2016 Bills

SB97: Constitutional Carry and the Right to Bear Arms

This bill was not considered by the legislature.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

Utah law prohibits a person from having a concealed firearm, imposing a class B misdemeanor as the penalty. Anybody who obtains a concealed firearm permit is exempted from this provision.

Three years ago, the legislature passed a bill that would have also exempted any person 21 years or older “who may lawfully possess a firearm, as long as the firearm is not loaded.” The bill was vetoed by the Governor, and the legislature failed to muster enough interest in holding a veto override session.

Senator David Hinkins has introduced Senate Bill 97 to re-introduce the concept. Whereas the previous bill specified that a weapon concealed would have to be unloaded, SB97 contains no such qualifier; adults 21 or older would be able to legally conceal a weapon, whether loaded or not.

While we would favor reducing the age to 18—that of a legal adult—this bill is an important protection of the right to keep and bear arms; the government’s permission should not be needed to exercise a fundamental right.