Utah Set to Become 5th Constitutional Carry State

 Utah Concealed Carry Permit (courtesy outdoorlife.com)

Yesterday (Friday) the Utah House of Representative passed House Bill 76 along party lines (51 – 17). [Click here for the text.] The legislation is now headed to the state Senate. If passed, the Beehive State would become a Constitutional Carry state; no paperwork or permit required to carry a legally owned firearm. With 22 Republican Senators vs. seven Democrats and a Republican Governor, this one looks to be a slam dunk. While there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip (e.g., will the hugely profitable out-of-state Utah permitting industry lobby against it?), Utah looks set to become the fifth state to have state-wide Constitutional Carry, joining Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and Vermont. One steps backwards (New York’s SAFE Act), one step forward . . .

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

85 Responses to Utah Set to Become 5th Constitutional Carry State

  1. avatarJAS says:

    We will regain our freedom and safety back, one big step at a time.

    Congrats to all the Utah citizens.

    • avatarS.CROCK says:

      if i was Mormon, i would move there now.

    • avatarElliotte says:

      Doesn’t AZ still have a voluntary permitting process? Perhaps UT could retain their non-res permitting system as well.

      • avatarYellow Devil says:

        Yes AZ still retains a CC permit even though anyone who can legally own a firearm can CC without it. I got one because A) it makes buying a firearm in the state a bit easier since you already went through an established background check, and B) Reciprocal carry laws for when I want to carry in states that make agreements with AZ. Welcome to the club Utah.

  2. avatarإبليس says:

    Despite their patently insane theology (which makes Judeo-Christo-Muslims look sane by comparison) Mormons are very practical people. Good for them.

    • avatarJoey S says:

      We do enjoy being considered peculiar. Must mean something when you get conservatives and liberals hating on you. You do have to admit, john moses browning was one hell of a mormon

    • avatarscottlac says:

      A theology that says we are just chemicals reacting in the brain calls other theologies “crazy”. There is no objective standard of “crazy” if we are just chemicals reacting. Regardless, Thank you Utah (and their crazy theology)

    • avatarWLCE says:

      despite my strong disagreements with their faith, in my experience, mormons are very industrious, educated, ambitious, and very practical.

      They are miles ahead of certain other religious organizations that preach unicorns and rainbows (catholics) and why you shouldnt be armed.

      • avatarjoe says:

        I’m not Mormon but live in a predominantly Mormon area and socialize with a lot of them. Every religion is crazy from the outside, and that includes atheism. So let’s not rag on one group. As stated above, they are hardworking courteous and kind, and then there are some who are bastards… which I guess makes them… human?

        • avatarCort says:

          +1, Joe. :) Well stated.

        • avatarAPBTFan says:

          All with you you but atheism isn’t a religion.

          Theism = religion. Atheism = absence of religion.

        • avatardin says:

          atheism takes as much faith as any organized religion, and I know plenty of atheists who work their skinny little asses off to convert non non-believers to the cause. so dictionary definition aside, tell us again how it isn’t a religion?

        • avatarscottlac says:

          Thanks din. I thought I was the only one who could see that.

        • avatarThomasR says:

          All ideas on how to relate to the universe and ourselves are belief systems, atheism, communism, hinduism, catholicism and all depend on some level of faith to believe in them;

          The question is not whether you believe in no god or believe in god; the real question is are you willing to convert or kill someone in your belief system.

          Communists/marxist/ socialists who believe in no god are the ones the ones in our current time who are the fanatics who will murder anyone who isn’t a true believer and then they will kill the true converts if it serves the purposes of the ruling class.

          What a sick and twisted belief system.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Nominally a member of a different religion, I can only say this about Mormons: When I get off the plane in Salt Lake from Philly or Chicago it’s like I landed in a different country. Everyone is polite, relaxed, and helpful. It stays that way up in the ski areas. Year after year I fear it will change. It never does. I think of moving there about once a week. In Chicago the TSA people couldn’t understand or speak standard English. Unbelievable.

      • avatarJohn says:

        Really bro? You just had to get in the Catholic jab didn’t you?

