Many of us here in Utah were holding our breath to see if “Smilin’ John” was going to sign or veto two gun laws passed by the Utah State Senate this year. He made the right choice.
Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. (R) announced today that he signed important National Rifle Association-backed legislation into law that will protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Senate Bill 78 will protect the right to lawfully transport and store firearms in privately-owned, locked motor vehicles that are parked in a publicly accessible parking lot controlled by a business.
“Governor Huntsman and the Utah legislature have taken an important step toward reinforcing self-defense laws in Utah,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “Crime can happen anywhere – even during a person’s daily commute. As employees work longer hours and travel longer distances, it is reasonable for these workers, if they choose, to have an effective means of self-protection.”
In addition to signing Senate Bill 78, Governor Huntsman also signed House Bill 357. Existing Utah law requires a person to have a concealed weapon permit to carry concealed in or on their own property. HB357 fixes this problem. Now law-abiding individuals will be able to carry a concealed firearm in their own residence, on their own property, or in their place of business without a concealed carry permit. HB357 also clarifies current law with respect to firearms in vehicles, to allow law-abiding citizens the choice of how they would prefer to carry a handgun for self-defense (open, concealed, unloaded or loaded).
“The right to self-defense and to protect loved ones is paramount, and we are pleased to see legislatures across the country reinforce this right,” concluded Cox. “NRA would like to thank Governor Huntsman and the lead sponsors, State Senator Mark Madsen (R-13) and State Representative Steve Sandstrom (R-58) for their continued support for the Second Amendment.”