Tuesday, February 16, 2016

UT: House Passes HB67, to Remove Buses as Gun Free Zone

HB67 passed the Utah house on February 9, 2016. This commonsense legislation removes the prohibition of carrying a weapon on a bus when there is no criminal intent.

The prohibition of the possession of weapons on public transportation has always been highly problematic.  Many people depend on public transportation, and buses are used much more commonly by people of limited means.  The prohibition of the transportation of firearms of any kind on buses is an attack on the exercise of Second Amendment rights by the poor. The statute already had an exception for people with a concealed carry license.  This bill simply removes the special prohibition for carrying on Buses.  Concealed carry without a permit is still a misdemeanor.  This is the section that the bill will strike from the statute:

37          [(4) (a) A person who boards a bus with a concealed dangerous weapon or firearm
38     upon his person or effects is guilty of a third degree felony.]
39          [(b) The prohibition of Subsection (4)(a) does not apply to:]
40          [(i) individuals listed in Subsections 76-10-523(1)(a), (b), (c), (d), and (e);]
41          [(ii) a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon; or]
42          [(iii) persons in possession of weapons or firearms with the consent of the owner of the
43     bus or the owner's agent, or the lessee or bailee of the bus.]

The bill appears to be uncontroversial.  It passed the House 59 to 12. There are 12 Democrats in the Utah House, but only 6 voted against the bill.  Six Republicans also voted against the Bill.  They were J. Draxler, district 3; E. Redd, district 4; R. Edwards, district 20; D. Sagers, district 21; K. Powell, district 54; and M. Nelson, district 68.

The bill appears to have a good shot of being enacted.  Constitutional carry is sidelined, and this will give legislative members something to show that they have made incremental progress on restoring Second Amendment rights.

Utah is a generally Second Amendment friendly state, but Governor Herbert has been actively hostile to Constitutional carry.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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