The principal owner of the Park City Gun Club, a shooting range and gun dealer close to Quinn's Junction, acknowledged in an interview that a nationwide group attempting to curb the illegal gun trade has lofty goals.
Dan Labov said parts of the platform of the group, which is known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, are worthy of community discussion. He said, though, gun rights groups worry that there could be further burdens placed on Americans who want to own guns if the Mayors Against Illegal Guns is successful in its agenda.
"They're trying to restrict the illegal gun trade and keep guns from winding up in the hands of criminals. Those are important goals," Labov said in an interview.
Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council at a recent meeting briefly discussed Williams joining Mayors Against Illegal Guns. There are more than 600 mayors involved in the group. None are from Utah.
Williams and the City Council are tentatively scheduled to discuss the topic again during meetings on March 8 and March 22, according to a long-range schedule of City Council meetings. It was not certain after the recent meeting whether the City Council would support the mayor's involvement, but the City Councilors agreed to address the topic in more detail. Williams has declared Mayors Against Illegal Guns is not attempting to infringe on the constitutional right to gun ownership.
The Park City Gun Club, which opened in December, is located outside the Park City limits, meaning that the mayor and City Council do not represent the shooting range. There has not been a similar push at the County Courthouse. Labov said the people who live in the Park City area are a "sophisticated, eclectic mix" of gun-rights supporters and proponents of gun control.
Labov said it does not appear that there have been widespread issues with illegal guns in the Park City area. He said the issue is "relatively small here in Park City." Police Chief Wade Carpenter has made a similar statement about the illegal gun trade in Park City. Carpenter has said a stolen gun was used in a 2010 shooting in Park City.
Labov, though, said stolen guns or firearms that are outlawed should be addressed even though he said gun laws work well as they are currently written.
"I think it's a big problem. Any illegal gun, even one, is a big problem," he said.
Labov is considering testifying at one of the upcoming City Council meetings or writing a letter to City Hall about Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He said the National Rifle Association is monitoring the progress of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Labov said his industry has followed the group as well.
"Certainly the NRA is out there very vocally denouncing this group as pro-gun control and anti-Second Amendment," Labov said.
Park City would be the first community in Utah to align itself with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, according to a list posted on the group's website.