From passage of Shall Issue Concealed Carry in 1995 to today we have been hitting our mark -- getting pro-gun legislation passed and anti-gun legislation defeated.
1995 was a watershed year for gun rights in Utah. After years of hard work, "shall issue" concealed carry permits became a reality. Prior to this, one could get a concealed carry permit if they could show a need and satisfy the whim of a government official. In the following years, we have defeated all major gun bills and advanced countless pro-gun bills.
Passed: H.B. 67 - Permits carrying of firearms on buses
This bill eliminates the blanket prohibition of carrying a firearm on a bus as long as the owner can legally carry the gun and has no criminal intent. Prior to this bill becoming law, it was illegal to carry a gun on a bus even if it was unloaded and encased. This meant that those who relied on public transportation could not use a bus to get to the shooting range or to bring a newly-purchased firearm back to their home. This bill put an end to these abuses.
Passed: H.B. 298 - Prohibits frivolous lawsuits against gun and ammunition manufacturers and FFLs
This bill mirrors federal legislation and prohibits frivolous lawsuits against gun and ammunition manufacturers and federal firearms licenses (FFL) when no negligence or criminal wrongdoing exists. This bill does not provide blanket immunity for manufacturers and FFLs. If a gun or ammunition is defective and blows up, the manufacturer can still be held liable for damages. This bill also protects non-profit trade associations.
What this bill does do is prevents manufacturers and FFLs from being held liable simply because someone uses a gun or ammunition manufactured or purchased from them to commit a crime.
This legislation prevents anti-gun billionaires such as Michael Bloomberg from using their deep pockets to bankrupt the gun industry with their deep pockets. They do not need to win these lawsuits to drive manufacturers and FFLs out of business; they can simply bankrupt them through costly litigation.
Passed: S.B. 43 - Brings gun safety education to schools
Creates a pilot program to provide instruction to certain public school students on firearms safety. This includes elements which are similar to the NRA’s Eddie the Eagle Program which the USSC has always supported. Parents who want their kids to take this instruction will have to opt in.
PASSED: H.B. 212 - Permits the shooting of tracers with approval from the State Forester
Prior to this bill becoming law, it was illegal to shoot tracer ammo in the state of Utah, except within the confines of an established military reservation. This bill will make it possible to shoot tracers with written permission of the director of the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands if the director specifies a limited period of time and a limited area in which the ammunition may be used.
This will allow Utah to host events like the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot which features a night tracer demonstration. It will also allow the shooting of tracer ammunition at times and under conditions that are safe. This bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.
PASSED: H.B. 298 - Allows one to exit bankruptcy with some guns and ammunition
Prior to this bill becoming law, Utah exempted firearms up to $250.00 per person and not more than $500.00 per household in bankruptcy proceedings. This bill allows someone who is filing for bankruptcy to still exercise their Second Amendment rights by not losing all their firearms in bankruptcy.
This bill changes the exemption to allow any three of the following:
1 - one shotgun and ammunition for the shotgun not exceeding 1,000 rounds
2 - one handgun and ammunition for the handgun not exceeding 1,000 rounds
3 - one shoulder arm and ammunition for the shoulder arm not exceeding 1,000 rounds
This bill allows one to exit bankruptcy with at least a minimal amount of weaponry and ammunition to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
PASSED: H.B. 300 - Possession of a deadly weapon is no longer a crime as long as there is no intent to use it to commit a criminal offense
This bill does away with the definition of a concealed dangerous weapon. Prior to this bill becoming law, one could be charged with illegal possession of a concealed dangerous weapon for something as innocuous as having a hunting knife in a glove box or returning from a gun show with an antique bayonet sitting on the car seat covered by a jacket. Now that this bill has become law, one can only be charged with a crime if they are in possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to use it to commit a criminal offense.
PASSED: S.B. 115 - Helps prevent the wrongful suspension of a concealed carry permit
This bill modifies the Utah Criminal Code regarding assault. The Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) rules require the suspension of a concealed carry permit for someone charged with assault with force. If that person is found not guilty, their permit can be reinstated. If someone is charged with the threat of assault without harm, their permit will not be suspended unless they were convicted. The problem was that, when a person was charged with assault, BCI could not differentiate between these two levels of assault. This could result in someone having their permit suspended when not appropriate (threat of assault without harm) or BCI having to spend man-hours researching the circumstances around an arrest.
S.B. 115 makes clear the difference between these two levels of assault and modifies the penalty for the threat of assault without harm. This bill does not change who is prohibited or not prohibited from having a concealed carry permit. It simply clarifies the different levels of assault.
Defeated: H.B. 202 - Would have resulted in the lifetime loss of gun rights for temporary mental health problems
This bill would have taken away a person’s Second Amendment rights if they were civilly committed to the custody of a local mental health authority. Utah Code as well as federal law already provides the means to keep firearms out of the hands of mentally ill persons by adjudicating a person as mentally defective.
This bill would have caused people to lose their gun rights for a civil commitment. A civil commitment is a much lower threshold than being adjudicated a mental defective and could include people who are temporarily going through a bad period such as a returning vet suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite the potential temporary nature of their illness, this bill would have instituted a lifetime ban on their owning guns. This bill was a gun banner's dream.
Passed: H.B. 276 - Prevents someone legally carrying a firearm from being charged with disorderly conduct if their gun is holstered or encased
Despite the fact that Utah’s disorderly conduct statute was silent on the carrying of guns, Utah citizens were being charged with disorderly conduct simply because some anti-gun fanatic became aware that they were legally carrying a gun, freaked out, and called the police.
H.B. 276 will help put an end to this abuse. H.B. 276 states that the mere possession of an encased or holstered firearm is not disorderly conduct unless there is additional behavior or circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe the gun was carried or possessed unlawfully or with criminal intent.
This would cover the majority of situations where people are being cited. Firearms that are not encased or not holstered will continue to be treated as they are today. Carrying guns in such a manner is not necessarily disorderly conduct. Most law enforcement officers will respect your right to carry in such a manner, and the few miscreant law enforcement officers who have been abusing gun owners will probably continue to do so.
