Ready to go at the start of the Legislature is a bill to make it legal to carry a concealed weapon in Utah without a permit. “We need to get back to trusting law-abiding citizens, and get rid of these regulations that are not doing any good,” said Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George. His measure would allow people, 21 and older, to carry a weapon in a concealed manner without going through a background check or training now required by state law. “With your bill, people could conceal carry without going through the process, and the gun could be loaded in a public place?“ 2News asked. “They could,” he replied. Brooks noted Utah already has legal “open carry,” and maintained permit-less concealed carry in other states has not led to more gun crimes.
“I have a concealed weapons permit,” said Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley, who is against Brooks’ bill. “I think there should be more training, not less training.“ The Utah Gun Violence Prevention Center said it “is definitely opposed to this bill,” saying the training for a concealed carry permit includes instruction on gun safety and suicide prevention. “If you say gun owners don’t need to take this class,” said spokeswoman Nancy Farrar Halden, “there are a whole lot of people who are not going to hear about suicide prevention.” But while 2News interviewed Rep. Brooks, a supporter called him to say “thank you for sponsoring the constitutional carry bill. [full article]