Utah Lawmaker Reintroduces ‘Constitutional Carry’ Legislation

Legislation has been introduced in Utah to allow for “constitutional carry” of concealed sidearms without a permit. (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Utah State Rep. Walt Brooks (R-St. George) has once again introduced legislation to allow concealed carry without a permit, and this time he reportedly has a commitment from Gov. Spencer Cox to sign the bill if it hits his desk.

Brooks’ House Bill 60 will be on the table when the Utah Legislature convenes Jan. 19. An earlier effort to allow permitless carry was vetoed by former Gov. Gary Herbert in 2013, according to the Deseret News. A similar bill was also filed last year near the end of the legislative session.

But the proposal already has Beehive State anti-gunners using familiar rhetoric about “gun violence” and the dangers such legislation allegedly could spawn.

“We are living through a gun violence crisis in America, and some politicians in Utah not only don’t seem to care about it, they are running bills that will make it more likely that people will shoot each other,” asserted Katie Matheson, spokeswoman for the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah, as quoted by the Deseret News. “We shouldn’t wait until we have a crisis in Utah. We need our representatives to wake up — these bills are tragedies waiting to happen.”

But is that an accurate forecast? Not according to Brooks, who spoke with Ammoland News via telephone.

“This is a good step,” the veteran lawmaker said. “This is the same bill I ran in 2013, but Gov. Herbert vetoed it…I reintroduced it at the end of last year’s session, knowing it wouldn’t go anywhere, but that it would give people a chance to look it over and give it some thought.”

Brooks said the legislature meets for 45 days, but since this bill is already on people’s minds, it could be one of the first to be considered during the opening days of this year’s session. He expects HB60 to move quickly and perhaps be through the process by Feb. 1.

Utah State Rep. Walt Brooks

He said there are plenty of laws on the books that are supposed to prevent the wrong people from carrying guns, but “as you know, criminals don’t obey the law.”

The key to his permitless carry proposal is in the last two lines of the three-page legislation. There, the bill simply provides that “Subsection 76-10-504(1) does not apply to a person 21 years old or older who may otherwise lawfully possess a firearm.”

“I think there is a great chance to pass. It has passed in House and Senate before. We’re getting some push back from the left, but we’re a Republican state and I think most people understand that guns are not the problem. It’s the (criminals).”–Utah State Rep. Walt Brooks

Sixteen other states now have permitless “constitutional carry,” and they do not appear to have seen any increase in violence as a result. Those states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, North Dakota (residents only) and Wyoming (residents only), the newspaper said. Four other states allow permitless concealed carry with certain limitations: Illinois, Montana, New Mexico and Washington. In the Evergreen State, it is legal to carry a firearm openly or concealed without a permit provided the person is engaged in some form of legitimate outdoor activity, such as hiking, fishing, hunting or camping.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Rep. Brooks said he has already met with Gov. Cox and he will work with the new governor to smooth out any concerns the governor’s office might have. Those interested can keep track of the bill here.

And, the Tribune explained, there is something of a “Plan B” waiting in the background. State Rep. Cory Maloy (R-Lehi) reportedly has legislation that would allow people to carry without a license any time a state of emergency in the event of a declared emergency.

Maloy also wants to strengthen Utah’s state preemption law, the Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is out with a statement supporting federal legislation just introduced by Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC) that would allow national concealed carry reciprocity. Hudson’s “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021” (H.R. 38) already has 154 original co-sponsors.

In a news release supporting H.R. 38, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Larry Keane stated, “This legislation provides an answer to the confusing patchwork of laws surrounding concealed carry permits, particularly with regard to states where laws make unwitting criminals out of legal permit holders for a simple mistake of a wrong traffic turn.”

RELATED:

154 House Members Sign-On to Bipartisan Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021



About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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Billca
Billca
10 months ago

Constitutional carry in all 50 states would essentially negate the need for reciprocity laws. Still, a federal reciprocity act would also keep deep blue states from prosecuting or harassing lawful travelers or visitors.