Passed: H.B. 322 - If an employer provides alternate parking for someone who leaves a firearm in their car, the parking place must be safe, legal, and at no additional cost to employee
The USSC was successful in getting the Utah Legislature to pass a bill that prohibited persons from having rules or policies that prevented people from transporting or storing firearms in a motor vehicle on a parking lot unless alternative parking was provided. This was mainly aimed at employers who were interfering with employees' Second Amendment rights.
Unfortunately some employers were making those who stored firearms in their vehicle use paid parking in lieu of the free parking provided to other employees. This bill states that the alternative parking cannot impose additional cost to the individual and must be in a location that is safe and legal for parking.
Passed: H.B. 373 S1 - Prevented law enforcement officials from having a veto on a person's application to purchase NFA firearms
This bill prevented Utah chief law enforcement officers from effectively having a veto on Utah gun owners possessing certain types of weapons such as sound suppressors and fully-automatic weapons.
(Note: Since the passage of this bill, federal regulations have changed and a CLEO signature is no longer required for NFA transfers.)
Federal regulations required the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to approve the transfer and making of certain types of firearms such as short-barreled rifles, suppressors, etc. To get approval, the applicant was required to get a federal application form signed by their local chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) stating that he or she has no information that the applicant would be in violation of State or local law if the application is approved.
There were problems when CLEOs refused to sign the form, not because the person applying was prohibited, but simply because the CLEO objected to the person owning a particular type of firearm. Also the CLEO may have feared he or she would be liable if the applicant commits a crime with the gun after he or she signed the form.
This situation gave the chief law enforcement officer the power to veto a person's right to own certain guns that they are otherwise legally entitled to possess.
This bill requires that Utah chief law enforcement officers process these applications unless the applicant is prohibited by law from possessing the particular firearm. It also states that the CLEO is immune to liability in making these certifications as long as they acted in good faith.
This bill stopped the possible abuses committed by the small minority of CLEOs who do not support gun rights.
Passed: S.B. 165 - Helps introduce new hunters to hunting with a trial hunting authorization
This bill will help get more people into hunting. It allows a first time hunter to obtain a trial hunting authorization which will allow them to obtain a hunting license or permit without completing a hunter safety course, provided they are accompanied in the field by a person who has met the hunter safety course requirements. It authorizes the Utah Wildlife Board to make rules regarding the Trial Hunting Authorization.
Passed: H.B. 296 - Holds law enforcement and judges to the same standards as concealed carry permit holders
This bill provides that law enforcement officials and judges may have their certificate of qualification to possess a concealed weapon permit revoked if they engage in behavior that would subject them to the revocation of a standard civilian concealed firearm permit.
It also provides that law enforcement officials and judges may have their certificate of qualification revoked when they are no longer employed as a judge or law enforcement official. At that point they could obtain a standard concealed carry permit.
This ensures that law enforcement officials and judges are held to the same standard as every day concealed carry permit holders and helps prevent an "us vs. them" attitude.
Passed: H.B. 75 S1 - Provides for the restoration of Second Amendment rights
This bill allows for the restoration of a person's Second Amendment civil rights if their felony conviction has been expunged, set aside, reduced to a misdemeanor by court order, or pardoned unless the pardon, reduction, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.
Federal law already provides for the restoration of Second Amendment civil rights in similar circumstances. This law brings Utah in line with federal law.
The bill also removes from the list of persons prohibited from possessing firearms those convicted of certain nonviolent felonies such as antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, and other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices.
This bill only applies to state law. All federal restrictions on the possession of firearms by restricted persons still apply.
Passed: H.B. 268 S2 - Provides that restricted persons may have archery equipment for hunting or target shooting
This bill makes some changes in the definition of dangerous weapons and provides that a restricted person, i.e. felons, dishonorably discharged service members, etc., may own, possess, or have under the person’s custody or control archery equipment, including crossbows, for the purpose of lawful hunting and target shooting.
A restricted person may however be prohibited from the above archery exemption if, as a condition of pre-trial release or probation or as a condition of parole, they are restricted from possessing archery equipment.
Passed: H.B. 295 - Exempts law enforcement from deadly weapons statute only in performance of duties
The Utah statute dealing with threats with a deadly weapon inadvertently exempted law enforcement officials whether on duty or not. This bill clarifies that any exemption only applies in the performance of the person's duties.
The USSC also successfully fought an amendment by the organization which represents Utah prosecutors to remove the two-witness requirement to charge someone with "threatening with a dangerous weapon." This would have made it very easy for prosecutors to go after anyone who uses a gun in a legitimate self-defense.
Passed: H.B. 134 S4 - Reduces concealed carry permit fees and provides input from the firearms community for suicide prevention
This bill was designed to help prevent suicides and promote firearm safety. Both the NRA and the USSC had serious concerns about this bill in its original form, but Representative Eliason was very cooperative and helped to address our concerns.
Originally this bill would have used concealed carry permit fees as a piggy bank to fund the suicide prevention program. The USSC and the NRA worked with Rep. Eliason to prevent that and, in fact, got concealed carry permit fees lowered and ensured that those fees will not be used for anything other than the concealed carry program.
This bill lowers the cost of a first-time concealed carry permit to $24.75 for in-state residents and $34.75 for out-of-state residents. This is a drop from $46.00 and $51.00 respectively.
It mandates that all concealed carry permit fees go into a newly created “Concealed Weapons Account” fund, and that funds deposited into this account are to be used only to cover costs relating to the issuance of concealed carry firearm permits.
H.B. 134 sets up a program within the Department of Public Safety to produce a packet including a firearm safety brochure and cable-style gun lock that will be distributed free of charge to various entities who will make them available free to the public. The bill states that the safety brochure is to be produced with input from a Utah-based nonprofit organization, and in fact the USSC was chosen to help develop the brochure.
This bill also set up a program where the Department of Public Safety will send out the safety brochure and a redeemable coupon for concealed carry permit applications. The coupon will offer between $10.00 and $200 off the price of a gun safe from a participating federally licensed firearms dealer. Dealers who wish to participate in the program will make the safety brochure available in their store and redeem the coupon to the Department of Public Safety for reimbursement.
Nothing in this bill requires the use of safes or locks or requires dealers or permit applicants to participate.
