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UT – Self-Protection – Will Utah Become the Next State to Drop Concealed Carry Permit?

A Utah lawmaker is furthering his bid to make Utah the next state to allow concealed carrying of firearms without a permit. And in case that doesn’t work, another lawmaker is looking to suspend that permit requirement amid a declared state of emergency — whether that be for an earthquake, a flood and, yes, a pandemic. Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, is sponsoring HB60 in the Utah Legislature’s upcoming 2021 general session, set to begin Jan. 19. The bill’s language mirrors legislation he filed in the final days of the 2020 session, which would remove the state’s requirement for law-abiding Utahns over the age of 21 to have a permit to lawfully carry a concealed firearm. “Every single person has the right to protect themselves,” Brooks said, arguing that right should extend to people uncomfortable with openly carrying firearms. “It’s allowing a law-abiding citizen to be allowed (to put their gun) under their jacket or a wife to put it in her purse.” Currently, 16 states allow concealed carrying of firearms without a permit: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, North Dakota (residents only) and Wyoming (residents only). Four others allow permitless concealed carry with certain limitations: Illinois, Montana, New Mexico and Washington. Utah law currently allows people who are legally able to possess a firearm to openly carry their guns in public. A permit is only required for carrying a concealed firearm. Brooks said he’s confident his bill will win the support it needs to become law — from both the Legislature and Gov.-elect Spencer Cox. “Both Gov.-elect Cox and Lt. Gov.-Elect (Deidre) Henderson have said they would support a constitutional carry bill and look forward to working with the sponsors on the details,” Cox’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Napier-Pearce, said in a text Wednesday.  [full article]

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