Finnky
Finnky
10 months ago
Reply to  Billca

Depends on specifics of constitutional carry laws. Some states (Wyoming +???) have constitutional carry – but it is restricted to residents. Pretty sure my state has reciprocity, but have not looked into specifics on how it works in that state. I only check where I’m traveling and haven’t been in that part of the country since the Nixon administration (+- a couple years).
Long overdue to remedy this oversight.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
10 months ago
Reply to  Billca

Something I have been saying for months. Reciprocity is a sell out.

MSG L
MSG L
10 months ago

HB-102 was introduced in Montana. We are striving for “Permitless Carry”. It seems to be a national trend.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
10 months ago
Reply to  MSG L

Lets hope this takes over our country and becomes a federal law for all across America required to be followed by all states. That means you kommiefornia.

gregs
gregs
10 months ago

the left likes to compare driving a car with carrying a firearm, and how they both should be licensed. let’s do that and allow national reciprocity for firearms like drivers licenses.

KDude
KDude
10 months ago
Reply to  gregs

So what next exactly? Mandatory insurance?Flo is gonna cover all your insurance needs to include a monthly premium on every firearm you own?Registry for all firearms? Can’t keep it registered unless you have it insured? If you can’t see how badly states and federal auto regs have screwed you, there’s no way in Hell I’m gonna stand here and let you say we should let em do the same thing to firearms< a basic right under our US Constitution. Think man!

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
10 months ago
Reply to  gregs

the LEFT????

nrringlee
nrringlee
10 months ago

A free people should be armed. A free people must be a moral people. This is why Constitutional Carry works in places like Arizona and will work to the benefit of public safety in a state like Utah. In progressive utopias it will probably not work. Natural law theory dictates that virtue be intact in the individual and the community for natural law to function. If not, anarchy prevails. Aristotle and Aquinas told us everything we need to know on the issue. A moral people can self govern. An immoral people cannot. Very simple.

Finnky
Finnky
10 months ago
Reply to  nrringlee

Natural law functions everywhere. Different portions dominate in different areas. Somewhere like Baltimore – it is the Darwinian portion that rules. Those with ability to keep their kids safe are more likely to have grandchildren. Of course the best way to protect your children, and yourself, is to move far away.

Matt in Oklahoma
Matt in Oklahoma
10 months ago

What’s the point of introducing laws you know will not pass? What a joke.

Choogie
Choogie
10 months ago
Reply to  Dave Workman

Thanks Dave, Some people need to STUDY our Constitution and know that we have the RIGHT to keep and bare arms. That includes every state in these United States of America.

MSG L
MSG L
10 months ago
Reply to  Choogie

My State is going for “permitless carry” because we just do not like concealed carry. It has been in our Constitution since we became a State. HB-102 for Permitless Carry has been introduced. It seems to be happening nationwide.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
10 months ago
Reply to  Choogie

and anti gunners keep it in place to track who has guns, to create revenue and put a barrier between the folks that are willing to be tracked and those who don’t and are willing to become a felon for concealed carry without a permit because they don’t want to be part of the system.

Arm up for a safer USA

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
10 months ago

Just like Mc Connell, you can’t say it wont pass without trying to pass it. It’s the peoples choice not the choice of one person or representative.

JoeUSooner
JoeUSooner
10 months ago

“… a gun violence crisis in America.” ??? (That’s a bald-faced lie!)

You mean the 51% DEcrease in firearms-related shootings since 1997? THAT “crisis”?? Idiotic…

Any person who defines a problem’s decrease (by more than HALF!) as a “crisis” is an outright f*cking moron!! An insane one, who definitely should not be allowed out in public without a keeper.

gregs
gregs
10 months ago
Reply to  JoeUSooner

leftists lie about everything they talk about; 2A, abortion, civil rights, crime, ss, taxes, and the list goes on and on. they are cannot tell the truth because if they did, no one would vote for them ever again. they just expect everyone to believe the crap that comes out of their mouths, and if you don’t you are a denier.

Finnky
Finnky
10 months ago
Reply to  JoeUSooner

– It is a crisis for them. They derive a good portion of their power from inducing fear and claiming to be “our saviors”. Diminishing violence undermines their power and is thus a crisis.