The USSC believes that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to firearm storage. We believe that, for those who feel a cable lock or safe is the right solution for them, this program may offer them a way to save some money.
The bill has a sunset provision which will cause it to expire in 2018. We will be monitoring the program closely to ensure that it does not become a tool for the gun ban movement.
Defeated: H.B. 389 - Would have made it safe for bad guys by making it public which teachers are or are not carrying
This bill would have required teachers who carry concealed firearms in school to notify the principal, and would have allowed parents to inquire of the principal whether their child’s teacher is carrying. If the parents desired, they could have their child put in a class where a teacher was not carrying.
Passed: H.B. 28 - Prevents colleges from kicking people off campus who are legally in possession of a firearm.
This bill amends the law regarding when an institution of higher education may expel a person from their property. The bill states that the mere carrying or possession of a firearm does not warrant an order to leave.
Passed: S.B. 107 - Requires that certain shooting ranges built with public money be opened to the public
This bill requires that certain shooting ranges that were built with public money be opened to the public for shooting. Currently there is no indoor place for kids to learn to shoot along the Wasatch Front at a reasonable cost that struggling families can afford. This bill should help remedy that problem. We will have more information on this bill in the future.
Passed: H.B. 317 - Prohibits concealed firearm permit holder information from being shared with the federal government
This bill prohibits the sharing of concealed firearm permit information with the federal government and makes disclosing or sharing concealed firearm permit information a third-degree felony. This bill strengthens privacy protections of Utah’s concealed carry permit systems and prevents the kind of antics seen recently in New York where the media publishes the names and addresses of concealed carry permit holders. Additionally it prohibits the state from giving the list to the federal government, and thereby, thwarting any attempt to create a national list of gun owners.
Passed: H.B. 287 - Requires police to return a gun to its legal owner when no longer needed as evidence
This bill requires a law enforcement agency to return a firearm in its possession to the legal owner when it is no longer needed as evidence.
Passed: S.B. 80 - Allows restoration of gun rights when a person is no longer a danger
This bill allows a person who lost their right to possess firearms for mental health reasons the ability to petition a court to restore those rights upon showing that they are no longer a danger to themselves or to others and the person is not likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety. Upon restoration of rights, this bill requires that the Bureau of Criminal Identification remove the person’s name from the list of restricted persons.
Passed: H.B. 121 - Allows one to voluntarily give their firearms to law enforcement and get them back if they feel someone in their household is a threat to himself or herself.
This bill allows the owner of a firearm to temporarily give custody of their firearm to a law enforcement agency if they feel that someone in their household is an immediate threat to: himself or herself, the owner of the firearm, or any other person. The bill provides a process for law enforcement to temporarily take possession of such a firearm, and allows the owner to get the gun back at any time. It does not allow law enforcement to confiscate a firearm against the wishes of its owner.
Passed: H.B. 211 Waives concealed firearm permit renewal fee for some service members
This bill waives the concealed firearm permit renewal fee for military active duty service members and their spouses who are not residents of the state but who are stationed in Utah.
PASSED: H.B. 129 - Prevents lawsuits by criminals against their victims
This bill clarifies that a person is justified in defending their home and family against criminal activity and may not be liable for civil damages for injury or damage occurring while doing so.
PASSED: HB 117 - Allows the carrying of short-barreled rifles and shotguns
This bill brought the concealing of short-barreled rifles and shotguns into line with non short-barreled rifles. This bill now allows one to maintain a whole new class of lawfully-owned weapons in any manner one desires.
Additionally this bill does away with the ridiculous requirement that a concealed firearm that one carries while lawfully hunting must have a barrel at least 4 inches long.
PASSED: H.B. 395 - Gives BCI the discretion to not suspend a permit in certain situations, gives newly prohibited persons time to transfer their guns out of their possession, prevents Bloomberg type nonsense
This bill provides that the Bureau of Criminal Identification may, rather than shall, deny, suspend, or revoke a concealed firearm permit on the basis of an indictment for a crime of violence in any state. It also allows a person convicted of a felony, and therefore unable to legally possess firearms, 10 days to transfer the firearms to another person.
This bill also goes after criminals who illegally attempt to purchase firearms. Additionally it makes it illegal for anti-gun officials in other states to send their agents to Utah in order to make illegal gun purchases. This was a favorite tactic of anti-gun billionaire and then mayor Michael Bloomberg. His agents would attempt to make illegal gun purchases outside of New York State to prove to the world that more gun control is needed. If any of Bloomberg’s knuckleheads show up in Utah and try that, they can now be prosecuted.
PASSED: H.B. 432 - Prevents delays in processing of concealed carry permits
This bill authorizes the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification to round to the nearest dollar amount any fees the bureau collects as a pass through when issuing concealed weapons permits, such as the fee for Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint card checks. This was necessary because many applications for concealed carry permits were getting held up due to incorrect amounts of cents being written on checks.
Passed: H.B. 75-S1 - Removes the Utah gun free school zones
This bill removes the 1000 ft. gun free zone around a school and redefines a gun free school zone as the actual grounds and buildings of a school. The federal gun free school zone law still applies. Concealed carry permit holders are still exempt from the gun free school zone. The bill defines the school zones as public or private K-12 schools, colleges and the grounds of those schools and colleges. A building used for preschool or daycare if the entire building is used for that purpose or if only a portion of the building is used to operate a preschool or daycare facility then those rooms where the preschool or daycare operation is being held.
Passed: H.B. 169 - Removes pitfalls for dealers, protects owners of antique firearms,
This bill clears up several minor technical differences between federal and Utah firearms laws, making understanding and compliance easier.
Utah law was written under the erroneous assumption that “dealer” and “Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL Holder)” are synonymous. In fact a dealer is only one type of FFL. Other types include Manufacturer FFLs and Curio and Relic Collector FFLs (used by antique collectors).
Currently federal law does not require a background check when firearms are transferred among FFL holders. Due to Utah’s misinterpretation of FFL, Utah should have been doing background checks on transfers between non-dealer FFLs but was not. This minor technical glitch was something that could have been used to throw people in jail even though they were doing everything BATFE required them to do.