        Ah well. God forgives. I’ll pray for you, sir.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      Why is it that you’re giving Muhammad and Jesus passes? Just because they’re long dead charlatans (in comparison to Smith) doesn’t mean they still weren’t charlatans.

      And flying horses, people raising from the dead and all that nonsense is just as wacky.

      Furthermore, people are people. As long as they leave me out of their cult and don’t try force it on me through laws or whatever I don’t care.

      Utah is doing the right thing so bravo to them.

      • avatardin says:

        don’t cut yourself on the 3dg3, bro!

      • avatarإبليس says:

        I’m not giving them a pass. Abraham was the one charlatan to rule them all. Just pointing out their theology is kookier than the norm. But again, in practical terms they’re ahead of the game.

  3. avatarIn Memphis says:

    I would say two steps forward personally. This is a little more than just loosening the reigns. Out of curiosity, why isnt Texas constitutional carry? As much good as everyone has to say about being a gun owner there, Im surprised. But, I also know very little about Texas

    • avatarbenny says:

      I LIVE in Texas and I’m wondering the same damn thing.

    • avatarBob says:

      I live there too, and don’t know why either, but I’ll take a stab at it:

      Austin is where all the liberals hang out and that’s where all the politicians criminals in suits gather also. Maybe that has something to do with it.

    • avatarRon says:

      It takes time.
      Texas was a No-issue state until 1995 when they became a Shall-issue state.
      Since that time they have made many changes to the requirement to renew a CHL. All of which made the process easier and in some cases cheaper.
      In 2007 a law allowing carry of a loaded concealed handgun in an auto, as well as to and from said auto, WITHOUT a permit was enacted.
      Sort of a”mini “unrestricted law.
      Texas will come around.
      Soon I think.

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      When I told someone who lived there for awhile years ago that open carry wasn’t legal in Texas, he said, “Better tell the Texans that!”

      So strange.

      • avatarDavid says:

        Technically, in TX, you could carry a long gun openly all day, everyday, but would be hassled by the police unless you were in a hunting area or range. Open carry with a pistol is still illegal. For now.

    • avatarCort says:

      Well, it’s really only one step forward, because Utah’s proposed constitutional bill only allows concealed firearms to be carried “Utah unloaded,” which means you can’t have one in the next cylinder or in the chamber. Kinda silly. But whatever. Definitely at least one step forward.

  4. avatarOddux says:

    And with this, Utah will be the first state with a perfect, lowest possible -2 score out of 100 from the Brady Campaign.

  5. avatarRob G says:

    I love Utah!

    Btw, I lived in and loved Texas for 14 years and still don’t understand why they don’t allow open and constitutional carry.

  6. avatarBlehtastic says:

    If this sh!t keeps up I’m gonna call that number on one of those late night commercials to get my free copy of the book of Mormon.

    But then I’d have to give up scotch…

    Yay, Nevada?!

  7. avatarAndrew says:

    I am very proud of my state right now. And we are not all Mormon, I myself and many like me are pantheist, atheist, spiritual, non-religious, or what have you. But are still some of the most staunch gun owners you will ever meet.

    • avatarBlehtastic says:

      How about drunken Catholics with an affinity for fine scotch and microbrews after a hard day of long range target practice?

  8. avatarWestern Treefrog says:

    Some notes. This isn’t exactly true constitutional carry, it was watered down slightly at the last minute. Utah law previously allowed unlicensed open carry of an unloaded firearm (with state law defining unloaded as 2 actions away from firing, so for a semi-auto, loaded mag, no round in chamber). This law extends that to allow open or concealed carry of an unloaded firearm.

    You still need a permit if you want to carry a loaded weapon, if you want to conceal carry other weapons such as a knife, or if you want to carry in school zones.

    Still, progress.

    • avatarPhil says:

      I was just about to post this. I don’t think this really qualifies as constitutional carry because it has to be unloaded.

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      Why would anyone OC unloaded!? A lot of anti-OC people argue how the guy with the gun is the first target… might as well put a red coat on if you OC unloaded

      • avatarcmdrlimpet says:

        Unloaded OC was already legal this has just allowed people to move it into their pants or under their jacket legally.

