Utah’s Governor, Gary Herbert, just vetoed HB76S1 – Constitutional Carry.
“The right to bear arms … is a fundamental right which must be jealously protected,” wrote the Governor in a letter to House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser.
“HB 76S1 does not, however, impose a restriction on the right to bear arms. Rather, it removes an existing provision of Utah law that those who carry a concealed weapon obtain a permit. Utah’s permitting system has been in place for decades, and in its current form for more than 15 years. In that time, it has become a national model. … As a gun owner and concealed firearm permit holder, I understand the value of the permit, both to firearm owners and to the public at large. … As a State, we must exercise extreme care that we not impose undue burdens on the right to bear arms, but I have yet to receive any credible evidence that Utah’s current permit process constitutes a hardship.”
Currently in Utah, if you want to carry a loaded firearm you must have a Concealed Firearm Permit (CFP). If you want to conceal your firearm you must have a CFP. If you want to carry at a school, daycare, preschool, vocational school, trade school, etc. (whether open or concealed), you must have a CFP.
HB76S1 would have allowed any law abiding citizen (without a CFP) to carry their sidearm concealed rather than in the open. This is important because some police departments and municipalities have been harassing individuals for the lawful open carry of firearms in their jurisdiction.
HB76S1 would not have negated Utah’s permit — something the Governor apparently was unaware of based on his comments. HB76S1 would still require that the firearm be unloaded and that the person carrying still remain outside “gun free zones” without a permit.
We’re disappointed with Governor Herbert’s veto on this bill.