Flagged Bill – HB 36: Bureau of Criminal Identification Reporting Amendments; Representative Raymond Ward

Representative Ray Ward

Not long after the end of the 2018 session, the Standard-Examiner discovered that a computer glitch in Utah’s court reporting system resulted in some 900 records not properly being uploaded to Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI). These 900 people could not legally purchase firearms, however, if they were to be run through the background check, their records would appear clean.

Mind you, the information existed in the databases at individual courthouses and the BCI has chosen to share the information with the FBI’s database, but, according to the Examiner, Utah is just one of four states that don’t have a state law that specifically requires Utah use the FBI’s national database.

Well… HB 36: Bureau of Criminal Identification Reporting Amendments from Representative Ray Ward (Republican – Bountiful)…doesn’t…change…that rule…BUT it does at least get the state moving in the right direction when it comes to ensuring that individuals who pose a risk are not able to purchase a gun.

HB 36 requires that the courts notify the BCI when an individual has been found to be a danger to themselves or others, lacks the metal capacity to handle their own affairs, and/or is found to be incompetent so that these individuals will be flagged in the system within two days and not be sold a gun.

Though Ward’s proposal seems fairly straightforward and obvious, the whole reason HB 36 is being proposed is because court reporting isn’t actually required under state law – so it is plausible that a lapse in voluntary reporting could happen (though a year does seem a bit much).

Ideally, HB 36 would go the logical next step further and require reporting to the FBI’s database; but Utah is Utah and, no doubt, this would be a crazy bridge too far for many lawmakers. Though I don’t fault Ward for not including this in his legislation, it is, none the less, disappointing that political reality prevents him from being able to protect more people with practical reform. However, as it stands, HB 36 is still solid legislation that should become law.

To contact Representative Ward, Click Here or call 801-440-8765

You can track this, and all of our other flagged bills, by clicking here. Need an explanation of scores? Click Here.

Impact on the Average Utahn – 1 | Need for Legislation – 5 | Lemon Score – 0
Overall Grade – B

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.