Governor Gary Herbert has signed a bill to allow people as young as 18 to get provisional permits to carry a concealed weapon.
The current minimum age for a concealed carry permit is 21 years old. Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, brought the bill forward, arguing that it will help young women protect themselves from sexual assailants on college campuses.
“The more we recognize the right of all people to protect their lives with a firearm, and the more that we encourage law-abiding citizens to carry, the safer our society will be,” Lisonbee says.
Opponents of the bill argued that more weapons on campus could lead to increased crime and violence.
Gov. Herbert signed the bill Thursday afternoon. Earlier that day he pointed out that 18-year-olds in Utah can already carry firearms in plain view and join the military.
“They carry M16s and other weapons with the intent of defending our freedoms and killing people. If they’re old enough to do that, they’re probably old enough to get some training and carry a concealed weapon.”
Herbert also signed a bill that bans someone convicted of domestic violence from owning a firearm.