Maine Gets Commonsense Carry

Maine is the latest state to get Commonsense Carry (permit-less carry).  It follows on the heels of Kansas which passed Commonsense Carry earlier this year.  Maine’s Commonsense Carry bill was signed into law by Governor Paul LePage.  The USSC will continue to work to convince Governor Herbert to drop his opposition to permit-less carry.

Mississippi moves closer to Commonsense Carry

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill into law that will allow people to carry concealed loaded firearms in purses or briefcases without a permit. This is not full on Commonsense Carry (permit-less carry), but it is a step towards it.

While Mississippi moves closer to Commonsense Carry, Utah legislation has been stalled by opposition from Governor Herbert. The USSC will continue to work with Governor Herbert to persuade him to drop his opposition to Commonsense Carry. With your help e-mailing and phoning the Governor we are hopeful on making progress.

 

 

 

Kansas gets Commonsense Carry signed into law.

From the NRA-ILA:

“In great news for Kansas gun owners and Second Amendment supporters, Governor Sam Brownback (R) signed Senate Bill 45, NRA-backed permitless carry legislation, into law today.  SB 45 passed in the Kansas Senate on February 26 by a 31 to 7 vote, passed in the Kansas House of Representatives on March 25 by an 85 to 39 vote, and was then concurred on by the Senate on March 25 by a 31 to 8 vote.  SB 45 takes effect on July 1st.

SB 45 recognizes Kansans’ freedom to legally carry a concealed firearm without the requirement of acquiring a Kansas concealed carry handgun license (CCHL).  SB 45 is a necessary update to concealed carry in Kansas, allowing law-abiding gun owners the ability to better protect themselves and their loved ones.  In Kansas, it is already legal to carry a firearm openly, as long as the individual is not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.  However, under current law, if a firearm becomes covered by a coat or if a woman prefers to carry a firearm for self-protection in her purse, he or she would need to possess a CCHL.”

USSC Alert April 30, 2015 – Brent McNee elected to USSC Board, NFA Gun Trust for USSC members, CCP holder stops mass shooting

Brent McNee elected to USSC Board of Directors.
At the April 15th USSC membership meeting Brent McNee was elected to the USSC Board of Directors by the membership.  He replaces Scott Engen who declined to serve another term. 
 
The USSC would like to thank Scott Engen for his service on the Board and for his work in protecting gun rights in general.  Scott was instrumental in getting concealed carry passed in 1995.  Although Scott will no longer be serving on the Board he plans to stay active in the gun rights fight.
 
Brent retired from the United States Air Force in 2009. He was a competitive shooter in the service for seventeen years and has some significant accomplishments at the National Matches at Camp Perry and Inter-service Championships at Fort Benning. He has also helped run and organize many national and local shooting events. Brent has been a firearm instructor for over forty years and now teaches at a local gun store. He has been a Life Member of the National Rifle Association since 1984. Brent is on the board of directors of the Utah Precision Marksmanship Society (U of U collegiate shooting activities and Bullseye pistol shooting). He is an avid Sporting Clay, Skeet and Five Stand participant in local activities. He is also an avid tournament fisherman and currently serves on committees for the Utah DWR. Brent is interested in helping people get involved in shooting sports by becoming involved with the many organizations throughout the state and country.
 
 
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Discounted Gun Trust for USSC Members

The law firm of Spaulding Gomm is offering discounted NFA Gun Trust for USSC members.  The trust is normally $347.00 but USSC members can obtain one for $147.00 through June 30, 2015.

USSC individual memberships are $20.00 per year.  By becoming a USSC member you will not only get a discounted gun trust but more importantly you will be helping us protect your Second Amendment rights in Utah.

You can join the USSC online at:

Join the USSC

If you are a current USSC member and have not received your code, please contact 

bill.scott@UtahShootingSportsCouncil.org

 

Once becoming a member you will receive a code that you will enter when completing the online Gun Trust application.  After completing the application it will be  attorney-reviewed by the Utah-based law firm of Spaulding Gomm, PC-Business & Estate Attorneys.  

For more information go to: www.spauldinggomm.com/firearm-trusts 

A Gun Trust is a specially designed trust to hold firearms.  It is especially beneficial for those who want to purchase Title II firearms (e.g. silencers, machine guns, short-barreled rifles, or short-barreled shotguns), are interested in collecting firearms, or have firearms that they want to keep in the family.

The ATF has proposed a rule to amend the procedures for obtaining Title II firearms and the rule is expected to take effect sometime this year.  The new rule will potentially require all individuals listed in a gun trust (trustees and beneficiaries) to obtain the approval of their chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) and submit photos and fingerprints to the ATF.  Because it looks like the proposed rule will not affect Title II firearm applications submitted prior to the new rules going into effect, you might consider setting up your Gun Trust now and purchasing those Title II firearms on your wish-list before the end of the year.

Spaulding Gomm specializes in Business and Estate (Wills and Trusts) work, and has indicated that completion of its online form takes about five (5) minutes, following which, one of their experienced attorneys will draft the Gun Trust and email it to you.

For more information on the gun trust please contact Spaulding Gomm.

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Friends of the NRA event May 8th

The Salt Lake Friends of the NRA will be having a banquet/auction on May 8th.  This is a great way to help protect gun rights and have a good time.  For more information see:

Friends of the NRA

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Concealed Carry Permit Holder Stops Mass Shooting in Chicago
On April 20th a concealed carry permit holder opened fire on an attacker who had opened fire on a crowd in Chicago.
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Utah Gun Collectors Association 
The Utah Gun Collectors Association is Utah’s first NRA-affiliated collectors’ organization, offering a meeting place for men, women, and youngsters interested in learning about and preserving historic and collectible firearms and related items.
The UGCA has been a big supporter of the USSC, and they run an excellent gun show in Ogden that focuses on historical and collectible firearms.
For more information see:
 

2015 Legislative Recap – Commonsense Carry passes in Senate dies in House

 

2015 Utah Legislative Session Recap– Obama backs off ammo ban for now

– The Well Armed Woman Chapters in Utah

Utah Shooting Sports Council Alert  –  March 19, 2015

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Anti-gun bills

The USSC ensured that no anti-gun bills saw the light of day.  We were able to do this thanks to all of you who took the time to contact legislators the past few years.  These phone calls and e-mails have impressed upon lawmakers that the people of Utah take their gun rights seriously and that when we take aim at an anti-gun bill we are doing it with the backing of the people of Utah.

Pro-gun bills

Freedom was advanced in Utah this year, but not as much as we had hoped.  Our big push this year was Commonsense Carry (permitless carry).  This passed overwhelmingly in the Senate but died in the House.  The USSC will be meeting with legislators and the Governor to work on this issue between now and the next legislative session.

The other major piece of legislation, that did not pass, was a bill that would eliminate the prohibition of being in possession of a gun on a bus.  This bill easily passed in the House, was not opposed by the UTA, yet died in the Senate due to the clock running out on the last day of the session.  Despite this we were successful in getting four pro-gun bills passed.

Pro-gun bills passed:

PASSED –  H.B. 212 Wildland Fire Liability Amendments – Sponsor Rep. Mark Wheatley

Currently it is illegal to shoot tracer ammo in the state of Utah, except within the confines of an established military reservation.  This bill will make it possible to shoot tracers with written permission of the director of the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands if the director specifies a limited period of time and a limited area in which the ammunition may be used.

This will allow Utah to host events like the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot which features a night tracer shoot.  It will also allow the shooting of tracer ammunition at times and under conditions that are safe.  This bill passed unanimously in both the  House and Senate.

Gun owners owe a big thank you to the bill’s sponsor Rep. Mark Wheatley (D) and Senate floor sponsor Luz Escamilla (D).

PASSED – H.B. 298 Exemption Acts Amendments – Sponsor Rep. Ken Ivory

Currently Utah law exempts firearms up to $250.00 per person and not more than $500.00 per household in bankruptcy proceedings.  This allows someone who is filing for bankruptcy to still exercise their Second Amendment rights by not losing all their firearms in bankruptcy.  When this law was written $250.00 probably was enough for a gun or two, but with today’s pricing it is completely unrealistic.

This bill changes the exemption to allow any three of the following;

1 – one shotgun and ammunition for the shotgun not exceeding 1,000 rounds

2 – one handgun and ammunition for the handgun not exceeding 1,000 rounds

3 – one shoulder arm and ammunition for the shoulder arm not exceeding 1,000 rounds

This bill will allow one to exit bankruptcy with at least a minimal amount of weaponry and ammunition to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

PASSED – H.B. 300 Firearms and Dangerous Weapons Amendments – Sponsor Rep. Brian Greene

This bill does away with the definition of concealed dangerous weapon.  Currently one can be charged with illegal possession of a concealed dangerous weapon for something as innocuous as having a hunting knife in a glove box or returning from a gun show with an antique bayonet sitting on the carseat covered by a jacket.  Once this bill goes into effect, one can only be charged with a crime if they are in possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to use it to commit a criminal offense.

PASSED S.B. 115 – Assault Offenses Amendment – Sponsor Daniel Thatcher

This bill modifies the Utah Criminal Code regarding assault.  The Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) rules require the suspension of a concealed carry permit for someone charged with assault with force.  If that person was found not guilty, their permit could be reinstated.  If someone was charged with the threat of assault without harm, their permit would not be suspended unless they were convicted.  The problem was that, when a person was charged with assault, BCI could not differentiate between these two levels of assault.  This could result in someone having their permit suspended when not appropriate (threat of assault without harm) or BCI having to spend man-hours researching the circumstances around an arrest.

