Utah eliminates gun permits

There’s a big change coming for residents of Utah on May 5th. The Governor is preparing to sign a new bill into law allowing most residents to carry firearms concealed on their persons without having to obtain a permit from the state. Anti-Second Amendment groups, including Moms Demand Action, had been fighting the passage of this law in the courts, but their efforts eventually failed. Utah now joins 16 other states in granting permitless carry rights to all citizens of legal age who have not otherwise disqualified themselves from gun ownership. (Free Beacon)

Governor Spencer Cox (R.) will sign legislation into law this week to eliminate the permit requirement, his spokeswoman told the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday. The act will allow any law-abiding person over the age of 21 to carry a gun under his or her clothes while in the state. Convicted felons, those adjudicated mentally ill, and other people prohibited from owning a gun are excluded from the policy.

Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, said his group has been pushing for the change since 2013, when a previous attempt was vetoed by then-governor Gary Herbert (R.). He said the bill becoming law is a win for law-abiding gun owners and will cut down on potential wait times for those in danger, noting that getting a permit can “take up to 90 days.”

The repeal of permit requirements for concealed gun carry has accelerated over the past decade in a show of the increasing influence of gun owners and Second Amendment groups, especially at the state level.

As noted, the automatic right to carry does not extend to minors, persons who have been adjudicated as being mentally ill or convicted felons. As a side note, residents will still able to apply for and obtain a concealed carry permit from the state for use when traveling to other states that require such documentation from visitors.

During the debate over this bill and subsequent court challenges, anti-Second Amendment groups repeatedly tried to claim that more people carrying concealed would lead to more violent crime. As the bill’s sponsor, state senator David Hinkins pointed out in response, the three US states with the lowest violent crime levels – Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine – all have permitless carry laws.

That argument is heard all across the nation in states where activists push for tighter gun control laws. Unfortunately for them, the data simply doesn’t support that assertion. What they conveniently fail to mention is that federal law enforcement records continually show that legally owned firearms are the least likely to be used in the commission of gun crimes. Meanwhile, illegally purchased firearms, most frequently trafficked by gangs, account for the lion’s share of such crimes.

How that isn’t common sense for anyone considering the question is a mystery. People who are willing to go through the entire process of obtaining a permit (where required) and registering their firearms are doing so because they are following the law. People who are willing to use a gun to knock over a bank or carjack someone probably aren’t going to be very concerned about making sure they’ve filled out all of the proper forms. If these activists were seriously interested in cutting down on gun crimes they would be “demanding” more vigorous efforts to get illegal guns off the streets, not denying the rights of the law-abiding to legally purchase firearms.

At this point, there are no states that still have an outright ban on concealed carry and only eight states still allow officials to deny concealed carry permits to citizens who are not disqualified from ownership. Considering how vehemently most of the mainstream media outlets in America argue against gun ownership, it’s somewhat amazing that we’ve seen the amount of progress that we have.