Today we resumed debate.
The bill as substituted today makes it legal for a gun owner to carry a concealed weapon without a concealed weapon permit as long as the gun is "unloaded". When I polled the floor on Wednesday, I counted 40 FOR and 35 AGAINST the bill. With today's compromise substitute, the bill passed with 50 FOR and 18 AGAINST.
During Wednesday's debate, I struggled with support for the bill because it eliminates the requirement that concealed weapons permit holders take a training class as they do under current law. Interestingly, today's substitute makes no change on this issue either. I feel that current law is adequate and that we should not attempt to change something that is working properly. When the debate paused Wednesday, I took some time to poll my constituents. Here are the results:
I sent 420 emails and received 61 responses. I asked folks how they felt on the issue and why? The responses were surprisingly consistent. Overwhelmingly, District 9 constituents prefer that concealed weapons permit holders take training to obtain their permit.
For instance, here is an excerpt from an email from David:
I am a life member of the NRA and I have a concealed carry permit for Utah. I have been concerned that this bill opens the door too wide, and makes more opportunities for gun opponents to go after our laws. I also feel that anyone wanting to carry a firearm can afford to take the simple course required to get a permit. The permit system we have is great, and I can easily buy quickly without hassle by having it. Utah is considered a model state for firearms laws, and let's keep it that way.
This sentiment was echoed across the the responses I received. A significant portion of the emails were from concealed carry permit holders.
If you have questions or need to contact me for any reason, PLEASE SEND ME AN EMAIL. I look forward to Representing our District in many more of the important issues we will be voting on over the next couple of weeks.