Utah Passes Constitutional Carry

I’ve long said that the Holy Grail for gun rights on the state level is constitutional carry. If you hit that point in a given state, you’ve probably achieved almost everything there is to achieve.

Of course, there are states with constitutional carry where there’s still plenty of work to do, but if they can pass constitutional carry, it seems likely that such work can be accomplished soon enough.

Regardless, there’s now one more state embracing constitutional carry.

Residents of Utah will soon be able to carry concealed guns without a permit.

Governor Spencer Cox (R.) will sign legislation into law this week to eliminate the permit requirement, his spokeswoman told the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday. The act will allow any law-abiding person over the age of 21 to carry a gun under his or her clothes while in the state. Convicted felons, those adjudicated mentally ill, and other people prohibited from owning a gun are excluded from the policy.

Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, said his group has been pushing for the change since 2013, when a previous attempt was vetoed by then-governor Gary Herbert (R.). He said the bill becoming law is a win for law-abiding gun owners and will cut down on potential wait times for those in danger, noting that getting a permit can “take up to 90 days.”

The repeal of permit requirements for concealed gun carry has accelerated over the past decade in a show of the increasing influence of gun owners and Second Amendment groups, especially at the state level. Utah is the 17th state to adopt a permitless carry system. While Vermont has used a permitless system since its founding, most states effectively banned any form of concealed gun carry until the mid-1990s. As recently as 1986, 16 states banned concealed gun carry while another 25 had laws allowing state officials to reject permit applications for any.

The law goes into effect on May 5th, which is fantastic news for gun owners in the state.

Frankly, more states need to consider it, especially in light of COVID-19. After all, how many stories have we written about places being unable to keep up with the demand for gun permits? There’s only a handful of states that deny permits for any reason beyond someone being criminally barred from carrying a firearm–something constitutional carry does not change–so why not remove the bottleneck by removing the requirement to have a permit?

If people don’t have to get permits, there won’t be a massive demand for permits.

Plus, as noted in the above-linked article, the three safest states in the country all have constitutional carry–Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. That’s also a fantastic reason to embrace permitless carry.

Of course, you know that anywhere this comes up, the usual suspects will scream about “blood in the streets,” same as they have about every other pro-gun measure they’ve ever seen. The big question with them is whether they ever get tired of being so wrong about everything.