Another change made in this bill was to the definition of “antique firearm.” The previous definition was twisted gibberish that was not identical to the federal definition. This created potential confusion, and could have been construed that only muzzle loaders, but not cartridge arms made in 1898 or earlier, were antiques. Again, a small point, but vital to ensuring that people following the federal rules did not get blind-sided by some Utah bureaucrat.
This bill also clarifies that dealers only need to send the background check "information" to BCI, not physically mail the "form" even though the transaction had already been approved by phone, fax, or online.
This bill also set up a program where the Department of Public Safety will send out the safety brochure and a redeemable coupon to concealed carry permit applicants. The coupon will offer between $10.00 and $200 off the price of a gun safe from a participating federally licensed firearms dealer. Dealers who wish to participate in the program will make the safety brochure available in their store and redeem the coupon to the Department of Public Safety for reimbursement.
Utah has a strong base of firearm industries that not only provides the instruments by which we exercise our Second Amendment rights but also provides jobs and supports the tax base. This bill will continue to make Utah an attractive place to do business for people in the gun and ammo business. Additionally this bill will help preserve the tradition of firearms collecting while keeping honest collectors out of jail.
Passed: S.B. 36-S1 - Helps maintain reciprocity of Utah permits
This bill requires that out-of-state applicants who desire a Utah Concealed Carry Permit must first obtain their home state’s permit if they live in a shall-issue state. If their state is not a shall-issue state, they will still be allowed to obtain a Utah permit.
The purpose of this bill is to maintain recognition of Utah’s permit by other states. When word reached us that several other states were looking at dropping recognition of Utah’s concealed carry permit because it was too easy to obtain or did not require a live fire test, we talked with our contacts in other states. What we found out was that the real motivator behind the talk of dropping recognition of Utah’s permit was pressure from some concealed carry instructors as well as the states themselves who felt they were losing revenue. What was happening was, a resident would obtain a Utah permit in lieu of their home state permit and use that to carry in their state of residence.
While we hated to put this burden on out-of-state residents, we had to do this or risk losing recognition of Utah’s concealed carry permit by other states.
Passed: H.B. 219 - Makes John Browning's 1911 the "Official State Firearm"
House Bill 219 designates the John M. Browning designed Model 1911 pistol as the official Utah State Firearm. The 1911 joins the ranks of other state symbols such as the state bird and state tree..
Passed: H.B. 214 - Matches C.C.P. fees to their cost
This bill adjusts concealed carry permit fees down $5 for initial applications and up $5 on renewals to better match the actual cost to process them. Not really a big win or loss for gun owners but it does allow the BCI to match the funding of the permits with their costs. For over 15 years we have successfully prevented the Concealed Carry Permit program from being a cash cow for other BCI programs. This adjustment will allow the BCI to fund the program without gouging permit holders.
Passed: H.B. 271 - Prevents local governments from implementing "knife control" unless authorized by the legislature
This bill prevents local and municipal government from regulating knives unless specifically authorized by the state. USSC member Crystal Perry worked in conjunction with the national gun rights group, “Knife Rights,” to get this bill passed. With passage of this bill, Utah remains at the cutting edge of freedom becoming the second state so far to pass a knife preemption bill.
Similar to Utah’s firearm preemption statute, this bill will prevent a patchwork of knife laws throughout the state. It will prevent the situation where you are carrying your hunting knife and, upon crossing some invisible municipal boundary, end up in violation of the town knife ordinance. Without this protection, knife owners would have the impossible task of knowing knife rules in every county, city, and town in Utah.
Defeated: H.B. 205 - Would have resulted in lifetime loss of gun rights for certain misdemeanors
This bill expands the definition of "domestic violence" to include "dating partners." Anyone EVER convicted of "dating violence," even as a misdemeanor, would instantly be under a lifetime ban of ever touching a gun, or for military service, hunting, or working as a police officer.
The USSC supports appropriate punishment for all forms of violence but we believe that a lifetime loss of a constitutional right for something as simple as shoving someone is a punishment that does not fit the crime or increase public safety.
PASSED: S.B. 11 - Seeks to assert state authority to regulate firearms and ammunition when a firearm or ammunition does not cross state lines
This bill states that: “A personal firearm, a firearm action or receiver, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in the state to be used or sold within the state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.”
The purpose of this bill as well as those passed in several other states is to get a case taken to the Supreme Court that will result in a ruling limiting the power of the Federal Government to regulate firearms that are not truly involved in interstate commerce.
Due to the supremacy of federal law over state law, this bill will have no effect on the federal government unless and until the Supreme Court rules that the Federal Government has exceeded its constitutional authority by regulating firearms that do not cross state lines.
WARNING! Unless and until the Supreme Court upholds this law do not attempt to illegally manufacture or in any way be in non-compliance with any federal firearms laws or regulations. Federal law has supremacy over state law and, until the Supreme Court upholds Utah’s law, the BATFE can and will prosecute any one who violates federal gun laws or regulations.
PASSED: H.B. 380 - Private property owners are not liable for the acts of concealed carry permit holders on their property
This bill states that a private property owner who allows a person who has a permit to carry a concealed firearm to bring a firearm onto the owner’s property is not civilly or criminally liable for any damage or harm resulting from the discharge of the firearm by the permit holder while on the owner’s property so long as the property owner does not solicit, request, command, encourage or intentionally aid the permit holder in discharging the firearm.
This bill seeks to absolve private property owners including businesses from liability in the event a concealed firearms permit holder uses their gun. The result, it is hoped, will be that businesses who currently post “No guns allowed” signs will take them down.
PASSED: H.B. 78 - Possession of a dangerous weapon alone is not a crime
This bill clarifies that the mere possession of a dangerous weapon, whether visible or concealed, without additional behavior which is threatening is not to be considered threatening under 76-10-506.
This bill simply codifies as acceptable behavior what we as citizens have already been operating under, but have been questioned, arrested, and prosecuted for in an increasing fashion. It puts into law what is NOT “threatening behavior” under 76-10-506 (our “brandishing" statute). In the end it explains what is an appropriate and proportional continuum of force given your adversary’s actions.
PASSED: S.B. 247 - Makes January 24, 2011 John Browning Day
This bill makes January 24, 2011 (the 100th year anniversary of the introduction of the 1911 pistol) a commemorative day in honor of John Moses Browning.
The USSC had sought to make this a permanent holiday (recognized only, no time off for state workers). Unfortunately it passed only as a one-time commemorative day. We hope to make it a permanent holiday in the future.
John Moses Browning of Ogden, Utah was one of the most important and prolific firearms inventors in history. His most popular design, the 1911 pistol, is still a huge favorite today for both recreation and defense. After over 80 years in service with the U.S.Military, his M2 HB .50 caliber machine gun is still reigning down lead on the bad guys and keeping our fighting men and women safe. Even if you do not own a Browning-designed firearm, it is highly likely that his designs and innovations have impacted some of the guns you own.
PASSED: S.B. 36 - Seeks to maintain healthy herds of game species by managing wolves
This bill states that: “The division (Division of Wildlife Resources) shall contact the service (United States Fish and Wildlife Service) upon discovering a wolf in any area of the state where wolves are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act and request immediate removal of the animal from the state. The division shall manage wolves to prevent the establishment of a viable pack in all areas of the state where the wolf is not listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act until the wolf is completely delisted under the Act and removed from federal control in the entire state.”
The reintroduction of wolves has had a negative effect on elk populations in several western states and has resulted in decreased hunting opportunities. Utah’s hunting heritage is a vital component of firearms ownership and, with wildlife numbers decreasing due to the urbanization of our society, the last thing we need is for our elk herds to be decimated by wolves.
DEFEATED: S.B. 98 - Would have caused the loss of gun rights for being charged with a felony
Due to the disastrous part of this bill being hidden deeply within it, this bill was believed by most legislators to be innocuous. Had it not been for the USSC actively informing them of its ramifications, this bill would have become law. This draconian piece of legislation would have prohibited a person from possessing, purchasing, transferring, or owning a dangerous weapon including a firearm if they were ever charged with a felony. Notice that the bill said “charged” not “convicted” of a felony. If this bill had become law, you could have lost your Second Amendment rights simply upon some District Attorney filing charges against you. You could have lost your guns prior to any conviction, due process, or indictment proceeding. Fortunately the freedom loving legislators in our great state sent this one down in flames.
Passed: S.B. 78 - A “parking lot bill” that restricts employers from infringing on the self defense rights of law abiding employees.
This is the common sense reform will now allow law-abiding citizens to keep legally possessed weapons in their private vehicles (with a few exceptions), regardless of any anti-gun policies of employers.
Passed: H.B. 357- Allows carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, one's home, or property without a permit
H.B. 357 allows Utahns to legally carry self defense weapons in their vehicles without the need for a concealed carry permit. They may also carry concealed weapons anywhere in their home or on their property without a permit.
Passed: H.B. 25 - Removes conflicting requirements for firearms dealers
This bill fixed conflicting requirements and penalties between Utah laws and the federal laws regarding actions of Federal Firearms Licensees. It passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.
Defeated: S.B. 227- Would have raised permit fees and given the money to the Highway Patrol
USSC members and supporters helped kill this bill in committee. It would have raised permit fees and changes the dedicated nature of the funds, and diverted the money to the Utah Highway Patrol.
Defeated: S.B. 96 - Would have eliminated non-resident concealed weapons permits
One more bad idea which would have eliminated ALL non-resident Utah Concealed Weapons Permits.
Passed: H.B. 14 - Allows shooting from a vehicle on a gun range
This pro-gun bill allows shooting from a vehicle for lawful purposes. This is a win for gun owners as it allows shooting from a vehicle for practice by police and civilians at a range.
Passed: S.B. 157 S-1 - Prevents confiscation of firearms during emergencies
This is the so called “Katrina Bill” that prevents law enforcement from confiscating legally owned firearms during declared emergencies.
Defeated H.B. 110 - Would have increased penalties for discharging a gun in a town
This bill increased penalties for illegally discharging firearms within municipalities.
Passed: S.B. 251 – Prevents colleges from making gun regulations
Passed: S.B. 251 specifically reaffirms that only the State Legislature can regulate firearms at higher education institutions through law. It also authorizes higher education institutions to make a rule that allows a dormitory resident to request only roommates who are not licensed to carry a concealed firearm.
Passed: H.B. 39 - Ensures concealed weapon permit fees go to the c.c.p program
Ensures that funds collected for Concealed Weapon Permits actually gets to the office that does the work, which will ensure timely processing of new or renewal permits, without need to borrow people from other offices.
Passed: H.B. 67 - Lowers the age to hunt big game
H.B. 67 lowered the age for big game hunting licenses to 12 years (with adult supervision.) Teaching proper gun safety at an early age helps prevent accidents and hunting preserves our rich outdoor heritage and helps manage wildlife resources.
Passed: H.B. 354 – Allows guns on buses and bus stations
This bill removes the restriction of concealed carry permit holders carrying a firearm into a bus station or bus terminal. Non–permit holders are still prohibited. (The non-permit holder restrictions were removed in 2016.)
Passed: H.B. 328 - Removes the age to hunt small game and turkey
This bill removes the age requirement to hunt small game, and turkey. Getting kids into the field at an early age is important to preserving Utah’s hunting heritage and is becoming more important each year as kids become less and less active in the outdoors.
Passed: H.B. 350 - Helps maintain concealed carry permit reciprocity with other states
H.B. 350 modifies Utah’s concealed carry permit instructor requirements to require instructors to have a current NRA certification or an equivalent certification. This bill seeks to maintain the quality of Utah permits in order to maintain reciprocity with other states.
Defeated H.B. 186 – Proposed study group that could have pushed gun control
The USSC opposed this bill due to its potential abuse by anti-gun groups and supporters of gun control. The bill mandated that the Department of Human Services develop a suicide prevention plan with inputs from various governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. No shooting groups were included in this bill. We felt that it was important that a group representing firearms owners and with expertise in firearm safety have input as the gun ban community often uses suicide prevention as a smoke screen for gun control. In later years the USSC successfully supported a suicide prevention bill that had input from the firearms community.
