Concealed carriers of the Beehive state, rejoice! Governor Spencer Cox signed constitutional carry into law on February 15th, a late but welcome Valentine’s gift for gun owners. Adults age 21 and older will be able to carry concealed firearms with no permit. This new law takes effect on May 5th. Until then, the old law still applies.
Utah’s concealed firearms permit is popular with out of state residents because it has reciprocity with 36 states and is easy to obtain. Permits are still available for residents and non-residents under the old requirements. Utah residents who wish to carry concealed in other states will still need to obtain a permit. The resident concealed firearm permit will still waive background checks for gun purchases. This change also leaves the provisional concealed firearm permit intact for adults age 18 to 21.
The law also creates a Suicide Prevention and Education Fund. The fund will take a portion of the concealed permit application fees and use them for “suicide prevention efforts that include a focus on firearm safety as related to suicide prevention.”
A similar bill was previously passed by the legislature in 2013, but the governor at the time vetoed the bill. The legislature was unable to override that veto. Utah is the 17th state to have adopted permitless concealed carry. Montana recently became number 18. And it appears that Indiana may be headed in the same direction.
I will be renewing my permit when the time comes because I frequently carry in other states. The current permit fee ($20.75 for resident online renewals) will also be more than offset by my savings on background check fees ($7.50 per transaction), which are waived for resident concealed permit holders.
Whether your state has constitutional carry or is still a “may issue” state, it is always a good idea to know your local laws. Knowing the law could be the difference between freedom or prison if you are ever involved in a shooting.