Constitutional carry bill passes as anti-discrimination bill dies

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.

Constitutional Carry

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.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com
Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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10 Comments

  • Hatalii March 14, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Well, I’ve seen some really stupid legislation come out of Salt Lake. But HB 76, is not just stupid, it is absolutely criminally irresponsible! Anybody in their right mind is not going to carry a firearm that is UNLOADED.

    This is just another case of these so called “lawmakers” being more interested in their own well being, than in the safety of the people of Utah!

  • Pheen March 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Hatalii…you need to think before you speak, before I got my CC I followed the Utah open carry law, I wore my Springfield .40 most places I went, there were 10 rounds in the mag, but none in the chamber. This bill allows the exact same thing but allows people to conceale it so as to not cause any issues with those who are off the wall anti-gun.

    • Hatalii March 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Well, I will tell you just what I am thinking. Anybody who carries a weapon that they have to jack a round into before it can be fired, has little, to no concept of the real world of self defense. And has certainly never had the unhappy experience of being in a firefight.
      It isn’t a game out there. You don’t get up, dust yourself off and go home after you have been shot. It is very painful, and is not at all conducive to a long life span.
      So you just go ahead and carry your “unloaded” (which in itself is a misnomer, in this case,) firearm. And if you are ever in a situation where you have to draw and fire quickly in self defense, or the defense of someone else, you will understand where I am coming from.
      Good luck to you.

  • Lacey March 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    My understanding of the Constitutional Carry law is that it allows you to carry “concealed” beneath one (1) layer of clothing. This is not the same as carrying concealed. it prerty much just means you can put a jacket over your regularly open-carried gun and not break the law.

    • Hatalii March 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      I’m sorry Lacey, but I don’t understand your point here. Concealed means just that. Concealed, out of sight, hidden from view.
      I’d seriously like to know what your thinking is here.

  • H March 15, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Hatalii, You sound like you have some real life experience. I would much rather carry a gun one action away from firing than none at all. I have a CC permit & don’t keep a round chambered. I hope I’m never in a situation to use my gun, but I’d really hate to be in that same situation without it…that’s when your odds become non-existent. Anyone with any experience with a handgun can rack a round as they draw & acquire target.

    • Hatalii March 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Unfortunately, yes to the life experiences. Something I’d like you to think about as far as carrying without one in the chamber. Consider what you would do if one of your hands or arms was injured to the point where you only had one hand available, and needed your weapon for protection.

  • Tim March 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    The constitutional carry bill is a great thing. I have a conceal permit and I exercise my constitutional rights to carry, but I’ve felt it weird that I need permission from my state to do so.

    • Hatalii March 17, 2013 at 10:53 am

      As I have stated elsewhere, I am all for gun rights. But to me, what is scary, is that it is now legal for someone with absolutely no training to carry concealed. There are yo-yos out there that believe everything they see on TV and the movies. You get someone who has never even fired a gun, and now is going around carrying one thinking all they need to do is to point it in the general direction and pull the trigger. They have no conception of background, foreground, legalities or anything else.
      I am all for legal, licensed carry, but to get the license, a person should have to undergo basic firearms training, and continue to fire a qualification course at least once a year. I know this will go against the grain with most folks, but I ask you to look at the number of officer involved shootings, where the officer, who IS supposedly trained, and maintains a several times a year qualification, winds up shooting wildly. When the adrenalin is pumping, things change.

      • Alvin March 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm

        I am more afraid of people out there who text and drive then of people with a concealed weapon. There are way more “yo-yo’s” driving cars while distracted ( and some not, they’re just yo-yo’s) then there is scary people carrying guns. My chances of dying by the hands of a driver with questionable intelligence is far greater than getting shot.

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