Concealed carry laws could change with new bill

A bill being considered in the Senate would allow those who have been denied concealed carry permits to start legally carrying a concealed weapon. SB256, sponsored by Sen. David Hinkins, passed favorably out of committee Tuesday in a 4-1 vote.

It’s not the first time the bill has been heard this year. The language is practically identical to a bill sponsored earlier this session by Rep. Curt Oda, the House’s foremost champion of relaxed firearm regulations. And Oda’s 2015 bill is nearly identical to a bill former Rep. John Mathis sponsored two years ago. Mathis’ bill was subsequently vetoed by the Governor. Oda pulled the House version of the bill from consideration after the Governor said his mind hadn’t changed in the last two years and that he would veto Oda’s bill if it came up again. Unfortunately, the Governor’s threat didn’t stop the bill from donning new clothes and reappearing in the Senate as SB256 where it passed a committee hearing yesterday morning. How many wardrobe changes can a bill sustain?

Right now, in order to get a a concealed carry permit in Utah, applicants must go through an approval process. The current concealed carry process makes sure people convicted of domestic violence or a previous weapons violation aren’t eligible to conceal carry. Since 2001, nearly 20,000 concealed carry permits have been revoked, suspended, or denied. If SB256 were to pass, many of those 20,000 people would be free to carry concealed weapons.

The bill will next be heard on the Senate floor, where, hopefully, it will stay.

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