Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 22 at 8:00 am, the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee is scheduled to reconsider House Bill 237. This NRA opposed legislation, which expands firearm prohibitions failed in committee last week by a 5-5 vote.
In its current form, House Bill 237 expands Utah’s firearm prohibitions to include domestic relationships beyond those in federal law, including acts between two individuals who have, at one time, lived in the same residence, regardless of the nature of their relationship. In addition, HB 237 takes a play out of New York City Billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun control playbook by vilifying firearms which may have been carried and not actually used in one of the aforementioned situations. Utah law already provides for significant criminal penalties if a firearm was used in the commission of a crime.
Along with what is mentioned above, HB 237 would only allow individuals to carry a concealed firearm without a permit so long as a cartridge is not chambered or in the case of a revolver, two empty consecutive chambers in the cylinder. This bill would apply additional restrictions on the way an individual chooses to defend themselves. Requiring an individual to carry an unloaded firearm for self-defense is no different than the state mandating gun locks on the firearm in your nightstand. You may choose to utilize a gun lock or safe because that is appropriate for your own situation. The decision on your method of carry should be no different.
Make no mistake, the NRA strongly supports permitless/constitutional carry. Unfortunately, the included government mandate of carrying an unloaded firearm makes this a piece of legislation the NRA cannot support.
While HB 237 attempts to provide an avenue for law-abiding individuals to lawfully carry a concealed firearm without a permit, the true outcome would be just another government mandate on what should be a very personal decision.
NRA members and Second Amendment supporters are encouraged to click the “Take Action” button to contact members of the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee and urge them to OPPOSE House Bill 237.
Also today, the Utah House of Representatives passed House Bill 198 by an overwhelming 63-12 vote. House Bill 198 will now be sent over to the Senate where it will await a committee referral and hearing. Sponsored by state Representative Karianne Lisonbee, HB 198 would create a provisional concealed carry license for law-abiding individuals 18 to 20 years old.
This provisional license would allow those individuals to lawfully carry a firearm for self-defense. Currently, individuals eighteen years of age or older are legally allowed to openly carry an unloaded firearm for self-defense in Utah, and House Bill 198 would provide them the ability to conceal and carry a loaded firearm without being in jeopardy of breaking the law.
Your NRA-ILA will update you when House Bill 198 receives a committee referral and is scheduled for a hearing. Please state-tuned to your inbox and www.NRAILA.org for those updates.