Utah Action Alert: Open Carry Clarification Becomes Trojan Horse


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Gray Peterson
March 4, 2008, 04:05 AM
GoUtah! Alert (http://www.goutahorg.org/archive/upd0813.html#detail)

HB 473 as passed by the House with floor amendment 1 (http://le.utah.gov/~2008/bills/hbillamd/hb0473.htm)

To add my own points to it, Floor Amendment 2, which would have reduced the effects of the bill somewhat (at least on paper) did not pass.

To explain, Open Carry has always been legal in Utah with a Concealed Firearms Permit. OCDO defines Utah as a "licensed open carry state". The CFP exempts a person who carries a firearm from three separate laws: The law against carrying concealed on one's person or in their car, the law against carrying a loaded firearm (openly or concealed) on a public street, and the law against carrying on school grounds or within 1000 feet of school grounds (which includes post-secondary institutions under Utah Code).

Two years ago, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that the University of Utah nor any other state agency could ban guns possessed by CFP holders. However, the University of Utah, in their craven hatred towards guns and gun owners, still were stating that open carry was illegal in and around "school property", which has no basis in law or fact, and threatening students with expulsion if their guns ever became exposed for any reason, even if accidental.

A bill was put in to clarify the situation, to make it beyond clear that open carry is allowed with a CFP in any situation. It was then that Representative Urquart struck, calling for the passage of a amendment to ban all open carry within the defined "in and around school property", under penalty of infraction. He succeeded.

Though certainly some who may not like the idea of open carry (but are ok with concealed carry), may wonder why this is such a bad idea.

1) This creates a "no open carry zone" 1000 feet around all post secondary institutions, including private post secondary institutions, which can also include beauty schools, without notification to you of whether or not you're within that zone.

2) Though there is an exemption for "accidental exposure", the onus on proving it to an accidental exposure will be on you to prove to a judge in a fact based inquiry, after you being ticketed, forced to take time off of work and attend a trial date.

3) Giving in to the University of Utah is unacceptable, after the years of dragging things out with lawsuits and then being defeated three times in the Legislature.

The GOUtah Alert contains some information, including caucus delegate goers who may be interested in replacing the Representatives who sold out their pro-gun constituents to the University of Utah.

The bill is now in the Senate. Contact your Senators, along with the Senate Leadership as well as Senator Mike Waddoups. Waddoups was the original sponsor of shall-issue carry in 1995, and was the sponsor of the bill to bring all state agencies into the preemption statute in 2004. He is a former Senate Majority Leader, and may as such see the problem with this bill.

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green-grizzly
March 4, 2008, 10:12 AM
Urquart revels in being a pain in everybody's ass. Nice guy in person, but we really need to get him out of the legislature.

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