This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
States rights has been a source of argument for more than two centuries and it deserves legitimate debate. Every year our Legislature seems intent on taking one or more positions that are so lacking in merit that they can serve no purpose other than to challenge federal authority. In attempting to exempt all firearms made and sold in Utah from all federal regulation, Senate Bill 11 may be this year's line in the sand ("States rights weapons bill going great guns," Tribune , Feb. 9).
How the Legislature can suggest that firearms made and sold in Utah will not be involved in interstate commerce and therefore are beyond the reach of federal law is not only comical, it is dangerous. Just what beneficial states rights issue is addressed at the cost of exempting Utah gun buyers from federal background checks?
Our state faces myriad issues that deserve the Legislature's attention and our increasingly scarce financial resources. The Legislature is debating double-digit higher education budget cuts and ideas as drastic as eliminating the 12th grade. We have better uses for our limited resources than setting up an expensive and unnecessary constitutional challenge. The Legislature should drop SB11 now.
Joshua S. Kanter
Salt Lake City