Today, January 30th, 2012, at 2:00 p.m., House Bill 49 is scheduled to be heard in the state House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee. Sponsored by state Representative Paul Ray (R-13), HB 49 would provide that, in the absence of threatening behavior, the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm, whether visible or concealed, does not constitute a violation of Disorderly Conduct.
Self-defense is a fundamental right and protected by the Utah Constitution and clearly provided for in state statute. The carrying of firearms for self-defense in Utah is legal, either concealed with a Concealed Firearm Permit (CFP) or unconcealed without a permit – it is the choice of the individual HOW to carry. This bill does not, in any way, change the laws governing carrying of firearms, nor does it make any changes to what behavior by law-abiding firearm owners is legal or illegal.
There is a problem in Utah that some jurisdictions are arresting people for open carry when it is clearly NOT prohibited in statute. These jurisdictions have sought creative ways to harass law-abiding firearm owners who are legally carrying unconcealed firearms for self-defense.
HB 49 bill would remove one of the ploys (charging the person with Disorderly Conduct) being used by some jurisdictions within Utah to circumvent state law and the Utah Constitution in an attempt to go after these law-abiding firearm owners.
Please contact members of the state House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee NOW and respectfully request their support for HB 49. You can contact committee members by calling the House line at (801) 538-1029, and by sending an e-mail to the addresses provided below:
- Representative Curtis Oda(R-14), Chairman, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Representative Richard A. Greenwood (R-12), Vice Chairman, email@example.com
- Representative Patrice M. Arent (D-36), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Representative David G. Butterfield (R-4), email@example.com
- Representative Craig A. Frank (R-57), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Representative Keith Grover (R-61), email@example.com
- Representative Gregory H. Hughes (R-51), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Representative Don L. Ipson (R-75), email@example.com
- Representative David Litvack (D-26), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Representative Daniel McCay (R-52), email@example.com
- Representative Lee B. Perry (R-2), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Representative Jennifer M. Seelig (D-23), email@example.com
- Representative Bill Wright (R-68), firstname.lastname@example.org