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Utah Senate supports bill to drop concealed carry gun permits

FILE -- Ross McGarvey, left, and David McWilliams practice their target shooting at the gun range at "Get Some" Guns and Ammo on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. McGarvey said that he expects within the next 6 months to obtain his concealed carry permit. Matt Gade, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah Senate is favoring a bill that would drop concealed carry gun permits.

Talking about gun permits

The bill is being co-sponsored by Senator David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, who points out that the concealed carry permit does not include extensive gun safety training.

With that in mind, he argues that dropping the permit would actually impact gun safety very little.

“For people that say this somehow qualifies me to carry around my firearm without any sort of training is ludicrous,” he explains. “I can get this without having one minute of training with a firearm. That’s the law today. So going from this to the constitutional carry provision is not going to increase or decrease safety one iota. This is going to, I think, restore quite literally what the Founding Fathers had originally intended.”

He goes on to say that the main change would be in regards to how someone purchases a firearm and then can carry it on their body.

“Say you buy a rifle and you walk out of the store [with it] in a box… well it’s technically illegal to do that,” says Senator Hinkins. “This [bill] allows them to cover it with a jacket or to be able to put it in a purse.”

Voting along party lines

As expected, the bill prompted a heated debate in the Senate, with some Democrats taking a hard stance against the measure.

“I just don’t think this is good public policy,” explains Senator Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City. “This isn’t the Old West of the 1820s anymore. We’re in 2021… and I think the one thing is that we’ve seen with the proliferation of weaponry in this country, the anger of individuals has risen.”

Eventually, the Senate supported the bill in an initial vote of 23 to 6, which went along party lines and indicated it will likely pass in a final vote.