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Bill would allow domestic violence victims to carry concealed

In this April 29, 2016, photo, Anna Taylor, founder and CEO of Dene Adams LLC, displays a corset that allows for the concealed carrying of a firearm in Atlanta, GA. (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new bill before the Utah legislature would give domestic violence victims the right to carry concealed in Utah, so long as they have a protective order, before receiving the training other concealed carry permit holders are required to have.

HB 243 says if someone has filed a protective order, they wouldn’t have to wait to get their permit to carry a weapon concealed but can do so right away. Many people testified both for and against the measure.

“I don’t think adding a gun is necessarily a good idea, but especially adding a gun without proper training,” said Dennis Hansen, director and CEO of the Center for Women and Children in Crisis, who opposed the bill.

The Utah Gun Violence Prevention Center’s Ed Routan also spoke in opposition to the bill.

“Domestic violence is a situation where emotions run high,” Routan said. “Knowledge of the law is absolutely critical.”

Domestic violence survivor Villina Greenwell spoke in favor of the bill.

“It’s imperative we allow women to have a great equalizer when women need it,” she said.

“If a woman wants to use a firearm to prevent her being killed by her spouse, who she has a protective order for, why are we stopping her?” asked Jeremy Roberts, who spoke in favor of the bill.

Others said the training and permit process ought to be expedited instead.

The bill passed out of its House committee on a 6 – 4 vote after extended debate.

The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online: udvc.org.

Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting: