ST. GEORGE – Utah’s 2013 general legislative session has been filled with bills both praised and decried by legislators and the public. Some bills have survived through committees and legislative votes, while others have died along the way. Among these bills are the “Constitution Carry” gun bill and the state-wide anti-discrimination bill.
House Bill 76, the so-called “Constitutional Carry” bill, would allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a state-issued permit. Under the terms of the proposed law, the firearm must remain unloaded, which in Utah means no bullet would be in the chamber ready to fire.
HB 76 passed the state Senate with a 22-7 vote Wednesday, and now it goes to Gov. Gary Herbert’s desk for signature. The bill may cause a bit of a staring contest between the legislature and the governor, though, as he has previously expressed that he feels the state’s current gun laws are sufficient.
Some groups have already asked the governor to veto the bill. However, even if this occurs the legislature may yet be able to override the veto with a majority vote.
Statewide anti-discrimination bill
Modeled after the Salt Lake City anti-discrimination ordinance that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from discrimination in housing and employment, Senate Bill 262 would have done the same on the state level. Sponsored by Sen. Steve Urquhart, of St. George, the bill made history last week when it passed out of committee in a 4-3 vote.
LGBT advocacy group Equality Utah praised Urquhart for his sponsoring SB 262, as well as its passage out of committee. However, the bill did not have the same luck on Monday.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said Monday that the bill wouldn’t have enough votes to pass the state Senate. Because of this, it wasn’t brought to the floor.
Urquhart told Fox 13 that, while the bill didn’t make it this year, he would push again next year.
Equality Utah is planning a protest at the Utah State Capitol Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in support of the passed-over legislation.
- Conceal Carry: It’s no small decision
- Anti-Discrimination: Discrimination shouldn’t be a crime
- Dixie’s LGBT community celebrates Equality Utah with purpose
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