Passed: H.B. 276 – Removes vague requirement to get concealed permit
This bill makes technical corrections in the issuance of concealed carry permits. It also removes the vague requirement to demonstrate good character to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to get a temporary permit. In order to maintain reciprocity of Utah’s permit, this bill requires that the instruction required to obtain the permit be done in person and not online. Without this requirement Utah risked losing reciprocity with other states.
Defeated: H.B. 63-S1 – Bill would have permitted indefinite delay in transfers at pawn shops.
This bill, while well-intentioned, would have hampered legal firearm transactions by pawnbrokers and not really done much to return stolen property. This bill also would have created the potential for anti-gun bureaucrats to delay legal firearm transfers indefinitely when purchasing a gun from a pawnbroker.
Defeated: S.B. 36 - Scheme to keep guns inaccessible for self-defense
This "lock up your protection" scheme would have required that all guns be kept locked up at all times. While the USSC strongly supports securing firearms in a manner appropriate to each person’s situation, this one-size-fits-all bill would have rendered guns useless for self-protection.
Passed: S.B. 84 – Goes after criminals who misuse guns
This bill allows prosecution of accomplices where a gun is used in the commission of a felony, not just the perp who was holding it.
Passed: S.B. 48 – Prevents local government and state entities from making firearm regulation
S.B. 48 seeks to prevent local governments and state entities from making anti-gun regulations and laws. It provides that a local authority or entity may not enact, establish, or enforce any ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy pertaining to firearms that inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property, unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute. This bill was in response to the University of Utah violating citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
Passed: H.B. 294 – Eliminates second photo requirement for background check
This bill removes the requirement to show a second photo identification when purchasing a firearm.
Passed: H.B. 295 – Lightens documentation required for a C.C.P.
This bill removes some of the documentation required to obtain a concealed carry permit. It removes the requirement for a second photo, a five-year work history, a five-year residence history, and character references.
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Passed: S.B. 103 – Removes the 60-day limit on out-of-state C.C.P.
S.B. 103 removes the 60-consecutive-day limit on Utah recognition of permits for legal self-defense from other states.
Passed: S.B. 108 – Removes the school zone restriction for residences, businesses, and vehicles
S.B.108 removes the prohibition of possessing a weapon on or about a school premise if the weapon is in a person’s residence, business, or vehicle and is lawfully possessed. This bill also allows weapon possession on or about a school if the possession is authorized by the school administrator.
In addition, this bill makes it an infraction to knowingly bring a firearm into a house of worship or private residence after notification has been given that firearms are prohibited.
Defeated: S.B. 38 – Another lock up your self-defense bill
This scheme attempted to prevent people from keeping loaded guns, making them useless for self-defense. This bad bill was aimed at demonizing guns even though they are only a tiny fraction of the many causes of accidental death.
Defeated H.B. 190 – Mandatory gun show background checks
This bill was really nothing more than an interim step towards registration and confiscation. It required background checks for all guns sold at guns shows. Gun show sellers are already required to comply with all federal background check laws exactly the same as sellers outside of a gun show.
Defeated: H.B. 63 – Raises concealed carry permit fees
This bill raises fees for permits for concealed legal self-defense weapons and encourages inventive accounting drills to increase fees annually.
Passed: H.B. 178 – Bad guys with guns
Clarifies various "attempts" by prohibited persons to illegally get guns
Passed H.B. 209 – Felonies committed with guns
Clarifies the dangerous weapon enhancement for felony convictions.
Passed: S.B. 251 – Protects gun owners from prosecution for unknowingly discharging a weapon in a prohibited manner
This bill adds language that, to be convicted of the various prohibitions of discharging a weapon, such as across a highway, one must commit the act knowingly and intentionally. This is a good protection for gun owners who accidentally violate any of the prohibited discharge activities in the law. Additionally S.B. 251 adds a restriction against shooting in the direction of a house, dwelling, occupied vehicle or any other building in a manner that threatens the safety or property of others.
Passed: H.B. 82-S1 – Requires courthouses to provide storage for those carrying weapons
H.B. 82 requires that if there is a courthouse or courtroom "secure facility" that bans legally-concealed weapons, they must provide secure storage facilities without charging the user.
Passed: S.B. 164-S3 - Prevents state colleges from restricting legal possession on campus
This bill allows colleges and universities to establish one "institutional hearing room secure area" off limits to CCW permit holders. This is a secure area for hearing disciplinary proceedings similar to a courtroom.
This bill is a big win for law-abiding gun owners. Although it allows creation of no more than one new "secure facility" on a college/university campus, it clearly specifies they may "not otherwise restrict the lawful possession or carrying of firearms.”
Passed: H.B. 336-S1 – Expands when deadly force may be used
This bill allows the use of deadly force to prevent or terminate trespass on real property if the trespass is made or attempted by use of force; or in a violent and tumultuous manner; or for the purpose of committing a felony, and the person reasonably believes that the trespass is attempted or made for the purpose of committing violence against any person on the real property. There is more to this bill--the above is only a short summary. We recommend you read and understand this statute before relying on it.
Passed: S.B. 143-S3 – Helps keep C.C.P. records private
This bill modifies private records under Utah’s GRAMA Act. The protections in this bill help keep information on Utah concealed carry permit holders more secure.
Defeated H.B. 78 – Mandatory gun show background checks
The goal of this bill is to force all private sales at gun shows or "events" to involve transfer through a FFL dealer with added costs and recordkeeping. Neither Utah nor the Feds bother to prosecute people who fail existing background checks when illegally trying to buy a gun. Therefore, it is absolutely clear that this bill's only objective is to establish a de facto registration list of gun owners. The only purpose of such a list is to facilitate later registration and confiscation.
Defeated: H.B. 211 - Allows local governments to pass anti-gun laws.
This bill would repeal the "pre-emption" language that reserves laws on firearms to the Legislature instead of every county, city, municipality, state agency, board or other entity. The goal is clearly to encourage gun control schemes to spring up at all sorts of levels.
Passed: H.B. 376-S3 – Utah to recognize all out-of-state permits
This bill requires Utah to recognize concealed carry permits from any other state or county. However, after 60-consecutive days in Utah, the permit holder will have to get a Utah permit (this 60-day limit was removed in later years). With passage of this bill, many additional states will recognize Utah's permits.