      • avatarPavePusher says:

        In Utah, “unloaded” has a somewhat peculiar meaning; the gun must be two actions away from firing. For semi-autos it means magazine loaded and inserted into gun, no round chambered (rack slide, pull trigger=2 actions), for revolvers, hammer down on loaded or empty chamber, next chamber empty (cock/pull trigger once on empty chamber, pull again on loaded chamber=2 actions).

  9. avatarjwm says:

    Safe act was a step backwards. But the fed court handed us a big step forward by tearing the legs out from under the chicago machines lock on gun control in Ill. Utah going constitutional carry would be frosting on the cake.

    And a permit process would still be viable in Utah. it serves the reciprocity agreements with other states.

  10. avatarRon says:

    In 2002 there were seven (7) No-issue states and only one (1) unrestricted state.
    Today there are four (4) unrestricted states (soon to be five (5) ?) and only one (1) No-issue state.
    This is great progress in less than ten (10) years.
    Only forty-five (45) to go!!

    • avatarThomas Paine says:

      google Constitutional Carry on Wikipedia and look at the timeline map.
      It’s actually quite awesome.

      • avatardislexic says:

        Pretty awesome animated map for sure, but I do think someone probably needs to update the page in light of recent events. Here’s what it says about Colorado:

        “Legislation was introduced in Colorado to allow Constitutional Carry in early 2011. The bill passed the House with a vote of 40-25 but did not move in the Senate. Currently Colorado issues CCWs on a shall-issue basis and open carry is legal without a permit.[11] The Colorado Legislature begins its 2012 session on January 11.”

  11. avatarMOG says:

    from a search online: During the 2011 Legislature, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill out of committee that would allow licensed concealed carry permit holders the option of carrying a firearm open or concealed. The bill did not make it to the floor for a vote of the entire House. In this session, as the debate over gun control rages on at the federal level, Representative George Lavender (R-Texarkana) and Representative Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) have introduced HB 700 to bring the debate forward again. This bill will certainly gather a lot of attention as it works its way through the 2013 Legislature. -

  12. avatarRoss says:

    If passed will UT still issue CCW’s and non-rez CCW’s for those wanting to travel out of state or those that use a non-rez UT CCW?

  13. avatarThomas Paine says:

    “this just in : 10% of states hate children.”
    i can see it now.

    • avatarBlehtastic says:

      Until our side begins responding with righteous indignation at every mass shooting we will not win.

      This is all the fault of gun grabbers. Every dead body needs to be laid at their feet because it is truly is all their fault.

      Bloomberg is responsible for all of the 26 dead children and teachers at Sandy Hook. This is not hyperbole. This is not sarcasm. This is truth. Until we start telling the truth and laying the dead at their feet we won’t only lose, we will be cowards and liars.

      Every person that has been killed with a gun since the 1880′s is a victim of those that would remove our rights from us. Every dead child. Every dead woman. Every dead gang-banger. Your utopiatic dreams and your failed plots to brainwash the populace are responsible for the murder of untold millions of peaceable people that want nothing more than to protect their lives and their families.

      Every individual person that has ever, at any moment of their life thought that citizen ownership of guns is “the problem” is part of the true problem of an ever creeping, ever power grabbing government that cares nothing but for the force of its own will.

      We, every single one of us, make up the militia. We are well regulated only when we, as the dictionaries of 1787 inform, are well stocked with the modern musket and sidearm of our choice and 1,000 rounds of ammunition for each.

      Stop this defensive madness and this pathetic acceptance that we are on the losing side of some political or marketing battle defined by our enemies and those that don’t even understand the concept of evil. Realize, for once that we’re fighting not just for good, but for truth, justice, and the American Way.

      You don’t think Hispanics will get it. You don’t think blacks have ever got it. You think hipsters will never understand.

      You’re wrong. At the end of the night, when the glass breaks, and evil approaches, everyone gets it.

      Guns are our protection against evil.

      To Evil I Say: “Come And Take It.”

  14. avatarTodd says:

    Constitutional carry, my ass. This only allows for permitless carry of an unloaded weapon.

    Useless.

