A bill that would allow for concealed carry permit applications to be accepted before the applicant turns 21 awaits Senate approval.
HB312 would allow, “that a provisional conceal carry permit holder may, before age 21, apply for a concealed carry permit that becomes valid at age 21.”
A provisional concealed firearm permit is a permit that allows a person who is 18–20 to carry a concealed firearm, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety. HB312 would allow only those who already have a provisional permit to apply for a concealed carry permit before 21.
HB312 sponsor Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, said the bill would allow a person with the provisional permit to apply for a regular permit 90 days before they turn 21.
“There was some concern among those who were applying for the provisional permit that they would not be able to obtain the regular permit,” Lisonbee said. “And there would be a gap in their being able to protect themselves. So this bill just fixes that.”
She said she sponsored the bill creating the provisional permit last year, HB198, and this is just a simple fix to that bill.
Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, agreed HB312 is a simple fix.
“I think it’s a logical bill,” Greene said. “It closes an unintended overlook gap in this process.”
Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, spoke to a committee on behalf of the USSC and the NRA to voice their support of HB312. He said the NRA authorized him to speak in support of the bill.
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, asked if it would make it easier for teens to obtain assault rifles, as assault rifles are a hot topic and people are concerned with that issue. Lisonbee said it would not, as HB312 does not address that issue.
Weiler also said he received backlash for supporting Lisonbee’s bill last year, but he believes people do not fully understand it.
“It is already legal for an 18-year-old to openly carry,” Weiler said. “This legislation has just been dealing with concealed weapons permits.”
The bill met with little opposition in committee or on the House floor, and because of its simplicity, received few questions.
It has been sent to the Senate, where it must pass before it would go to the governor for a signature.