Passed: S.B. 87-S1 – Antique gun purchases no longer require background checks
This bill corrects a potentially serious flaw in Utah's gun laws by adding a definition of Antique Firearms, identical to that used in federal law. Without this change, Utah law could have been interpreted to require background checks on all antique guns made before 1899 and replica muzzle-loading firearms. This also establishes a precedent for excluding guns unlikely to be used in crimes from laws proposed in the future.
Defeated: H.B. 186 - Mandatory gun show background checks
This bill would have forced any private sales or trades at a gun show to go through a dealer, with associated fees, record keeping, delays, etc. Although on its face, a "reasonable" idea, it is absolutely useless as a crime fighting tool as neither Utah nor the federal authorities bother to prosecute felons trying to buy a gun under the existing background checks. This bill is only needed as a step towards expanding checks from just gun show transactions to any private transfer, even between family members. Such intrusive government record keeping is needed only to set up the records necessary for eventual confiscation of guns, either certain types or all guns in private hands. Hard work by USSC and others ensured that this bill remained locked up in the House Rules Committee.
Defeated: S.B. 91 – A bill to encourage guns to be kept locked up at all times
This bill is better described as a "lock up your protection" bill, or a "Burglar Protection Act". USSC and Utah's gun owners kept this one locked up in the Senate Rules Committee.
Defeated: S.B. 231 – Prohibits guns in schools and churches
SB 231 This bill revives the scheme proposed under the failed “Safe to Learn, Safe to Worship” ballot initiative. It would have prohibited the possession of guns in schools and churches creating safe shoot zones for crazed killers.
Passed: H.B. 199 – Prohibits lawsuits by state and local governments against gun and ammunition manufacturers
This bill prohibits gun and ammunition manufacturers from being sued by the state or any of its political subdivisions unless the suit is based on the breach of contract or warranty for a firearm or ammunition purchased by the state. This will prevent frivolous lawsuits by governmental entities attempting to bankrupt gun and ammunition manufacturers.
Passed: HB 372-S3 – Helps maintain C.C.P. reciprocity with other states
This bill makes technical corrections to Utah’s concealed carry permit system and modifies the criteria for a person to be certified as a Utah concealed firearms instructor. This will maintain the integrity of Utah’s permit system and ensure continued reciprocity with other states.
Defeated S.B. 32-S2 – Mandates more stringent requirements to obtain a C.C.P.
This bill would have added additional requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit including the ability to “place in a life-size silhouette target six out of ten shots at 5 yards." Had this bill passed the anti-gunners’ plan was to come back year after year and add additional requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit making the permits difficult and expensive to obtain.
Defeated: S.B. 161 – Prohibits guns in schools
S.B. 161 would have prohibited concealed carry permit holders from carrying in elementary and secondary schools making those schools more likely to be targeted for attacks.
Defeated: H.B. 92 – Prohibits guns in churches and schools
This bill would have prohibited the carrying of firearms on schools and churches. Additionally it would have made it illegal to carry a dangerous weapon into a private residence. There was a provision that provided a defense to prosecution if one received permission prior to entering a private residence with a dangerous weapon. However, even with prior permission one could be charged with a crime and would have to go to court to prove they had prior permission. This was a gun banner’s dream. Note that anyone can already prohibit anyone they want, whether carrying a weapon or not, from entering a private residence. Churches likewise as private property can already ban anyone for any reason they choose. The bill also would have prohibited the possession of a dangerous weapon within Olympic venues.
Defeated: H.B. 265 – Would have required retreating when under attack
This bill would have made it a crime to brandish a weapon in a threatening manner. While the USSC opposes the criminal use of weapons, we had an issue with this bill as the only exemption for self-defense was that one could brandish only for “necessary self-defense.” The use of the word necessary was vague and could imply that someone being attacked would have an obligation to retreat otherwise the self-defense might be considered not “necessary.”
Passed: S.B. 122- S2 – Makes only the secure venues of the Olympics off limits to guns and requires houses of worship to make notification to prohibit guns
This bill dealt with the prohibition of weapons in Olympic venues, houses of worship, and private residences. While we normally consider any bill that restricts the carrying of firearms as a loss, we considered this bill a win. The prohibition of guns inside the Olympic venues was going to occur no matter what. There were proposals to make whole parts of the city off limit to weapons. We were able to fight and get weapons restricted only from the secure areas of the Olympic venues.
For gun owners’ benefit, the Olympic law enforcement commander would have to provide notice at the entrance areas that firearms were prohibited and that he or she was allowed to provide weapons storage. Additionally written notice would have to be given at the time of ticket sales. The bill also provided that one could sue the state for injury if they could prove that, had they had access to their concealed firearm in the Olympic venue, they could have avoided injury. The Olympic provisions also had a beginning and end date.
S.B. 122 also prohibited firearms from private residences and houses of worship. The USSC’s position was that houses of worship and private residences already had the ability to prohibit weapons if they so chose and that there was no need for this bill. However, at the time this bill was passed, there was a strong movement to prohibit firearms in houses of worship and schools and there was a ballot initiative designed to do the same thing that was likely to pass. Had this ballot initiative passed, schools would have been made off-limits to concealed carry permit holders.
This bill headed off that initiative and, while disappointingly getting the state to enforce churches’ “no gun” policy, it did prevent the prohibition of carrying in schools.
To get the state to enforce the house of worship’s or private residence’s policy against guns (a policy they could have had before this bill) the house of worship or private residence would have to post a “no guns” sign or notify the visitor in person that firearms are prohibited. The area where guns would be prohibited in houses of worship was limited to areas primarily used for worship or service. The penalty for entering a house of worship or private residence where firearms are prohibited was simply an infraction.
The bill also contained some real benefits for gun owners. This bill made it so that one could lose their concealed firearm permit for the conviction of a single weapons infraction under Title 66, Chapter 10, Part 5. It made it so that a person cannot be prohibited, except as provided for by law, from selling or transferring a firearm or keeping a firearm in a lawfully possessed vehicle. H.B. 265 also made it illegal for state entities to make firearm rules except when given the power to do so by the legislature.
