revolver

What if I told you that the Utah House is advancing a so-called “constitutional carry” bill that won’t allow citizens to carry a loaded gun. You’d call that nuts, right?

Sadly, that’s exactly what we’re seeing with House Bill 112, which should be mocked as the “Israeli Constitutional Carry” bill, because it does not allow citizens to carry a firearm with a round in the chamber.

HB 112 would only allow individuals to carry a concealed firearm without a permit so long as a cartridge is not chambered or in the case of a revolver, two empty consecutive chambers in the cylinder. This bill would apply additional restrictions on the way an individual chooses to defend themselves.

Utah’s current open carry statute is bizarre. It requires “two actions” to fire an open carried gun. For a semi-automatic pistol, that means you can have a loaded magazine, but must carry on an empty chamber so that you have to cycle it (action one) before you can pull the trigger (action two). For double-action revolvers, the requirement is even more bizarre. You have to have the hammer resting on an empty chamber (otherwise it is “loaded,” even though that isn’t the round that will be fired), and the next chamber has to be empty as well. You have to pull the trigger twice (two actions) and you’re down two rounds.

House Bill 112 fails to rectify this absurdity of Utah-specific law in a”Israeli Constitutional Carry” (the Israeli military famously requires their military to carry pistols on an empty chamber because they don’t have the time/budget to train short-term conscripts to use them properly) ┬ábill that leaves gun owners who decide to open carry in a very poor tactical situation, where they cannot immediately use their firearm.

I’m not aware of any credible defensive handgun instructor or firearms academy anywhere in the nation which promotes empty chamber carry. Law enforcement academies sure don’t.

Does Utah’s House feel the lives of their citizens are worth less than the lives of their law enforcement officers? I don’t think so.

I do think they need to talk to some actual firearms experts about the serious tactical failures of their quirky current open carry laws, and amend HB 112 to fix the deficiencies in “Utah open carry,” and provide their citizens the same sort of real constitutional carry law that seems to be sweeping the rest of the nation.