By: Teresa Mull and José Niño
Utah just joined the growing list of states that have a Constitutional Carry (CC) law on the books.
Constitutional Carry is a policy that makes it so law-abiding American citizens do not have to ask the government permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed H.B. 60 into law last week, thereby making it legal for lawful individuals to carry a firearm concealed without a permit. Under H.B. 60, Utah’s concealed carry permit system will stay in place for reciprocity purposes with other states that recognize Utah permits.
The fight to bring Constitutional Carry to Utah has been a multi-year project. Back in 2013, the state legislature passed Constitutional Carry, however, then-Republican Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed the bill once it arrived at his desk.
Utah joins 17 other Constitutional Carry states. While 2020 ended on a sour note, gun owners have much to look forward to throughout this year; 2021 is indeed shaping up to be a big year for Constitutional Carry as Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas are also considering their own permitless carry bills. Montana is on the verge now of having CC signed into law.
Gun rights organizations, namely the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), have been instrumental in mobilizing voters and holding lawmakers accountable to their constituents to get pro-gun legislation passed.
“It’s long past due states like Utah and Montana enact pro-gun legislation like Constitutional Carry," Ryan Fluguar, NAGR vice-president, told GPM. "Citizens of both states have had to pay excessive fines, only to carry a handgun concealed. Gun owners in Utah can now exercise their right to carry a firearm without begging government permission, and it’s all thanks the tireless support and activism from NAGR members and supporters.”
Constitutional Carry is one of the most successful pro-Second Amendment initiatives the Right has spearheaded in the last 15 years and will continue to be well into the 2020s. The lack of progress at the federal level when it comes to rolling back gun control opens up avenues for states and lower governments to fight back against gun grabs.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.