Concealed-carry Bill

In Our View

See my thoughts below.

Let’s start by stating something clearly: This editorial board believes in the Constitution and in the Second Amendment right to bar arms.

Let’s state one more thing clearly: This editorial board also believes people who handle guns should know how to do so safely.

A bill being pitched in the Utah House could make people a danger to themselves and others. House Bill 76, sponsored by Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal, would allow anyone 21 or older to carry a concealed gun as long as that person hasn’t been convicted of a crime that normally bars a person from legally owning a firearm.

While it should be noted that four others states have similar laws — Arizona, Wyoming, Alaska and Vermont — this move would be a bad idea in Utah, mostly because people carrying concealed weapons no longer would be required to receive the kind of training that helps keep them or others safe. They also wouldn’t receive the instruction that could make them effective users of those weapons if a crisis should arise.

Under current law, people who want to obtain a concealed-carry permit must show that they know how to handle a gun, complete a training course or provide evidence of military service. They also must meet a background check requirement.

While it appears the background check requirement would stay in place if Mathis’ bill is passed into law, it seems counterintuitive to the idea making our state safer by allowing people to carry concealed weapons without requiring training that even the most staunch of gun proponents say is important for the safe operation of weapons.

In fact, most pro-gun organizations, including the National Rifle Association, believe training is an important part of safe handling of weapons. And the NRA sets high standards for its instructors to ensure people who take their courses get the best training possible.

Some Utah lawmakers want to take a stand against the Obama administration and anticipated restrictions on various kinds of weaponry. The Second Amendment should be upheld and defended. But at the same time we shouldn’t eliminate the training requirements that come with obtaining a concealed-carry permit.

I saw this article in the newspaper today. I have always grown up with guns and know how to use them so I don’t totally agree with the article. I think if someone is buying a gun for the first time, they should have to take a class, otherwise they should use common sense. What are your thoughts?