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Utah: Pro-Gun Bills Advance to the Senate

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Please contact your state Senator TODAY and urge support for HB 76 and HB 268

On March 1, House Bill 76, sponsored by state Representative John Mathis (R-55), passed in the state House of Representatives by a 51-18 vote after being amended in the House.  The current version would allow any person, 21 years of age or older who can lawfully own and possess a firearm, to carry an unloaded (per Utah Code) concealed firearm without a permit.  While this is a scaled-back version, it is still a step in the right direction.  HB 76 is now awaiting a committee assignment in the Senate.

House Bill 268, sponsored by state Representative Paul Ray (R-13), also passed in the state House of Representatives by a 54-12 vote on February 28.  HB 268 would provide that, in the absence of threatening behavior, the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm, whether visible or concealed, does not constitute a violation of Disorderly Conduct.

There has been a problem in Utah with some jurisdictions arresting persons for open carry when it is clearly NOT prohibited by statute.  These localities have sought creative ways to harass law-abiding firearm owners who are legally carrying unconcealed firearms for self-defense.  HB 268 would remove one of the ploys (charging the person with Disorderly Conduct) being used by some municipalities to circumvent state law and the Utah Constitution in an attempt to go after law-abiding firearm owners.  HB 268 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.

Please contact your state Senator today and urge him or her to support HB 76 and HB 268.  

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.