Alert #401
19 February, 2016

Today’s Maxim of Liberty:

"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."

-- Jeff Cooper

In this alert:

This Week’s Take Five Make Five* Action Item

Please take a moment to contact Gov. Gary Herbert and ask him to support SB97, Sen. Hinkins’ Constitutional Carry bill with no anti-gun amendments. This bill is being held up in the Senate Rules Committee, and we are told that the main reason is because the Governor has threatened to veto it.

Politicians pay attention to the number of letters and phone calls they receive on a given issue. Below are the contact info for the Governor, plus a sample letter that you can feel free to copy and use, or alter as you see fit. Please phone the Governor’s office and/or send him your comments via webmail and/or regular mail.

Gov. Gary Herbert
350 North State Street, Suite 200
PO Box 142220
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2220
Phone: (801)538-1000
Toll Free: (800)705-2464

[Click here for] Gov. Herbert’s webmail


Gun Bills

SB97 (Sen. David Hinkins). [Supported by GOUtah!]

This bill would make it legal under state law for an adult of age 21 or over to carry a concealed firearm without a permit in most (but not all) places where it’s currently legal for a permit-holder to carry concealed, provided that the individual is legally eligible to possess a firearm and provided that the firearm is unloaded as defined under Utah law (for example, a semiautomatic with a loaded magazine but no round in the chamber). GOUtah! strongly supports this bill. Even though it’s not full Constitutional Carry (i.e., loaded AND concealed without a permit), SB97 is a step in the right direction because it eliminates an existing restriction on your Second-Amendment rights without creating any new restrictions. SB97 remains bottled up in the Senate Rules Committee. Word around the campfire is that Gov. Herbert has threatened to veto the bill if it passes, but we’ve been told that it could pass quickly if the Governor were to change his mind and offer to sign the bill. See the action item above to find out what you can do to change the governor’s mind.

SB43S1 (Sen. Todd Weiler). [Opposed by GOUtah!]

This bill would appropriate $75,000 to pay for the creation of a pilot program for "firearm safety and violence prevention instruction in public schools." The Attorney General would be required to select a private contractor or organization to produce curriculum and materials for this pilot program. GOUtah! believes that the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Program already works well for teaching gun safety to school children, and doesn’t cost anything. Even if a good pilot program gets developed, this bill does not require that it actually be used in any schools. Thus, the potential exists that the $75,000 will get spent with no tangible results. Furthermore, we’re concerned that SB43S1 does not appear to place constraints on the contents of the curriculum. The contractor could, for example, incorporate an anti-gun message into the curriculum. GOUtah! opposes this bill. SB43S1 has passed the Senate and is currently in the House Education Committee.

HB298 (Rep. Justin Fawson). [Supported by GOUtah!]

This bill limits the liability of gun manufacturers and dealers in Utah in order to prevent frivolous lawsuits against them. Thus, for example, if someone were to sue a gun manufacturer for the actions of a criminal who used a gun that was legally made by that manufacturer, HB298 would prevent the manufacturer from being held liable. If a gun dealer sells a firearm or ammunition in compliance with the law, and someone misuses said firearm and/or ammunition, the dealer will be shielded from liability. This is a state version of a federal law that was passed a number of years ago. GOUtah! strongly supports this bill. Unfortunately, it remains bottled up in the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.

HB67 (Rep. Norman Thurston). [Supported by GOUtah!]

This bill improves the section of state code dealing with weapons on buses. Current state law makes it a felony to carry a concealed weapon into a bus terminal or on board any bus in Utah without a permit, even if the weapon is unloaded. HB67 would change things so that the laws governing the carrying of weapons on a bus or in a bus terminal would be the same as they are elsewhere. GOUtah! supports this bill. HB67 has passed the House and appears to be close to passage in the Senate.


Operation Take Five Make Five

Take Five Make Five         * Operation Take Five Make Five is GOUtah!’s initiative aimed at encouraging gun owners to either take five minutes or make a $5 set-aside each week to protect the right to keep and bear arms and the right to self-defense. During the legislative season, five minutes per week spent contacting legislators can help defeat anti-gun bills and pass pro-gun bills. During election season, sending a few dollars to help the campaigns of pro-gun candidates can make a big difference.


Sample Letter

Date: [put today's date here]

From: [your name and contact info here]

To: Governor Gary Herbert

Dear Governor Herbert:

I encourage you to support SB97, Sen. David Hinkins’ Constitutional Carry bill. A growing number of states have adopted such reforms, and no problems have resulted. I look forward to seeing SB97 passed as a clean and simple bill with your full support. Please get back to me and let me know your decision on this matter. Thanks for taking time to consider my point of view.

Best regards,
[your signature here]


That concludes the GOUtah! Political and Legislative Alert #401 for 19 February, 2016. We hope this information will be of assistance to you in defending your firearms rights.

Remember that getting this information is meaningless unless You Act On It Today. If you just read it and dump it in the trash, your gun rights, and the gun rights of future generations go in the trash with it. Get involved, get active and get vocal!

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