  15. I’ve been living in Utah for two years now, it’s surprising how much this state loves guns. My middle-class neighborhood is absolutely armed to the teeth. There’s probably more firepower on the block where I live than most cities where I’m from in California.

    Of course, it’s not surprising when you consider the history. Mormon’s have a few instances of taking up arms against government militias and as far as I know Utah is the only territory to ever single-handily go to war with the U.S. government.

    I think you can see a lot of that government mistrust even today.

    • avataranonymous says:

      > as far as I know Utah is the only territory to ever single-handily
      > go to war with the U.S. government.

      Well, there was that brief unpleasantness between 1861-1865.

      Yes, I realize that the Confederate states did not do so “single-handily”, but it’s a data point that should not be forgotten.

    • avatarGreg says:

      Read up on Mormon history and see why we make sure we can defend ourselves against tyranny and bigotry. Mormons love guns always have.

    • avatarpsmcd says:

      There’s a lot of interesting history and personal stories out here. Bernard DeVoto, Wallace Stegner, Jaunita Brooks and Will Bagley are great historians. Porter Rockwell, Bill Hickman and Jacob Hamblin were some of the tough travelers in tough country. Johnston’s army, Mtn Meadows massacre, Sutter’s mill and the Bear River massacre are interesting subjects in US history. Mormons are just a vector, Utah a crossroads – Indians, civil war, gold, guns, western expansion.

      http://www.historynet.com/utah-war-us-government-versus-mormon-settlers.htm

  16. avatarKris says:

    Yeah, I think they got the headline wrong on this. I’m in ND and we allow open carry without a permit if it’s unloaded and in the daytime. If you have a CC license it’s open carry loaded 24/7, but we’re pretty modest around here so it’s very rare to encounter open carry in public.

    Our house just passed a bill that would allow carry in schools and churches (with written permission) as well as public gatherings and government buildings. We’ve quickly become one of the most gun friendly states in the country. Fewer than 700,000 residents but more than 20,000 active CC licenses. May as well start calling ourselves “North Texas”.

  17. avatarMatt in SD says:

    unlicensed unloaded concealed carry…I’m scratching my head but, ok…pass it.

  18. avatarcmdrlimpet says:

    Unloaded in Utah means nothing in the chamber. A full magazine inserted is good to go.

  19. avatarRob Eide says:

    What’s funny is liberal Mn has some pretty loose conceal/open carry laws compared to “gun freindly” states like Texas. Unfortunately it’s about all I really like about this state any more. That and a few good gun manufactures.

  20. avatarBob says:

    You can rack the slide on a semi-auto pistol in 1/3 second. Pull the trigger on a revolver, and it will rotate the cylinder to a loaded chamber in less than 1/4 second. I take that to mean that Utah allows you to carry (without a permit) a gun that is 1/4 to 1/3 of a second away from ready to fire. Not perfect, but not bad.

  21. avatarRalph says:

    Yeah, I remember when South Dakota passed Constitutional Carry — its Republican governor vetoed it. Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched.

    • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Well, at least Nov 2014 is only 20 months away, time to toss that moron..

    • avatarBen in UT says:

      Gov. Herbert has been working with the state legislature on this one. It was originally a loaded constitutional carry bill, but was amended to a “Utah unloaded” bill at his request.

      As soon as it hits his desk, it’s signed. I’ll bet you a dollar, Ralph.

  22. avatarUS says:

    Even if it’s diluted so as to allow only permitless carry of an unloaded firearm (which, by their definition, would include condition 3 carry), it is still a step in the right direction. As long as you can still go through the existing permit process if you want to carry in condition 1 or 2, there is no loss of freedom created by this law.

  23. avatarGmerrill says:

    The local news is reporting resistance from the Governor and others. Someone suggested and the Governor agrees that Constitutional carry should only apply in rural areas. I think the future of Utah Constitional carry is still up in the air.

  24. avatarAPBTFan says:

    Constitutional Carry is the way to go.

    If I’m good to buy a gun then it’s nobody’s business how or why I carry it. A recent bonus is that I’m immune to any chucklehead journalist that wants to print a list of CCW holders.

  25. avatarJ says:

    How will this affect those of us non Utah residents with Utah CCWs?

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