Utah lawmakers are still in the process of deciding whether or not to override Governor Gary Herbert’s veto of House Bill 76. Some who voted for the bill have decided not to challenge the Governor.
The House and Senate passed HB 76 by a two thirds margin in both chambers. It would allow any person over the age of 21 who legally own a gun to carry that weapon concealed without obtaining a permit. But a few weeks ago, Governor Herbert vetoed the bill. Now Utah lawmakers must decide whether or not to call a special session. Republican Senator John Valentine of Orem says he won’t challenge the Governor.
“I voted for HB 76 during the session. I have now had more time to actually examine its affects, both long term and short term and voted on Friday to not override the Governor’s veto,” says Valentine.
Valentine says a number of factors prompted him to change his mind.
“My perspective actually was changed by virtue of discussions I’ve had since the session closed, mainly with two different sides that would normally be competitors. Both the law enforcement officers and with concealed weapons permit carriers and concealed weapon permit instructors. I really felt like we needed to take a breath and decide what the long term policy should be,” says Valentine.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that ten Senators including Valentine voted not to proceed with an override session, making it impossible to reach the required two thirds majority needed in that chamber. But lawmakers have until 5 p.m. on Friday April 19 to cast or change their votes before a final decision is reached.