SALT LAKE CITY — Guns made and kept in Utah would be exempt from federal regulations under a measure the Utah Senate gave its initial approval to Tuesday, despite concerns it could lead to a costly legal fight in a lean budget year.
Senate Bill 11 mirrors one signed into law in Montana last year that's intended to trigger a federal court battle.
Both are intended to allow guns made in their respective states to be exempt from rules on federal gun registration, background checks and dealer-licensing.
The goal is to circumvent federal authority over interstate commerce, which is the legal basis for most gun regulation in the United States.
In the process, it could lead to small arms dealers in the state operating with little to no oversight.
Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, said her bill is part of a broader effort to send a message to Congress that the federal government is overstepping its bounds.
"This is about our state's immutable right to establish control of our own rules and laws in our state," she said.
The Senate approved Dayton's bill 19-10. It needs one more formal vote before advancing to the House. ...