HB 76, the bill eliminating the need to get a concealed carry permit, is moving to the governor’s desk after the Senate gave it final approval today.
Sen. Allen Christensen, R-Ogden, is the Senate sponsor of the bill. He says he simply wants to make it easier for Utahns to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights that they already have.
“It doesn’t change anything about who can carry a weapon or possess a firearm," he says. "It simply gives honest people the right to do what they can’t do honestly right now, and that is cover up the weapon.”
Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, and Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, were the only two Republicans to oppose the bill. Shiozawa, a gun owner himself, says he struggled with his decision to vote against the bill.
“I believe the governor says that we shouldn’t have any new gun laws this year and I have three constituent mayors and their police chiefs who do not support this bill," he says. "So, based upon that, I’m not going to support this bill."
The bill passed out of the Senate by a vote of 22 – 7. Along with the vote margin in the House, the bill is potentially veto proof. Governor Gary Herbert has expressed his opposition to the bill, but has not publicly committed to veto it.