Tighter gun control won’t necessarily prevent isolated, unpredictable, inexplicable violent acts.
Protect the vulnerable
We must not forget our obligation to protect those who are vulnerable. Everyone has a right to assemble in public settings without the fear of being attacked. Children have the right to go to school and be protected from those who would harm them. We must consider all reasonable and Constitutional options to ensure the ability of students to study and learn in a safe environment.
Address a growing culture of violence
We must address ongoing societal degradation of shared values and the expanding culture of violence in graphic movies and video games, which desensitizes all of us, particularly our youth, to the tragic repercussions of gratuitous violence.