House Bill 268, an important disorderly conduct bill, is still pending in the state Senate and must be voted on tomorrow before the end of session. Sponsored by state Representative Paul Ray (R-13), 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.
Please contact your state Senator IMMEDIATELY and urge him or her to support HB 268. For your state Senator’s contact information, please click here.
Today, House Bill 76, a permitless carry bill sponsored by state Representative John Mathis (R-55), passed in the state Senate by a 22-7 vote. After being amended in the House, this bill was scaled back, but it is still a step in the right direction. 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. This bill now goes to the Governor for his consideration.