As Guns Spark Fires, Utah Gov Pleads With Shooters

But Utah, other states banned from emergency gun restrictions
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2012 5:47 AM CDT
A sign forbids shooting in this area of Eagle Mountain, Utah, but a fire caused by target shooting burns Friday, June 22, 2012. Thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes for the night because...   (AP Photo/Lynn DeBruin)
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(Newser) – With 20 wildfires around Utah this year believed to be caused by target shooters firing in bone-dry conditions, states are urging gun owners not to shoot in high-risk locations. “Now is not a good time to take your gun outside and start shooting in cheat grass that’s tinder dry,” says Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. But Herbert is asking nicely, not so much issuing orders, in a delicate balance between public safety and Second Amendment rights, notes the Christian Science Monitor

While states can restrict a variety of activities, such as barbecuing or camping-related fires in emergency conditions, Utah and many other states are banned from issuing any firearms restrictions, even in an emergency. "Citizens do not surrender their civil rights just because of a natural or man-made disaster,” said one gun-rights supporter.

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