This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Salt Lake's Catholic Bishop John C. Wester says that HB76, which would allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, "establishes a culture in Utah that prioritizes deadly weapons over human life" ("Capitol opposes firearm controls," Tribune, March 15).
I disagree with Wester's assessment and his call for the governor to veto this constitutional-carry gun bill.
I, too, have been a bishop (the Latter-day Saint kind) for almost 14 years on three different occasions in three different states and I say that allowing good citizens to be armed actually protects life.
In HB76, we are not elevating weapons above humans, we are defending the sanctity of life from the evil that will always exist around us.
Background checks will still be done when guns are purchased, so the only people who will be carrying are those who have proven themselves to be able to obtain the gun in the first place. HB76 does nothing to change that.
We in Utah have utmost respect for our divinely inspired U.S. Constitution, and we do everything we can to support and defend it. This law will do just that.
Gov. Gary Herbert will be smart to sign it.
James C. Green