Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gunfights in Utah?

Representative John Mathis (R-Vernal) is sponsoring HB.76, which restores the right of responsible adults to carry a gun, openly or concealed, within the State of Utah.

This legislation is long overdue. Why should any responsible adult need government permission to exercise a constitutionally-guaranteed individual right?

Eliminating the need for a permit would also eliminate the mandate for training. Nevertheless, I believe that everyone should obtain competent training in gun safety, the laws of self-defense, and the laws regarding the use of lethal force. Such training will help each individual to better avoid life-and-death confrontations and, failing that, make better life-and-death decisions.

Some will fuss over how this legislation will result in wild-west shootouts in Walmart. Well, that hasn't been the result in any other state with "Constitution carry." In fact, probably 10% of the adults you see in a Utah Walmart have Utah carry permits. How badly did they hurt you?

Vermont has never had a permit requirement. They don't have a problem with wrongful shootings.

Alaska, Arizona, Montana, and Wyoming dropped their permit requirements. These four states also do not have a problem with wrongful shootings.

Several states, such as Washington, have no training requirement for their permits. Likewise, no problem with wrongful shootings.

The statistics simply don't show that responsible citizens are in the habit of shooting the wrong guy or shooting when shooting isn't justified.

Should everyone have training? Absolutely! Any truly responsible person will voluntarily seek all the training they can afford. As a Utah Concealed Firearm Instructor, I benefit from a training mandate. But, should it be mandatory? The statistics say no.

Should people who carry be required to have a permit? Again, the statistics say no. In reality, the permitting process is primarily a revenue stream in most jurisdictions.

Requiring training and permits doesn't stop criminals from carrying. So, why should any responsible American need government permission to exercise a constitutionally-guaranteed individual right?

Anti-gun paranoids need to come to grips with the fact that responsible Americans won't hurt anyone unless necessary to protect themselves or other innocent persons. This bill will not allow irresponsible persons (eg, criminals, crazy people, addicts, drunks, etc.) to possess a gun nor will it diminish our need to protect ourselves from them.

I urge the Utah Legislature and the Governor to pass this bill immediately. Every other State would be wise to do likewise.

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