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Constitutional Carry Bill Moves Toward Final Hurdle

Brian Grimmett

A bill that would remove the need to get a concealed carry permit for gun owners over the age of 21 is one vote away from being sent to the Governor’s desk. HB76 received preliminary approval in the Utah Senate today. 

The Senate moved Republican Representative John Mathis’ HB76 to the body’s third reading calendar by a vote of 19-6. Those who voted against the bill argue that it eliminates important training requirements. Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake, also pointed to the multiple other regulations and licenses the state requires for less dangerous things like putting makeup on someone.

“So to currently have a law where you have to go and get a permit, get trained, get a class, for the purpose of handling a firearm I don’t think is unreasonable,” she says.

But the bills Senate Sponsor, Sen. Allen Christensen, R-Ogden, says none of those things are in the constitution.

“Driving a car, braiding hair, doing all of these kind of things that we license for are not a constitutional right," he says. "They are not. Carrying a weapon, having a weapon in your possession is.”

The Senate will vote on the bill one more time and if it passes again it will go to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Something Governor Herbert says isn’t a guarantee.

“I think the laws on the books that we have have served us very well in protecting our 2nd Amendment rights," Herbert says. "If it ain’t broke don’t fix it comes to mind. And I don’t think, at least in Utah, that it’s broken.”

The Senate expects to make their final vote Wednesday morning.

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