A Davis County lawmaker wants to lower the minimum age to obtain a concealed carry permit from 21 to 18. Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, the sponsor of HB198, said she wants younger college students to have the option to carry guns for self-defense in the event of a sexual assault on campus. She also says that if 18-year-olds can serve in the military and potentially die for their country, they should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon.
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence seven other states expressly allow those 18 and older to have concealed carry permits. HB198 would allow those ages 18-20 to get a provisional concealed weapons permit if they get a background check and complete a firearms training course, or prove familiarity with firearms through other means such as military service. The permit would expire when they turn 21 and would not allow them to carry a gun in K-12 schools, something which Utah allows for teachers and administrators with concealed permits.
Gov. Gary Herbert (R) vetoed a similar proposal in 2013, citing concerns from law enforcement about removing the permit rule. Herbert has threatened to veto the same measure again as lawmakers have reintroduced the legislation in the years since, but none of those proposals managed to make it to his desk.
So far the governor has expressed reservations about the proposal.
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