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UT – OPINION – Permitless carry for firearms doesn’t make sense in Utah

In 2013, then-Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a bill passed by the Legislature that would have allowed Utahns to carry concealed firearms without obtaining a permit. Since then, the gun lobby has not made a serious run at repealing Utah’s concealed carry permit requirement. But with the election of a new governor, Rep. Walt Brooks has authored H.B. 60 to allow concealed carry of a firearm without a permit. Utah’s concealed carry permit requirement represents a delicate balance by the Legislature between public safety and the desires of gun owners. That balance has worked for Utah for many years, but H.B. 60 would throw that balance out the window. As Herbert said in 2013, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” H.B. 60 purports to be a solution to a non-existent problem. To the contrary, permitless carry would actually harm public safety in Utah in at least four important ways. First, H.B. 60 would eliminate the requirement for education on lawful use of force, which the Legislature wisely adopted. Former Rep. Curt Oda, a concealed carry permit instructor, testified before the Legislature several years ago on a different bill that “knowing the laws on when you can use deadly force is more important than proficiency.” This is particularly important in Utah where misunderstanding about what “stand your ground” does and does not allow can lead to tragedy.  [full article]

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