On January 25, the Utah State Legislature began its 2016 legislative session. This year’s rapid-moving session begins with the introduction of legislation to allow permitless carry in the state of Utah.
Senate Bill 97, sponsored by state Senator David Hinkins (R-27), would allow individuals to carry a concealed firearm without a concealed firearm permit as long as they are at least 21 years of age and can lawfully possess a firearm. If enacted, Utah would join seven other states that allow permitless carry. SB 97 seeks to remove restrictions for law-abiding gun owners who wish to exercise their Right to self-defense in The Beehive State.
In Utah, existing state law allows any law-abiding citizen to openly carry an unloaded firearm without a permit. To carry the same firearm concealed, however, the person must obtain a Concealed Firearm Permit from the state. It doesn’t make sense to require a law-abiding citizen to pay a fee, endure a bureaucratic process, be subjected to fingerprinting, and obtain the government’s permission so the person can wear a jacket that would cover his or her firearm. Law-abiding citizens do not suddenly turn into violent criminals just because they choose to conceal their firearm.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as this legislation advances through the Utah Legislature.