FLAGGED BILL: HB 268 – Disorderly Conduct Amendments, Rep. Paul Ray

Rep. Paul Ray (R)
Rep. Paul Ray (R)

Sadly, we live in a world where the threat of gun violence is all too real. From mass shootings to a drunken brawl, these deadly weapons have become engraved into our culture. Because of this cultural attitude towards guns, there becomes a sort of feedback loop wherein people first feel threatened by guns, go out and purchase their own to protect themselves from said guns, only to scare another individual to do the same.

This article, however, is not about having more or less guns on the street, this about is trying to reduce the real (or perceived) threat that guns present in our state. More specifically, this is about how Representative Paul Ray (R – Clearfiled, District 13) is not helping the situation.

Representative Ray is introducing HB 268 – Disorderly Conduct Amendments – this session, much to the chagrin of those who are fearful of weapons in general and guns in particular. HB 258 would allow people to openly walk around in public with a gun (or other dangerous weapon) in clear view without violation of the law.

First, we should ask ourselves why Ray wishes to propose such a law in this climate. Presumably he is coming from the mindset that states “people won’t go on mass shooting sprees if they know someone has a gun and could stop it. Unfortunately, we feel he is not considering the fact that the mere presence of a gun causes unease among the general public – demonstrated by the fact that the bill outright says, “The otherwise lawful possession of a dangerous weapon…does not constitute a hazardous or physically offensive condition, threatening behavior, or cause for public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm…”

Ray seems to be under the impression that we still live in a wild west-type environment, where the only way to protect ourselves is to be packing heat. Ray, it appears wishes to deal with the problem of gun violence by putting more people on edge – calling these people on edge “sissies,” and overall not deal with the problem. This mindset is irresponsible and, frankly, uncivilized. The proposal is highly unlikely to prevent mass shootings, nor do anything to prevent an enraged bar fight from getting out of hand – what it does do is give the impression that we fear our neighbor.

Think, too, about the impact this law would have to those visiting our state. Do we really want people reporting back that Utah is so crazy and violent that people feel the need to openly walk around with a gun or knife strapped to their bodies?

We as a society should be better than this, we should fear those who openly walk around with dangerous weapons because, if this bill were to pass, it would speak to how we have accepted violence as the norm and that the only solution to the problem is more intimidation. Let us instead listen to the sound advice and recommendations law enforcement agencies have nearly unanimously recommended, and continue to focus our efforts on keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, giving the individuals who are a threat to society the treatment they need.

To contact Rep. Ray, Click Here or call 801-725-2719

Impact on Average Utahn:

High Impact   5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0   No Impact


Necessary   5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0  Unnecessary

Overall Ranking:

Great Bill  5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 . -1 . -2 . -3 . -4 . -5  Poor Bill

6 Replies to “FLAGGED BILL: HB 268 – Disorderly Conduct Amendments, Rep. Paul Ray

  1. Actually, with few restrictions, in Utah someone can currently “openly walk around in public with a gun (or other dangerous weapon) in clear view without violation of the law.

    This bill won’t change that. It just provides that displaying a dangerous weapon in public under certain circumstances may be disorderly conduct, and provides direction to the police officer since that area of the law is vague according to some.

    Utah Constitution, Article I, Section 6. [Right to bear arms.]
    The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.

    A good bill. This would help decrease someone carrying their 223 rifle through the mall with combat gear, saying their right to freak everyone out, was protected.

  2. Just as both Mr. Haring and the author of the first reply to this article have the right to be both ignorant and stupid, they also have the right to bear arms. In Utah, it is perfectly legal and lawful to open carry a firearm. This simply means that you do not need to conceal the firearm. Morons like Mr. Haring and Mr. Ray seem to have no problem if the guns are hidden from view, but get their panties in a wad when it is visible. Oh, unless the person open carrying is a police officer. Somehow, the weapon is magically dangerous if the owner is not an officer.

    There are drastic differences between the man who carried his rifle in JCPenney last week and the man who carried his rifle into the movie theater or the man who carried a rifle into the elementary school. If a weapon is only a threat when it is brandished. A rife on a sling over a shoulder is just like a handgun in a holster. Until that person places his hands on the weapon and aims it, a reasonable person would not perceive any danger.

    I openly oppose this bill. This is a lame attempt to gain support for a bill that will do EXACTLY OPPOSITE of what it is advertised to do. This bill will only serve to protect police officers who wish to harass citizens for exercising their God-given rights.

    Please review the website http://www.opencarry.org for additional information that reasonable and intelligent people already know.

    Mr. Ray would probably like me to be arrested for “Disorderly Conduct” just for opposing his back-stabbing bill. Mr. Ray will attack the 2nd amendment now and the 1st amendment later. I stand “armed to the teeth” to defend them both and many more.

    The only gun legislation that Utah should be discussing is a bill that closely mimics what other intelligent states are doing. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/state-lawmakers-president-obamas-gun-control-proposal/story?id=18233268

    1. Well, the Senate didn’t vote on the bill, which greatly increases the likelihood that HB 76 will be vetoed and that there will not be enough votes to override the veto. Are you happy now?

      1. Oh come on Fred. I would be absolutely shocked if the Governor actually vetoed HB76. Governor Herbert is completely unpopular in the legislature, and many (including, or perhaps I should say “especially,” the Speaker) would relish the opportunity to publicly override his authority.

        That being said, it was nice to see a more tempered and rational Senate this year. I think they realized that most of the gun legislation was designed for cheap talking points, and only would have accomplished more and more lawsuits we’d lose as a state.

  3. This is another attempt to take something legal and make it illegal. If we have the right to open carry, than calling it disorderly conduct takes it away. Just another way to crimialize a freedom. This bill should be voted down.

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