Robert Gehrke: Utah will likely do away with concealed firearms permits. Here are the problems with that.

Robert Gehrke: Utah will likely do away with concealed firearms permits. Here are the problems with that.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Gehrke. There’s a legend about a cowboy out in the woods with a pistol on his side, when it started to rain. This old cowpoke put on a jacket and, just like that, was hassled by law enforcement for carrying an illegally concealed firearm. The story always seemed fishy to me, but it’s been told so many times around Utah’s Capitol that it has taken on a life of its own. Naturally, it was told again as the House debated — or went through the motions of debating — HB60 , which would let anyone over the age of 21 carry a concealed weapon without a permit . It passed in the House and is now in the Senate. In past years, the one obstacle to passing the legislation has been Gov. Gary Herbert, who vetoed it in 2013 and kept it in check in subsequent years by threatening to veto it again, if it made it to his desk. 1. Utah’s concealed weapons system worked fine; 2. There is value in people receiving some modicum of training, paltry as it may be; 3. It’s worthwhile to have applicants undergo a basic criminal background check. He was right about all three. But now Herbert has ridden off into the sunset, like our potentially real cowboy, and his replacement, Gov. Spencer Cox, has said he will sign the bill. Lawmakers have been bombarded this week with emails for and against it, but […]

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