The open carry debate in Utah has been going on for roughly two years, seemingly resolved in March of 2017. In 2014, Utah allowed its citizens to openly carry an unloaded firearm, two mechanical actions away from being fired. The weapon had to be visible at all times. A firearm can be in one’s home or business without a permit, but if it’s to be concealed on an individual, a permit is required.
On the concealed front, individuals with a record (convicted of a felony, a violent crime, involved in the unlawful use of controlled substances or an offense involving alcohol, domestic violence, or are mentally incompetent by the state or federal court) cannot attain a permit.
In 2015, despite Gary Herbert threatening a veto, the senate passed a bill that allowed anyone over the age of twenty-one to carry a concealed weapon without a permit to protect those who lacked a concealed carry if ‘their coat covered their holster’. Originally a weapon couldn’t be loaded, but he amended so that it can.
A little over ten years ago there was a shooting at Trolley Square, a local indoor mall, a survivor named Anne Bagely spoke against the bill during its hearing and said, “HB237 [the bill] potentially allows dangerous people to easily carry concealed loaded weapons in our state in public places, such as Trolley Square… and allows people who have not passed a background check or have proper safety training to carry loaded weapons around children and all of us.”