Monday, January 25, 2021

Constitutional Carry Coming to Utah? The Outlook is Positive


Image from Utah Legislature, Rep Walt Brooks

The outlook for Utah passing a form of Constitutional Carry in 2021 is positive. Representative Walt Brooks has sponsored HB60 as the vehicle for the long sought reform. 


Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, is sponsoring HB60 in the Utah Legislature’s upcoming 2021 general session, set to begin Jan. 19. The bill’s language mirrors legislation he filed in the final days of the 2020 session, which would remove the state’s requirement for law-abiding Utahns over the age of 21 to have a permit to lawfully carry a concealed firearm.

“Every single person has the right to protect themselves,” Brooks said, arguing that right should extend to people uncomfortable with openly carrying firearms. “It’s allowing a law-abiding citizen to be allowed (to put their gun) under their jacket or a wife to put it in her purse.”

Representative Brooks says he has the support of the new Utah Governor, Spencer Cox. From

“(Gov. Spencer Cox) has told me several times that he’s in favor of the bill,” Brooks said.

As reported by the Deseret News last week, Cox’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Napier-Pearce, told the paper that, “Both Gov.-elect Cox and Lt. Gov.-elect (Deidre) Henderson have said they would support a constitutional carry bill and look forward to working with the sponsors on the details.”

The Utah legislature passed a weak version of Constitutional Carry in 2013. 

HB76 passed with veto proof majorities in 2013. It passed 51 to 18 in the House and 22 - 7 in the Senate. It was vetoed by Governor Gary R. Herbert  on 22 March, 2013.  From

In 2013 Governor Herbert claimed that obtaining a permit, attending classes,and paying fees “…does not inhibit our ability to bear arms.”  when he vetoed constitutional carry in 2013.

HB76 was pretty weak sauce. It allowed people over 21 to carry handguns concealed, as long as they were unloaded

(3) The provisions of Subsection 76-10-504(1) does not apply to a person 21 years of  age or older who may lawfully possess a firearm, as long as the firearm is not loaded.

It was primarily one man, Governor Gary R. Herbert, who prevented Utah from passing even this weak version of Constitutional Carry for the last seven years. 

HB60 is a much better, stronger version of  Constitutional Carry. It is a very simple bill. Other states have followed this model, which negates the previous law which made carrying a concealed weapon illegal. From Bill HB60

This bill modifies provisions related to carrying a concealed firearm.

Highlighted Provisions: This bill: provides that an individual who is 21 years old or older, and may lawfully possess a firearm, may carry a concealed firearm in a public area without a permit.

HB60 accomplishes this in a simple manner. It adds a section to the end of Statute 76-10-504 which says:

(5) Subsection 76-10-504(1) does not apply to a person 21 years old or older who may otherwise lawfully possess a firearm.

The provision covers both loaded and unloaded firearms.

It is likely HB60 will pass the legislature with large margins. It is likely Governor Spencer Cox will sign it.

This correspondent has seen many bills die in committee, or through other legislative machinations, no matter how popular they are.

HB60 has an excellent chance of passage. Most bills never become law, for many reasons. 

If the Utah legislature wants Constitutional carry, they need to pass it rapidly and deliver it to Governor Cox expiditiously.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Anonymous said...

It seems to me not too many have ever read the united states constitution. The united states constitution clearly states every one 18 to 45 years of age is in the Militia, Civilian militia. Any time the civilian militia is called up the individual is required to bring their own weapon to the muster. If or when a person is drafted into the regular Armed forces 18 years of age is the minimum age to be permitted to legally join the armed services. Personally I was drafted at age 19. I was the only one to qualify Expert in my basic training unit with the M-14.I was on Christmas leave after Basic training and won a pistol competition with a pistol I bought when I was 17. One of the competitors in that competition stepped up and said I have never seen any one shoot that fast or that accurate and offered me a job on the spot. I told him I was sorry but could not accept the offer until after I get discharged. He said well you come see me when you get back from Vietnam and out of the service, you come see me I have a shiny Gold badge and a brand new cruiser waiting for you, I'm the director of the northern Arizona highway Patrol Any one that shoots that fast and that accurate I want on my side of the badge, I fired my three shots at 25 meters before he had fried his first shot. Three shots, two holes less than 3/8 of an inch apart. The range judge said no one is that good and refused o give me the prize money. ten years later I opened my own sporting goods store and put the sponsor of that pistol shoot out of business. All three of his locations went bankrupt. It took years for my right elbow and three surgeries to work well after the injury in Vietnam. I'm not the pistol shot I used to be but still pretty goo. If you can be drafted and sent into combat at 18 why cant you carry for self defense at 18? Two rounds went nearly in the same hole.

Anonymous said...

Dean I need a contact telephone number for you

ScienceABC123 said...

It's a shame that we have to pass a law in order to exercise a Constitutional right.

Dean Weingarten said...

Send an email to:

Then we can start contact.

Kurt said...

Anonymous, I think you need to read the Constitution again - the ages are not specified in that document.

The Militia Act of 1792 (I'm fairly sure) is the first enactment of the ages of males who are liable to be called up - it specified ages between 18 and 45.

It's been redefined over time, with, AFAIK, the Militia Act of 1903 now controlling.


Anonymous said...

It is difficult to get total control if you have to share the responsibility with people that disagree. solution get rid of every one that disagrees. Too many prying eye can get you caught violating the constitution. the democrap have spent decades destroying the constitution why stop now?