Most Utah voters say people convicted of violent misdemeanors should be barred from owning a gun

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More than three-fourths of Utah voters say that someone convicted of a violent misdemeanor should not be able to buy a gun nor own a gun, a new Analytics poll finds.

Those convicted of a violent felony can’t own a gun in this state. But violent misdemeanants aren’t currently so restricted.

The Utah Political Trends survey finds that 78 percent of Utah voters “strongly support” or “support” the idea that those convicted of a violent misdemeanor should not have access to guns.

Only 11 percent disagree. And 11 percent neither support nor oppose such a restriction. You can read more about our polling methods and how our respondents are selected here.

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Misdemeanors are crimes of a lesser degree than felonies. A misdemeanor may be, for example, a simple assault, slapping a person or knocking them down, but not permanently injuring them.

Utah law prohibits gun sales and possession for the following persons:

  • Has been convicted of any violent felony;
  • Is on probation or parole for any felony;
  • Is on parole from a “secure facility”; or
  • Within the last 10 years has been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a violent felony; or
  • Is an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the U.S.

Utah also prohibits guns to someone convicted of a domestic violence offense or someone with a final domestic violence protective order, if the person is a credible threat to an intimate partner.

And if the person has been adjudicated mentally defective under the federal Brady Law or been committed to a mental institution.

But in general, Utah does not prohibit gun sales and ownership by someone convicted of a violent misdemeanor.

As noted above, having a domestic violence conviction or permanent restraining order can stop someone from having a gun.

And Y2 findings see a very different opinion between men and women on this gun issue:

68 percent of men support denying a gun to a violent misdemeanant. But 88 percent of women want that restriction, a clear 20 percentage point difference.

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More often than not, a man injuries a woman in a domestic violence incident, not the other way around.

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Three-fourths of “strong” Republicans (75 percent) favor violent misdemeanants not having guns.

74 percent of independents agree.

While 91 percent of “strong” Democrats say those convicted of a violent misdemeanor should not have a gun.

In reaction to a summer of mass shootings across America, but none in Utah, GOP legislative leaders and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert anticipate some gun control bills will be introduced in the 2020 Legislature, which starts the end of January.

When congressmen and women return to Washington, D.C., later this year, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says the Senate may take up several gun control measures — a few of which have already passed the Democratic-controlled U.S. House.

So far, despite some conflicting statements, Republican President Donald Trump has not signed off on any new gun control laws.