Tomorrow, House Bill 276 is scheduled to be heard in the state House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee at 8:00 a.m. in Room 25 of the House Building. Sponsored by state Representative Curt Oda (R-14), HB 276 would provide that the mere carrying or possession of a holstered or encased firearm does not constitute a violation of the Disorderly Conduct statute.
Self-defense is a fundamental right that is protected by the Utah Constitution and clearly provided for in state statute. The carrying of firearms for self-defense is legal in Utah, either concealed with a Concealed Firearm Permit (CFP) or unconcealed without a permit. It is the choice of the law-abiding individual HOW to carry. HB 276 does not, in any way, change the laws governing the carrying of firearms, nor does it make any changes to what behavior by law-abiding gun owners is legal or illegal.
There is a problem in Utah. Some jurisdictions are arresting people for openly carrying a firearm when it is clearly NOT prohibited in statute. These jurisdictions have sought creative ways to harass law-abiding firearm owners who are legally carrying unconcealed firearms for self-defense.
House Bill 276 would remove one of the ploys (charging the person with disorderly conduct) being used by some jurisdictions in Utah to circumvent state law and the Utah Constitution in an attempt to harass these law-abiding firearm owners.
Please contact members of the state House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee NOW and respectfully urge their support for House Bill 276. Please contact committee members by calling the House line at (801) 538-1029 AND by sending an e-mail message to the addresses provided below:
House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee:
Representative Curtis Oda (R-14), Chairman
Representative Richard Greenwood (R-12), Vice-Chairman
Representative Keith Grover (R-61)
Representative Don Ipson (R-75)
Representative Dana Layton (R-60)
Representative Paul Ray (R-13)
Representative Edward Redd (R-4)
Representative Jennifer Seelig (D-23)
Representative Robert Spendlove (R-49)
Representative Keven Stratton (R-48)
Representative Mark Wheatley (D-35)