2013 Bills

The “Constitutional Carry” of Firearms in Utah

Utah’s legislature has an incredible opportunity to assert individual rights and to uphold the Federal Constitution this year! It comes by way of House Bill 76.

If you have not heard about this bill yet, then be excited — be very, very excited! This bill radically helps assert the Second Amendment in the State of Utah, along with Article I Section 6 of Utah’s own Constitution. It is definitely a step in the right direction.

HB76, proposed by State Representative John Mathis, is a remarkable step in solidifying the “constitutional carry” of firearms in Utah, basically doing away with the State’s current requirement to obtain a permit to conceal carry. This means that adults over the age of 21 who would currently qualify for a Concealed Firearms Permit (CFP) would be legally allowed their Constitutional right to conceal carry without having to first obtain the government’s permission.

Like many other states, Utah has long overstepped its bounds in regard to the Second Amendment and the individual’s inherent right to carry (whether concealed or open) through mandating a “permit.” Government permits and other licenses necessarily decrease the individual’s freedom. Requiring a permit from government to perform an inherently rightful act is unjust, and the Libertas Institute emphatically supports the deregulation of this legislatively imposed injustice on Utah citizens.

Although the bill is a welcome step in the right direction, it does not completely deregulate concealed carry requirements. The bill does not do away with Utah’s CFP altogether. Currently, 33 states have reciprocity with Utah’s CFP, so for Utah residents who travel and wish to conceal carry in other states, they can still obtain a Utah CFP for their traveling needs.

In addition, Utah will also keep its CFP to regulate concealed carry on Utah’s school grounds. HB 76 expressly prohibits concealed carry, without a permit, of any weapons on public school grounds—from elementary schools to schools of higher education (as if criminals with an intent to harm abide by these regulations anyway…).

The Libertas Institute stands by any legislation that will free the individual from state-imposed permits, licenses and regulation of inherently rightful activities. Because of this, we strongly encourage you to call your state representatives to express your support of individual rights, the Second Amendment, and HB 76. This bill is also on our Legislation Tracker so you can track its progress during the session.

This is one of many bills worth supporting in the legislature over the next few weeks. Visit our Legislation Tracker today to see what other bills will help secure your individual rights.