Utah House OKs concealed guns without permits

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House has advanced a bill that would eliminate the need for a permit to carry a concealed gun in Utah, as long as it’s unloaded.

House lawmakers approved the bill 51-18 Friday morning. It now moves to the Senate for debate.

The bill from Vernal Republican Rep. John Mathis allows anyone 21 or over to carry a hidden gun, provided that the person hasn’t been convicted of a crime that bars a person from legally owning a firearm.

A permit would still be required to carry a loaded, hidden weapon or carry a hidden weapon on a school campus. A permit would also be needed in another state that honors Utah’s concealed weapon permits.

To get a permit, people in Utah must demonstrate that they know how to handle a gun by completing a training course or providing evidence of military service, for example. Most other states follow suit, issuing a concealed carry permit to an applicant who meet requirements such as background checks and minimum training.

Critics of the bill say it jeopardizes public safety because someone would no longer need training to carry a hidden gun legally, and that would open the door for shootings caused by an accidental discharge.

Four other states — Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and Vermont — allow residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.


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