S.B. 115 makes clear the difference between these two levels of assault and modifies the penalty for the threat of assault without harm.  This bill does not change who is prohibited or not prohibited from having a concealed carry permit.  It simply clarifies the different levels of assault.

Pro-gun bills that did not pass:

DIED IN HOUSE – S.B. 256 Concealed Firearm Amendments – Sponsor Sen. David Hinkins

This is the Commonsense Carry bill.  It would have allowed those who are already legally carrying without permits to politely cover up their guns and load a round in the chamber. In other words, it would have allowed anyone 21 years and older, who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm, to carry concealed without a permit.  It would have maintained Utah’s permit system intact for those desiring a permit.

This bill passed by huge margins in the Senate (21 to 6).  It then went to the House where it failed to get a committee hearing.

DIED IN HOUSE – H.B. 260 Concealed Firearms Permit Amendments – Sponsor Rep. Curt Oda

 

Unlike S.B. 256, mentioned above, this bill would have achieved half of the goals of Commonsense Carry.  Had this bill passed we planned on coming back the following session to obtain the remaining goals of Commonsense Carry.

For Commonsense Carry to become a reality two changes need to be made in Utah law.

Those who are already legally carrying firearms without permits need to be allowed to:

1- politely conceal their firearm and

2 – carry with a round in the chamber.

This bill would have allowed those who are already legally carrying without permits to cover their guns.  It would not have changed the requirement to not have a round in the chamber nor would it have touched Utah’s concealed carry permit system.

The “no round in the chamber” requirement is often referred to erroneously in the media as unloaded.  This is not the case.  It is legal to have a full magazine in the gun, just no round in the chamber.  This is often referred to as Israeli Carry.  Someone carrying in such a manner can engage a target almost as rapidly as someone carrying with a round in the chamber (see video at CommonsenseCarry.org).

With this bill Utah gun owners would have lost nothing and gained the ability to cover their guns if they are using Israeli Carry.  Had this bill become law the only remaining step to achieve Commonsense Carry would have been to eliminate the “round in the chamber” prohibition.

The USSC supported a bill similar to this in 2013.  It passed by wide margins in both the House and Senate only to be vetoed by the Governor.  While S.B. 256 was our first choice this bill would have been a good second choice and many felt it was more likely to avoid a veto by the Governor.

The USSC looks forward to working with Rep. Oda and other legislators between now and the next session to garner support for Commonsense Carry.

DIED IN SENATE – H.B. 350 Weapons on Public Transportation- Sponsor Rep. Norman Thurston 

Currently it is illegal to carry a firearm on a bus or in a bus terminal in Utah unless one has a concealed carry permit or permission from the owner of the bus. This includes all firearms, whether loaded, unloaded, encased, disassembled, or holstered.   A bus terminal includes bus stops. This bill sought to do away with that restriction and allow anyone who can legally possess a gun to carry it onto a bus or bus terminal.

Many people rely on public transportation as their primary means of getting around.  Currently, those wishing to take the bus to the shooting range or gun store cannot do so on a bus, even if their gun is unloaded and encased.  Additionally, if someone who is legally carrying a firearm without a permit walks through a bus stop, even if they had no intention of boarding the bus, they are breaking the law.

This bill passed the House by an overwhelming majority (72 to 0).  Additionally, it faced no opposition from the UTA.  The bill made it to the Senate, but never made it to the floor.  The clock ran out on the last day of the legislative session.  We will be working on this bill next year and are confident it will pass.

DIED IN HOUSE – S.B. 276 – Firearms Safety and Violence Prevention in Schools – Sponsor Sen. Todd Weiler

This bill funds a small pilot program that will teach children what to do when they come across a gun as well as how to deal with a threat against a school.  The gun safety material is very similar to the NRA’s Eddie the Eagle program.  This bill passed the House 25 to 3, moved to the House, and died there as the clock ran out before it could come to the floor for a vote.

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President Obama backs off ammo ban (for now) thanks to your calls and e-mails.

Your calls and e-mails to the BATFE and Congress have had an effect.  President Obama’s BATFE has put the brakes on its plan to reclassify certain ammunition as armor piercing.

 

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The Well Armed Women Shooting Chapters in Utah

TWAW Shooting Chapters is a non-profit organization that organizes local groups of women around the country.  They meet monthly to practice, learn and grow as shooters.  They create opportunities for women to be introduced to issues important to women shooters, learn safe gun handling skills and train together.

You can find a Utah chapter at     http://thewellarmedwoman.com/