By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Governor Herbert of Utah continues to be the main blocking force preventing the passage of Constitutional carry in Utah. Utah is a gun friendly state. There are open carry rights; the state constitution is strong.
Utah Constitution, Art. I Section 6, enacted 1984:
The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.
Utah also has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States. It compares favorably with many European countries. The Utah legislature is conservative, and willing to restore more of Utah's Constitution and Second Amendment protections, into law. In 2013, they passed a weak constitutional carry law, as a compromise. Still, it was an improvement. It had veto proof margins. Governor Herbert vetoed it, anyway. It was late in the session, and the legislature failed to override the veto. In 2015, SB256 passed the Senate with veto proof margins, but did not pass the House. Governor Herbert had threatened to veto the bill. Now, in 2016, Constitutional carry is once again being introduced. From thespectrum.com:
The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. David Hinkins of Orangeville, said his constituents want to be able to cover their weapon when they bring it into public places, so they don't make other patrons nervous about seeing a firearm.
“If you have it on your body and it's out in the open, you're OK,” he said. “But the minute you put it in your scabbard to protect it, you're breaking the law.”
Senator Hinkins states that the bill has a good chance of passage in the Senate, and in the House, but that it is likely to be vetoed by Governor Herbert yet again. In 2013 Governor Herbert claimed that obtaining a permit, attending classes,and paying fees “…does not inhibit our ability to bear arms.” when he vetoed constitutional carry in 2013. Representative Odah has reintroduced virtually the same bill. Here is the relevant part from HB260 in 2015:
General Description: This bill amends provisions of Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 5, Weapons, related to conduct involving the carrying of a concealed firearm.
13 ▸ provides an exemption for a person, who is 21 years of age or older and who may lawfully possess a firearm, from certain criminal provisions related to the carrying of an unloaded concealed firearm.
In Utah, “unloaded” means that there is no round under the hammer. Here is the relevant definition of what “loaded” means under Utah law. From utah.gov:
U.C.A. 76-10-502. When weapon deemed loaded.
(1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
(2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
It is obvious, that in Utah, one man stands in the way of even “weak” Constitutional carry. That man is Governor Gary Herbert.
c2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.