SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Conceal carry permits in Utah may be a thing of the past. House Bill 76, which allows adults to carry unloaded concealed weapons without a permit, passed both the House and the Senate and is headed to the Governor’s desk to await his signature.
It’s a controversial bill, but it passed both houses with a majority vote. Sen. Jim Dabakis voted against the bill and told ABC 4 News he hopes Governor Herbert has the courage to veto it.
Sen. Dabakis explained, “Anybody who's over 21 can take an assault weapon, can paint their face black, can take full camouflage gear, can take a nap sack of bullets and as long as the chamber isn't full, without any registration and without any background check, and they can get on a UTA bus.”
The idea sits just as well with people we spoke with on the street.
Darin Porter said, "I'd probably say no I'm against it. I think if people want a gun there's a process in place for them to get passage to get a gun, carry a gun."
Richard Stevens agreed. "I don't think it's a very good idea just for the simple fact that it's going to be on the people themselves to educate themselves about the dangers of carrying around a gun,” said Stevens.
The bill's supporters say it actually keeps people safer by keeping the guns already on the street unloaded.
Majority House Leader Rep. Brad Dee said, "Let's take for example a pick up truck with a shot gun in the rack, or a hunting rifle in the rack, up until now this point you could have the rifle loaded."
It's the lack of back ground checks that really make people we spoke with nervous.
Last year alone, the permitting process and the back ground checks that go with it, prevented more than 600 people from carrying a concealed weapon because of things like felony convictions, domestic violence and protective orders.
Rep. Dee argues, "The second amendment doesn't say you have to have a back ground check to keep and bear arms.”
"That's true it doesn't, but there's nothing in the constitution about having a driver's license either,” said Brandie Llewellyn, a concealed carry permit holder.
Those against HB 78 worry the bill is veto proof. Even if the Governor Herbert vetoes it, they worry there’s enough votes to override his veto, but Sen. John Valentine told ABC 4 News, “There’s always a difference between the numbers who vote for a bill and the numbers who will actually vote veto override.”