Utah Governor Gary Herbert has vetoed HB 76, a bill that would allow any Utahn over the age of 21 to carry a concealed firearm without a permit unless the weapon has a round in the chamber. Now it’s up to Utah lawmakers to decide if they want to overrule the governor’s decision.
Governor Herbert says he vetoed HB 76 because Utah’s current gun laws have served the state well and have become a model for the nation.
“So that’s a reason why if it ain’t broke don’t fix it," Herbert says.
Prominent Utah pollster Dan Jones is retiring from his position as Political Science Professor at the University of Utah. Jones is stepping down after more than 50 years of teaching, but says he will continue his work in political polling.
The end of Jones teaching career was marked by a crowd of politicians, academics, and students at the U’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.
“Dan Jones has had the largest impact of probably anyone in Utah on civic participation,” said the institute’s Director Kirk Jowers.
Current Utah law would have required Utah’s Attorney General to investigate a complaint against himself of violating Utah’s election rules. But the Utah State Senate passed a bill Thursday afternoon to give that job to an independent lawyer.
Join KUER's team of reporters for a live chat from the Utah State Capitol as we track down the most important stories on the last day of the Utah State Legislature. Join in on the conversation and tell us what you think about this year's legislative session. Let us know what you think, be it the good, the bad, or the ugly.
HB 76, the bill eliminating the need to get a concealed carry permit, is moving to the governor’s desk after the Senate gave it final approval today.
Sen. Allen Christensen, R-Ogden, is the Senate sponsor of the bill. He says he simply wants to make it easier for Utahns to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights that they already have.
“It doesn’t change anything about who can carry a weapon or possess a firearm," he says. "It simply gives honest people the right to do what they can’t do honestly right now, and that is cover up the weapon.”
Republican Senator Stephen Urquhart’s LGBT antidiscrimination bill did not receive a vote on the Senate floor Monday, effectively killing it for this year’s legislative session.
By passing out of committee SB262, which would prohibit employers and landlords statewide from discriminating against homosexuals, made it further than any other similar legislation ever has. Democratic Senator Jim Dabakis co-sponsored the bill and while he says that he’s disappointed that it didn’t receive a vote in the Senate, he acknowledges that they’re moving in the right direction.
A bill that would make Utah gun laws superior to federal law passed the state House on Friday. Republican Representative Brian Greene of Pleasant Grove is the bill’s sponsor. He says his legislation is not just about preserving gun rights but also the rights of states to stand against the federal government.