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S.B. 157 Enrolled
8 LONG TITLE
9 General Description:
10 This bill enacts provisions related to the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport,
11 storage, display, or use of firearms during a declared state of emergency or local
13 Highlighted Provisions:
14 This bill:
15 . provides that during a declared state of emergency or local emergency neither the
16 governor nor an agency of a governmental entity or political subdivision may impose
17 restrictions on the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display, or use
18 of a firearm or ammunition;
19 . provides that during a declared state of emergency an individual, while acting or
20 purporting to act on behalf of the state or a political subdivision, may not confiscate
21 a privately owned firearm of another individual;
22 . provides exceptions to the confiscation prohibition; and
23 . provides a civil remedy for violation of the confiscation prohibition.
24 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
26 Other Special Clauses:
28 Utah Code Sections Affected:
30 63-5a-12, Utah Code Annotated 1953
32 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
33 Section 1. Section 63-5a-12 is enacted to read:
34 63-5a-12. Prohibition of restrictions on and confiscation of a firearm or
35 ammunition during an emergency.
36 (1) As used in this section:
37 (a) (i) "Confiscate" means for an individual in Utah to intentionally deprive another of a
38 privately owned firearm.
39 (ii) "Confiscate" does not include the taking of a firearm from an individual:
40 (A) in self-defense;
41 (B) possessing a firearm while the individual is committing a felony or misdemeanor; or
42 (C) who may not, under state or federal law, possess the firearm.
43 (b) "Firearm" has the same meaning as defined in Subsection 76-10-501 (9).
44 (2) During a declared state of emergency or local emergency under this chapter:
45 (a) neither the governor nor an agency of a governmental entity or political subdivision
46 of the state may impose restrictions, which were not in force prior to the declared state of
47 emergency, on the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display, or use of a
48 firearm or ammunition; and
49 (b) an individual, while acting or purporting to act on behalf of the state or a political
50 subdivision of the state, may not confiscate a privately owned firearm of another individual.
51 (3) A law or regulation passed during a declared state of emergency that does not relate
52 specifically to the lawful possession or use of a firearm and that has attached criminal penalties
53 may not be used to justify the confiscation of a firearm from an individual acting in defense of
54 self, property, or others when on:
55 (a) the individual's private property; or
56 (b) the private property of another as an invitee.
57 (4) (a) An individual who has a firearm confiscated in violation of Subsection (2) may
58 bring a civil action in a court having the appropriate jurisdiction:
59 (i) for damages, in the maximum amount of $10,000, against a person who violates
60 Subsection (2);
61 (ii) for a civil penalty, in the amount of $5,000 per violation, against a person who
62 violates Subsection (2); and
63 (iii) for return of the confiscated firearm.
64 (b) As used in this Subsection (4), "person" means an individual, the governmental
65 entity on whose behalf the individual is acting or purporting to act, or both the individual and
66 the governmental entity.
67 (5) (a) A law enforcement officer shall not be subject to disciplinary action for refusing
68 to confiscate a firearm under this section if:
69 (i) ordered or directed to do so by a superior officer; and
70 (ii) by obeying the order or direction, the law enforcement officer would be committing
71 a violation of this section.
72 (b) For purposes of this Subsection (5), disciplinary action might include:
73 (i) dismissal, suspension, or demotion;
74 (ii) loss of or decrease in benefits, pay, privileges or conditions of employment; and
75 (iii) any type of written or electronic indication, permanent or temporary, on the
76 officer's personnel record of the officer's refusal to obey the unlawful order.
77 (6) (a) If a law enforcement officer commits a violation of this section, the officer's
78 liability in an action brought under Subsection (4)(a) is limited to 5% of the damages and civil
79 penalty allowed under Subsection (4)(a) if the officer can show by clear and convincing
80 evidence that the officer was obeying a direct and unlawful order from a superior officer or
82 (b) The balance of the damages and civil penalty, the remaining 95%, shall be assessed
83 against the superior officer or authority who ordered or directed the confiscation in violation of
84 this section.
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