Utah representative claims his concealed carry bill will decrease violent crimes

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The gun bill that will allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit is one step closer to passing Friday Night.

A Senate committee heard more than a dozen people give their opinions about the bill before voting 5-2 to send HB 60 to the Senate Floor.

Let’s clear a few things up:

“If you pull out a weapon and threaten anybody or discharge it, you are accountable for those actions and people who are law-abiding, they go get the training they need too, so they are prepared properly,” says Saint George Representative Walt Brooks.

Representative Brooks is pushing for anyone more than 21-years-old to conceal carry in Utah.

It’s causing some concern with supporters.

During the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee, Jim Pigg told senators, “And in this particular case, there will be no rules.”

“The concealed permit certainly allows you to do some things that I don’t think this bill will allow you to do,” Utah CCW Carry Instructor Aaron Turner tells ABC4. “This bill simply just allows somebody to throw a jacket over their firearm as they run into you know, say the grocery store at two in the morning or something.”

According to Rep. Brooks, without a CCP, you won’t be able to conceal a firearm on a school campus, go bow hunting and carry a gun, or have reciprocity in 37 other states.

“Other states that have done this have seen zero increase in violence. In fact, a decrease in a lot of violent crimes,” Brooks says.

With the bill, 50 percent of excess funds will go to the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for suicide prevention education.

The 5-2 vote to send the bill to the Senate floor went down party lines.

Salt Lake’s Senators Jami Iwamoto and Gene Davis both voted against the bill.

Sen. Iwamoto explains, “When we have an instrument that can take a life, I feel that there needs to be more and so that’s why I am voting no.

Sen. Davis adds, “I don’t think this is good public policy. I don’t think the liberation of guns in our society is truly good public policy. I vote no.”

Everyone in Friday’s meeting agreed there needs to be more training with firearms. Rep. Brooks says he is looking to introduce a three-month gun safety course to educate high school students on gun safety.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...