This archived article was written by: Hannah Coleman
On April 11, Gov. Gary Herbert signed HB 198 into law. Sponsored by Rep-Karianne Lisonbee and co-sponsored by Sen-Todd Weiler, state law to allows 18-20 year olds to obtain a concealed-carry permit.Before this bill, a person had to be 21 to legally carry a concealed weapon with a permit. Under Utah law, 18-20 year olds could openly carry a gun in any public area except a college campus, but they could not legally conceal the weapon until they turned 21 and could apply for a permit.
This was concerning for the bill’s sponsor. Lisonbee worried about the high rates of sexual assault on college campuses and felt many at risk were college age and needed options for their protection.
Under Utah law, anyone under 21 could carry a gun in their car or keep a weapon in their residence, including dorms, but couldn’t put a gun in their purse, under their jacket or carry it across a parking lot. This amendment allows anyone who is an adult to have the opportunity to take the course and carry.
The House Judicial Committee met Feb. 7 to hear the bill. USUE students Hannah Coleman, Kyler Atkinson and Alex Holt testified in the committee meeting in favor of the bill, as students affected by the measure.
To have a concealed carry permit between 18-20 years old, someone could obtain a permit in one of 17 states with reciprocity for Utah, and it would be legally recognized. With the passing of this bill, 18-20 year olds can follow the same process established in Utah for 21 year olds. The law goes into effect May 8, 2017.