U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Utah is very close to passing HB60, a strong Constitutional Carry bill. HB60 passed the House, 54-19. It passed the Senate 22-6. In the Senate, the bill was amended to include the creation of an account to provide funds for suicide prevention.
HB60 creates a restricted account in which the funds collected for concealed carry permits are segregated and used for the administration of the issuance of the permits.
The Senate amendment takes 50% of the funds left over at the end of the fiscal year, from the concealed carry account, and assigns them to a suicide prevention fund, where the focus is to be on firearm safety as related to suicide prevention. From the amended bill:
27 ▸ provides for the transfer of unused funds in the Concealed Weapons Account to the
28 Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for suicide prevention efforts; and
29 ▸ creates the Suicide Prevention and Education Fund within the division for suicide
30 prevention efforts.
Bureaucrats are very good at using funds they are told they will lose, if not used by the end of the fiscal year. Some may because it will only be 50% of the money left over. It seems unlikely that very much money will be transferred to the suicide fund.
Because the bill was amended, it has been placed on the conference committee calendar. It is likely the Senate amendment will be accepted by the committee and sent to Governor Spencer Cox. Governor Cox has said he is supportive of Constitutional Carry and is expected to sign HB60.
Update: HB60 has been approved by the House, signed by the Speaker, and sent for enrollment.
Utah is likely to be either the 17th or 18th state to pass Constitutional Carry. The Montana legislature has passed a significant reform of the state gun laws, with includes Constitutional (permitless) Carry.
Governor Greg Gianforte of Montana has been reported as saying he wishes the Montana Constitutional Carry bill, HB102, to be the first bill he signs into law.
The Utah bill is a stand-alone Constitutional Carry bill. It eliminates most restrictions on concealed carry of firearms by adding a section to existing law. From a previous AmmoLand article:
HB60 accomplishes this in a simple manner. It adds a section to the end of Statute 76-10-504 which says:
(5) Subsection 76-10-504(1) does not apply to a person 21 years old or older who may otherwise lawfully possess a firearm.
Both the Utah HB60 and Montana HB102 contain close approximations of the state of firearms carry law when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. At that time, there were no state or federal prohibitions on the open or concealed carry of weapons in the new United States of America.
Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry.
Fifteen States have restored a reasonable version of Constitutional Carry. The 15 states are, in order of restoration:
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Montana and Utah are likely to be added to the list by the middle of February 2021. The states started enacting restrictions of the carry of weapons in the early 1800s, to restrict slaves. Most early gun restrictions were designed to keep slaves and minorities disarmed and subservient.
The right to bear arms is one of the last fundamental Constitutional rights to be restored to minorities in the United States. All of the Constitutional Carry reforms are color blind. As no permit is required, no discrimination can be applied in granting permits, as is still common in some states, such as California.
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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.