Congressmen criticize gun control at Utah County Republican Convention


Federal representatives and state politicians from Utah addressed the pressure coming from the White House for increased gun control at the Utah County Republican Party Convention held earlier this month.

“A few weeks ago, they tried to take away our guns and we told them, unequivocally, no,” said Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah.  “At the end of the day, the American people spoke, the American people were heard and the American people prevailed.”

Lee congratulated Utah County Republicans for taking a stand to stop the gun control legislation from passing. He thanked the people for their support, phone calls and letters, and commended them for having an active voice in the process.

Gary Herbert
Governor Gary Herbert spoke to Utah County Republicans at their convention May 4, along with Representative Jason Chaffetz, Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator Mike Lee. (AP photo by Rick Bowmer)

Amid cheers and standing ovations, Lee told the audience that government control of firearms makes law-abiding citizens less free.

“Let’s stay together. Let’s stand strong. Let’s stand for freedom. Let’s stand for the constitution. Together we’ll save the republic,” Lee said. “We can, and we must, and together we will.”

In April, Senators Lee and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, both opposed federal legislation that aimed to expand background checks for gun purchases nationwide. None of the gun control legislation passed in what was widely hailed as a victory for the Republican Party.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told those gathered about his first time holding a hearing in Congress about ammunition policies.

“The Department of Homeland Security, not the military, not the Department of Justice, Homeland Security has the purchase order to purchase 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition,” Chaffetz said. “This is a group that has 70,000 people who are armed and have guns and they have 260 rounds of ammunition sitting in their warehouse.”

In contrast, Chaffetz said, other U.S. bodies of protection like border patrol do not have any ammunition. He promised that he would investigate the matter, but said he needs help from the people of Utah.

“I would challenge you and encourage you to get your sons and daughters and neighbors, whoever it might be, let’s get more young people involved in the system,” Chaffetz said.

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert concluded the opening remarks, expressing his love for the state and appreciation for the representation Utah has in Congress.

“We want to thank you,” Herbert said. “I like to say Utah is becoming the island of tranquility in the sea of chaos in this country.”

Utah’s unemployment rate is down to 4.9 percent from an 8.3 percent high when Herbert came into office.

“People are taking notice of what we are doing and how we are doing it here in Utah,” Herbert said.


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