Utah State Representative Lee Perry has announced that he is drafting legislation that would hopefully bring constitutional carry to the state of Utah. Meaning that it would make anyone legally able to possess a gun, able to carry one without a license.
“The bad guys are already carrying guns,” Perry said. “You should be allowed to carry open or concealed if you’re a law-abiding citizen.”
This is not the concept’s first brush with Utah lawmakers, though. In 2013 Republican Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a popular Utah House measure citing that, “Utah’s permitting system has been in place for decades, and in its current form for more than 15 years. In that time, it has become a national model.”
Last year another attempt at a constitutional carry bill passed the state Senate in a 21 to 6 vote but went on to die in the House without making it to the floor.
News of Perry’s plans did not sit well with gun control advocates, with a national group, the Brady Campaign, posting about it on social media. Meanwhile, local activists told reporters that they were “shocked” a law enforcement officer would want to eliminate the requirement that those carrying concealed handguns first get a permit.
Governor Herbert, in office since 2009, is running for reelection against Democratic challenger Mike Weinholtz and has promised to veto constitutional carry if it reaches his desk again.
This fact, however, did not stop the National Rifle Association from endorsing the incumbent governor this week.
“We are proud to endorse Governor Gary Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes for re-election in Utah,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF, in a statement. “The NRA is confident that these two pro-Second Amendment advocates will continue their pro-freedom leadership in Salt Lake City.”