UPDATED 10:39 AM PT – Monday, January 25, 2020
GOP lawmakers in multiple states are pushing to ease restrictions on gun owners. Fifteen states in the U.S. currently allow concealed carry with out having to obtain a permit and Republican lawmakers have now introduced the measure in nine other states.
Utah advanced a bill on Friday, which proposes any U.S. citizen aged 21 and older be allowed to carry a concealed firearm without the current fees and requirements in place. This includes bypassing a weapons course or background check.
In a move backed by the governor of Utah, state Rep. Walt Brooks (R) utilized a 2018 multi-state study, which found relaxing concealed carry laws did not lead to more violent crimes or homicides. Brooks, who put forward the bill, also added, covering one’s firearm with a jacket should not be a crime.
“When I first was brought this by some constituents, I didn’t jump right on board,” he stated. “I had my concealed weapon permit, so I spent the next couple years researching…see why, what is the purpose of the permit…what are other states doing that have concealed carry restrictions removed and the data is really clear.”
The measure came after the FBI reported a spike in background checks related to firearm purchases last summer amid the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests.
Recently, the Montana House also passed a bill expanding conceal carry laws in most places. This comes as Americans nationwide fear their Second Amendment rights are being threatened as Democrat officials look to strengthen restrictions.
However, GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill have continued to push for concealed carry as well. Similar bills have been introduced in Florida, Alabama, Texas, Indiana, Georgia and South Carolina.