Utah’s State Senate approved SB 256, which would allow people to carry concealed weapons without having to obtain permits to do so. This bill was sponsored by David Hinkins and Paul Ray. Not surprisingly, Hinkins received campaign contributions from the NRA. Supposedly, Ray did not.
Utah gun laws currently allow openly carried weapons, but once they are concealed it’s illegal. David Hinkins is having none of that. At least if you’re over 21 years old. So, if you’re old enough to drink alcohol in public, he wants you to be able to be packing heat as well. What’s more, it’s currently illegal for said weapons to be loaded. Hinkins wants to make sure that not only can you hide your weapon, it can be fully loaded.
There is hope that this bill will be vetoed by Governor Gary Herbert. He vetoed a similar bill in 2013 and sees no reason to sign this into law, saying, “I see no change that has happened … since we vetoed the bill before that would cause us not to veto the bill now,” adding, “I think the laws we have on the books now are working very well. There’s not really any problem out there.”
In 2013 Governor Herbert also stated:
Utah’s permitting system has been in place for decades, and in its current form for more than 15 years. In that time, it has become a national model. As a gun owner and concealed firearm permit holder, I understand the value of the permit, both to firearm owners and to the public at large. As a State, we must exercise extreme care that we not impose undue burdens on the right to bear arms, but I have yet to receive any credible evidence that Utah’s current permit process constitutes a hardship.
As I’ve said before, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’s served us very well. I certainly believe it doesn’t inhibit our ability to bear arms. Law enforcement certainly likes it and it helps them keep peace. And so, I just decided it wasn’t good policy to change, so I vetoed the bill.
Remember, this is from the state that bars guns on campus, but had threats of mass shootings if Anita Sarkeesian was allowed to make her presentation on feminism and the video game industry. She canceled because police reportedly refused to pat down or use metal detectors to prevent concealed weapons from entering the event.
WATCH this video from Salt Lake Tribune, which discusses how both residents of Utah and those from out of state are flocking (more than quadrupled) to Utah to obtain their conceal carry permits for only $51–which are often honored out-of-state. Approximately 62% of the permits issued are for those who live outside of Utah.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vnuSllBhac?feature=player_detailpage]
Featured image from Salt Lake Tribune.