Second Amendment supporters in the state of Utah had cause for celebration over the weekend.
According to the Washington Examiner, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed a bill into law Friday that will soon allow the state’s residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
Signing the “constitutional carry” bill was one of Cox’s first moves as governor after being sworn in last month, and one that he mentioned on the campaign trail would be a top priority for his administration.
No permit required
The bill allows “an individual who is 21 years old or older” and who “may lawfully possess a firearm” to “carry a concealed firearm in a public area without a permit.”
Because a government-issued permit will no longer be needed, Utah residents will also no longer be subjected to the required FBI background check and a four-hour training course. FOX 13 in Salt Lake City reports that “the new law will still allow gun owners who want to concealed carry out-of-state to get a permit.”
The bill also looks to combat suicide by redirecting “unused funds in the Concealed Weapons Account to the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for suicide prevention efforts,” and by creating “the Suicide Prevention and Education Fund within the division for suicide prevention efforts.”
In a statement Friday, Cox praised the legislation.
“With the passage of this bill, Utah joins 17 other states with some form of permitless concealed carry. This bill protects Second Amendment rights, reduces permitless open carry, and includes significant funding for suicide prevention,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner.
The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) also issued a statement celebrating the move.
“There is no reason a law-abiding person should have to ask for permission to carry a firearm for self-defense,” Jason Ouimet, the group’s executive director, said. “The passage of this bill demonstrates Utah’s commitment to protecting the Second Amendment rights of its citizens.”
The changes will take effect in May, according to reports.