Defeated: S.B. 23 - Singles out gun owners for negligence
This bill singled out firearm owners for negligent acts. Firearm owners could already be sued for negligent acts just like anyone else. This bill was the first step toward a mandatory “lock up your self defense” bill down the road.
Defeated: S.B. 57 – Would have prohibited concealed carry permit holders from carrying within 1,000 feet of schools and houses of worship
This bill would have restricted concealed carry permit holders from carrying in some private residences and schools within 1,000 feet of a school and house of worship.
Defeated: H.B. 69 – Prohibits carrying in private residences and churches
This bill would have restricted concealed carry permit holders from carrying in some private residences and houses of worship.
Passed: H.B. 304 - Makes it harder for anti-gunners to pass ballot initiatives
This bill changes the requirements to get an initiative on the ballot. It was put in place due to the anti-gun movement seeking to use ballot initiatives and big money to curtail concealed carry and implement other gun control measures.
Defeated: S.B. 23 – Seeks to get people to lock up their self-defense guns
This bill was another “make your guns useless for self-defense” measure. Negligent gun owners can already be sued for negligence if someone is injured with their guns.
Defeated H.B. 242 – Made it easier to revoke a C.C.P.
This bill would have allowed the revocation of a concealed firearm permit if permit holder has not demonstrated the vague requirement of “good character.”
Passed: H.B. 30 – Requires immediate reinstatement of C.C.P once charges dropped or acquitted
This bill mandated that when one petitions the Concealed Weapons Review Board for the review of a suspension or revocation of a concealed carry permit that the review shall occur in a timely manner. It also provides that if a person is charged with a crime of violence and the permit is suspended, it shall be immediately reinstated upon an acquittal or notice of the charges having been dropped.
Defeated: H.B. 47 – Adds restrictions to where one can carry
While the USSC opposes mixing alcohol and guns, we opposed this bill because there is no reason a person who is not drinking should be rendered defenseless simply because they are in a tavern or a private club.
Passed: H.B. 140 – Provides more hunting opportunities for the disabled
This bill allows the Wildlife Board to allow a person to transfer or use another person’s hunting license, permit or tag for the purpose of transporting wildlife or for taking a deer or elk by a person who is blind or quadriplegic.
Passed: H.B. 207 – Allows the recognition of some states’ concealed permits
This bill allowed the recognition by Utah of out-of-state concealed carry firearm permits.
Defeated: S.B. 27 – Prohibits carrying in schools, churches, public and private property
This was the gun banner’s dream bill. It would have made it easier for employers to discriminate against gun owners, prohibited carrying firearms on certain public and private property, schools, churches, hospitals, and certain businesses.
Defeated: S.B. 38 – Prohibit carrying in places with school children
This was another “make schools safe for crazed killers” bill. It would have prevented carrying firearms on or about schools as well as “child centered facilities.”
Defeated: S.B. 39 – Prohibits carrying in churches and private property
This bill prohibits the carrying of firearms on private property and houses of worship. Houses of worship and private residences already have the right to prohibit weapons on their property, and the USSC supports their right to do that. This bill was unnecessary and was attempting to get the state to enforce the religious doctrine of those opposed to carrying guns in houses of worship.
Passed: H.B. 8 – Protects crime victims from lawsuits by criminals
This bill protects victims of certain crimes from liability if the person committing the crime is injured or killed or their property is damaged while in the commission of or an attempt to commit a felony at the time the injury or damage occurred.
Passed: H.B. 70 – Helps prevent poaching
This bill will require poachers to pay restitution for poached game and provide jail sentences for certain offenses involving the illegal taking of trophy animals.
Passed: H.B. 165 - Concealed Weapon Permit
CCP law allows DPS to collect the pass-through charge for services from other agencies.
Passed: HB 418 – Requires prisons and mental health facilities to provide storage facilities for gun owners
This bill requires that secure areas of prisons and mental health facilities provide firearms storage for those carrying firearms.
Defeated: H.B. 192 – Singles out gun owners for negligence
This bill was another “make your guns useless for self-defense” measure. Negligent gun owners can already be sued for negligence if someone is injured with their guns.
Defeated: H.B. 196 – Overly zealous punishment for wildlife code
This bill would have put Wildlife Resources Code violations under state racketeering law. While the USSC supports enforcement of the wildlife laws, this bill went too far and could have resulted in overly harsh penalties for minor infractions.
Defeated: H.B. 303 – Could have trapped people engaged in legal hunting activities
While the USSC supports legal hunting and opposes cruelty to animals, we opposed this bill because certain sections were too vaguely written and could have trapped people engaged in legal hunting activities.
Passed: H.B. 70-S2 Makes Utah a shall issue concealed carry permit state
Prior to this bill becoming law, one could only get a concealed carry permit if they could convince the state that they needed one. This bill made it so that anyone meeting the requirements could get one.
Passed: HB 54 – Prevents local governments from passing gun control laws
This bill specifies that all authority to regulate firearms shall be reserved to the state except where the Legislature delegates responsibility to local authorities. It also states that, except as provided in law, a citizen or legal alien shall not be prohibited from possessing a firearm in their residence, property, business, or a vehicle under their control, and no permit or license may be required to purchase, own, transport or keep a firearm or ammunition.
Passed: H.B. 185 – Goes after bad guys who use firearms
This bill increases a sentence if a dangerous weapon is used during the commission of a crime.
Defeated: H.B. 420 - Would have created a public education program on firearm safety without any provisions to prevent it from becoming an anti-gun campaign
This bill would have created a trust fun to inform and educate the public on safe handling and storage of firearms. While a great idea, the bill had no provisions to ensure that the program did not become an anti-gun campaign.
Defeated: S.B. 211 - Would have given a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days for a juvenile in possession of a gun
While the USSC supports laws against the criminal misuse of guns by juveniles and supports laws restricting juvenile access to guns, this bill went too far. It would have required a mandatory 30-day lockup for a juvenile who grabbed dad’s gun and walked down a rural road to bird hunt.
Defeated S.B. 242 - Would have taken away one’s gun rights if subjected to a protective restraining order
This bill would have prohibited the possession or purchase of a dangerous weapon or handgun if one is subject to a protective restraining order. This would have taken away one’s Second Amendment rights without a finding of guilt.