Republican Gov. Spencer Cox last week signed popular permitless concealed carry legislation that had been approved by the Utah legislature numerous times with different results.
Cox on Friday approved HB 60, which passed the state House 51-20 and state Senate 22-6 earlier this month. The bill retains the Beehive State's well-liked concealed carry permitting system and simply codifies the right for an otherwise lawful adult to have a concealed handgun in public without such a permit.
"There is no reason a law-abiding person should have to ask for permission to carry a firearm for self-defense," said Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, one of the many 2A groups that supported HB 60. "The passage of this bill demonstrates Utah's commitment to protecting the Second Amendment rights of its citizens."
Cox's signature on HB 60, just weeks after taking office from former Gov. Gary Herbert, is a marked difference from his GOP predecessor. Herbert torpedoed a Constitutional Carry bill that made it to his desk in 2013 and continued to block the move in successive legislatures with a threat of veto ink.
Among Utah's neighbors, Arizona and Idaho already have permitless carry laws, while Wyoming recognizes the right for residents only. Elsewhere, constitutional carry bills are under consideration by lawmakers in at least eight states.