Why Utah Senator Kitchen wants to raise the gun purchase age to 21

Kitchen’s proposed change in Utah law comes after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children at an elementary school and two of their teachers.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City. Kitchen says he will sponsor a bill to raise the state minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21.

Utah State Senator Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, announced Wednesday that he has opened a bill to raise the minimum age to purchase a gun in Utah from 18 to 21.

Kitchen’s proposed change in Utah law comes after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children at an elementary school and two of their teachers. The shooter was 18 years old.

“Here in the United States with our gun violence problem, it’s time for us to take action. And this bill I’m working on is a very simple bill that should have bipartisan support,” Kitchen told the Salt Lake Tribune during a podcast interview.

“It’s sensible legislation designed to keep Utahns safe,” Kitchen said.

A press release from Kitchen’s office said 21 of the 26 school shootings so far in 2022 have been committed by someone under the age of 21.

A 2021 Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found that 65% of Utahns support universal background checks, but the Utah Legislature has not moved to introduce them. In fact, the Legislature last session passed legislation barring Salt Lake City and other local governments from requiring background checks for private sellers at gun shows.

“Right now you have an obstructionist Republican supermajority that refuses to take action. This is an opportunity for them to come on board and protect our communities,” Kitchen said.

Kitchen is a candidate for re-election, facing Jen Plumb in the Democratic primary in June.

Hear more of this interview on Thursday, May 26th’s episode “The Daily Buzz” podcast. You can listen to today’s episode as well as past episodes Apple Podcasts, Spotify and SoundCloud.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/05/25/why-utahs-sen-kitchen/ Why Utah Senator Kitchen wants to raise the gun purchase age to 21

Joel McCord

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