Utah Legislator proposes allowing concealed firearms without a license

Blind_Io

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah lawmaker wants to do away with the requirement to have a permit to legally carry a concealed weapon. While the legislation to change the law is yet to be written, it's already the center of a controversy.

Last year, a record 71,000 Utahns applied for a concealed weapons permit; more than 250,000 have been issued by the state. But if Orem Rep. Stephen Sandstrom's legislation were to pass, Utahns would no longer need one, nor would they need the additional criminal background class or training course that are currently required.

Sandstrom describes himself as a "Second Amendment purist." He's held a concealed weapons permit since 1994 and estimates he carries a gun about 70 percent of the time.
Utah's current requirements to obtain a permit, he says, should go away.
"You don't take a course and pay a fee to exercise your freedom of religion," Sandstrom says. "This is a guaranteed right."

The lawmaker is preparing to write a bill that would allow Utahns to carry concealed without taking any extra steps. If it passed, Utah would join Arizona, Vermont and Alaska as the only states in the nation where you can pack without a permit

"I think that responsible, law-abiding people are going to take that responsibility on and they're going to use it properly," Sandstrom says.

Steven Gunn, who sits on the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah's board, believes Sandstrom's bill is the opposite of what should happen during the 2011 legislative session.

"I don't think it's a healthy thing for our state to have large numbers of people carrying concealed weapons," Gunn says. "I think ultimately that leads to accidents and even confrontations with firearms that are not necessary."

Utah's current requirements are already viewed as some of the most lax in the nation. In fact, just under half of the permits given in Utah belong to out-of-state residents.
Some states, like New Mexico and Nevada, have stopped honoring Utah permits because applicants are not required to fire at a range as part of the training course.

If Sandstrom's bill was to pass, it still would be possible to get a concealed carry permit in the state if you needed one to travel out of state.
I'm a CFP holder and a gun owner and even I think this is a bad idea. In fact, I think Utah should add a shooting requirement, if for no other reason, so that more states will honor our CFP cards.
 

TC

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Arizona has a similar law. I don't really mind.
 

Dogbert

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"You don't take a course and pay a fee to exercise your freedom of religion," Sandstrom says. "This is a guaranteed right."
But being untrained at your religion just makes you an idiot. Being untrained with your firearm makes you dangerous.

I don't see a problem with a large number of people carrying concealed firearms, so long as they're also responsible gun owners. The people who should be most nervous about this are the responsible conceal-carryers in Utah, because if this passes and violence/accidents related to conceal-carry goes up, they're going to be guilty by association.
 
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Spectre

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But being untrained at your religion just makes you an idiot. Being untrained with your firearm makes you dangerous.

I don't see a problem with a large number of people carrying concealed firearms, so long as they're also responsible gun owners. The people who should be most nervous about this are the responsible conceal-carryers in Utah, because if this passes and violence/accidents related to conceal-carry goes up, they're going to be guilty by association.
Problem with your idea is that there is statistically no relationship between legal carry and an increase in violence/accidents in an area. If there were, Vermont (which has never required a permit to carry concealed) would be the crime capital of the US.

That one gets filed with the other idiot theory that "poverty inevitably increases crime," something that was thoroughly debunked this year. And the "Oh, God, if we let people carry, it'll be like Dodge City! Blood in the streets! Mass murders!" theory has also been thoroughly shot down. (Psst - you should be happy to see it become Dodge City, because per capita and at the peak of lawlessness, Dodge City had less crime and less murders than modern day Chicago. Think about that.)

Edit: In addition - if you want to change it so that education is required before exercising a right (it's not for any of the others, some of which are potentially more dangerous than the right to keep and bear arms), feel perfectly free to try to pass an amendment to the Constitution. Until then, it's still Constitutional, and the courts are more and more coming around to the view that most restrictions on RKBA are unconstitutional.
 
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jetsetter

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I hope the new legislation is passed. As I have made it known in the past I am in favor of doing away with most firearm regulation and laws. The government should not have any say in what firearm purchase I make and they should not have any records on my firearm purchases or the number of firearms I have.
 

Firecat

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Okay. Carry a weapon without the necessary training or knowledge. However, if in the process of using your weapon for self-defense you injure someone (accidentally) because you didn't know how to handle your firearm....then you should be prosecuted criminally.
 

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Okay. Carry a weapon without the necessary training or knowledge. However, if in the process of using your weapon for self-defense you injure someone (accidentally) because you didn't know how to handle your firearm....then you should be prosecuted criminally.
This is already the case and the law NOW. No new laws need to be passed for that to be a prosecutable offense - in all fifty states.

It should also be noted that criminals are already carrying concealed without training or license. All current law does is set law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage in any confrontation with criminals.
 
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Problem with your idea is that there is statistically no relationship between legal carry and an increase in violence/accidents in an area. If there were, Vermont (which has never required a permit to carry concealed) would be the crime capital of the US.
Ah, but this would be the exception to that, as Utah now has an established baseline for a before and after comparison.

If this law is passed, and gun-related violence/accidents go up without a statistical explanation, it's going to be hard to argue that the law wasn't the cause. Likewise, if Vermont suddenly required a permit, and gun-related violence/accidents went down without a statistical explanation, advocating for going back to permitless conceal/carry would likely prove challenging.

