Pro-2A Americans have a reason to celebrate this week after a bill to drop the permit required to carry a concealed weapon in Utah easily passed through the state’s House of Representatives.
The bill now heads to the Utah State Senate for consideration where Republicans holds commanding a majority with 23 out of 29 seats. The House voted 54-19 to approve the legislation. It was initially sponsored by Republican Rep. Walt Brooks, who celebrated the bill’s swift passage.
“This bill allows law-abiding citizens to be able to carry their weapons to protect themselves,” he said. “Legal and law-abiding citizens do just that. They’re careful, and they’re responsible, and they don’t need the government to force them to do something that they would do on their own anyway. I trust the people of Utah.”
The bill is also supported by Utah Governor Spencer Cox. However, constitutional carry didn’t always enjoy approval from the top. A similar bill was passed by the House in 2013, but then-Governor Gary R. Herbert vetoed it.
If Utah does make the move to allow constitutional carry, they will join a list of 16 states that already have it in some form. A few of those states are Alaska, Arizona, Maine, and West Virginia. In states like North Dakota and Wyoming, this only applies to residents. South Dakota is one of the newest states on the list after it passed constitutional carry in 2019.
There has been some debate about whether or not passing this bill would lead to more crime. Rep. Brooks has responded to this by saying that there isn’t any basis to this argument since in the other 16 states with constitutional carry, crime hasn’t gone up.
Some representatives that oppose the bill, like Democratic representative Brian King from Salt Lake City, think they should increase the requirements for background checks when people purchase their firearms. Right now all you need to purchase a firearm in Utah is to be 21-years-old, have a valid driver’s license or state ID, and have an instant background check done by a local firearms dealer. King isn’t alone.
“What I hear from my constituents is more about perception,” fellow Democrat Utah State Rep. Carol Spackman Moss said. “They overwhelming they (say) they’re opposed to this because they perceive it to open the door to many more people carrying guns that aren’t properly trained.”
The only way you’ll be exempt from a background check is if you are buying antique firearms made before 1899. You can also buy a long gun if you are 18-years-old.
Based on how things look now, it looks like Utah will be joining the list of states that allow constitutional carry laws. This is excellent news for law abiding gun owners — and the Americans that live next to them.