While the Utah Legislature decides whether or not to hold an override session and challenge Governor Herbert’s veto of HB76, the Utah Chiefs Of Police Association has sent a letter to legislators asking that they NOT override.
The controversial HB76 would eliminate the requirement for a person to obtain a concealed weapons permit, regardless of whether or not they went through a background check to get the gun in the first place.
As President of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association I am writing to you today to let you know that we stand with Governor Herbert in his veto of H.B 76 Concealed Weapon Carry Amendment and urge you to not support a veto override of this Bill. As you may be aware, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, and the Law Enforcement Legislative Committee were also in opposition to HB 76.
HB 76 represents a dramatic change in Utah’s concealed carry permitting process that has been fair for the public, public safety, and concealed carry permit holders. The reasons for our opposition to the proposal include the following:
• In order to qualify for a concealed firearm permit under § 53-5-704 a person must be screened to see that the person has not been convicted of: o A misdemeanor crime of violence other than domestic violence; o An offense involving the use of alcohol; or o A misdemeanor offense involving moral turpitude. • Additionally a person may be disqualified from a permit for behavior demonstrating a danger to himself or others by a past pattern of behavior involving unlawful violence, threats of unlawful violence, or misdemeanor violations of state weapons laws. • HB 76, however, would allow any person over age 21 to carry a concealed firearm regardless of any history of those convictions or behaviors.
Current law allows a person with a concealed firearm permit to carry a loaded firearm concealed or openly. A person who does not possess a concealed firearm permit may openly carry an unloaded firearm, a firearm requiring two actions to be taken before a round it fired.
If the veto of HB 76 is overridden, any person who is 21 years of age or older who may lawfully possess a dangerous weapon may carry a loaded firearm openly or concealed. We are worried that the potential enactment of HB 76 abridges the ability of public safety officers from responding to the concerns of our residents and businesses and strongly encourage you to not support an override of the Governor’s veto.
Utah Chiefs of Police Association
Letter courtesy of Senator Todd Weiler (R)