I'm not saying accidents/violence will go one way or another. I'm just saying it hardly seems worth it to find out. It's not like it's very difficult to get a Utah permit as it is now, anyway.

It should also be noted that criminals are already carrying concealed without training or license. All current law does is set law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage in any confrontation with criminals.
How exactly are law-abiding citizens put at a disadvantage? By teaching them the proper way of handling their gun in said confrontation? By making them fill out some paperwork? Yeah, these sound absolutely horrific.
 
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Spectre

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I strongly doubt the numbers will do anything but either stay stable or drop.
 

Blind_Io

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In Utah you can open carry without a permit, but the weapon cannot have a round in the chamber or fire simply by pulling the trigger.

The reason I want stricter controls on CFP cards is because I want more states to honor my CFP.
 

Dogbert

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I strongly doubt the numbers will do anything but either stay stable or drop.
Yeah, but it's not about what you "strongly doubt". It's about whether it's worth the risk to find out.

If your "strong doubt" turns out to be wrong, and violence/accidents do go up, it will likely kill the chance for not only Utah to stay permit-less, but any other state to go permit-less as well. You can say "look at Vermont", but the opposing argument would now be "look at Utah".
 

Spectre

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Yeah, but it's not about what you "strongly doubt". It's about whether it's worth the risk to find out.

If your "strong doubt" turns out to be wrong, and violence/accidents do go up, it will likely kill the chance for not only Utah to stay permit-less, but any other state to go permit-less as well. You can say "look at Vermont", but the opposing argument would now be "look at Utah".
Arizona's recently removed the permit requirement and their numbers haven't changed significantly.
 

Firecat

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This is already the case and the law NOW. No new laws need to be passed for that to be a prosecutable offense - in all fifty states.

It should also be noted that criminals are already carrying concealed without training or license. All current law does is set law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage in any confrontation with criminals.
That's good to know. So what would someone who shoots (and kills) an innocent bystander be charged with? How often are people convicted and what sentences do they receive? (asking out of curiosity purely)
 

Spectre

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http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-phoenix/arizona-constitutional-carry-will-become-law-at-the-end-of-september

The day to day numbers in AZ cities are not up, as the local media has not reported any increase. Yes, it's only been a week, but people of your position were claiming that there would be dozens of people accidentally shot in that same time period.
That's good to know. So what would someone who shoots (and kills) an innocent bystander be charged with? How often are people convicted and what sentences do they receive? (asking out of curiosity purely)
They are charged with criminally negligent homicide or manslaughter (depending on jurisdiction and reason the bystander was shot), a serious felony. Sentences also vary by jurisdiction, but are at the jury's discretion. The sentence can be as little as one year and as much as life. Tends towards the 'heavier' end in Texas, of course, for accidental shootings. This is also the same thing that you get charged with if you know your brakes are faulty, refuse to repair them and then accidentally run over a kid because your brake system failed, by the way.

I can't give you a conviction rate for this sort of thing, because it doesn't happen that much in Texas. The few cases I've heard of recently were all successful convictions.

Now, if the innocent bystander does something dumb like stand up in the middle of a firefight, well, you're not responsible for that. If, however, you shoot, miss and hit someone else, yeah, you're responsible.
 
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Dogbert

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Yes, it's only been a week, but people of your position were claiming that there would be dozens of people accidentally shot in that same time period.
I just said seven posts ago that I have no opinion on whether violence/accidents will increase or decrease. Please don't lump me in with people I've gone out of my way to disassociate myself with.

And anyone with even basic reasoning skills would dispute that anything "significant" could happen in just one week, so please don't insult everyone's intelligence here by trying to pass this off as refuting what I said, just because you want to disagree with me.
 

Spectre

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I type corrected then, I had thought you were proposing that this would actually happen.

I am, however, justified in using the lack of evidence of anything happening in one week in refuting the theory that loosening firearms controls would 'instantly' cause 'Dodge City' in the streets. Obviously, that is clearly nuts, but those who oppose such legislative changes promote their position with those claims. And if there's any shootings immediately after such a law is passed, they (among others, the Brady Campaign and VPC) jump on it and trumpet it as proof that they were right. If 'they' get to use the numbers generated in the week following the implementation of a law as 'evidence,' so do I.
 
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ViperVX

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So, what really was the problem with registering a firearm and getting a license? Setting aside marksmanship abilities, at least to make sure the person is mentally stable enough to handle a firearm.
 

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I am, however, justified in using the lack of evidence of anything happening in one week in refuting the theory that loosening firearms controls would 'instantly' cause 'Dodge City' in the streets. Obviously, that is clearly nuts, but they're promoting it like that anyway. And if there's any shootings immediately after such a law is passed, they (among others, the Brady Campaign and VPC) jump on it and trumpet it as proof that they were right. If 'they' get to use it as 'evidence,' so do I.
Who is 'they'? Where are you seeing promotion like what you're describing?
 

Spectre

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So, what really was the problem with registering a firearm and getting a license? Setting aside marksmanship abilities, at least to make sure the person is mentally stable enough to handle a firearm.
If you purchase a firearm from a dealer, you're supposed to get a background check anyway. Problem is that the system doesn't work for shit.

Oh, and private sellers aren't allowed to access it. Isn't that cute?
 
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