This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Those who carry firearms in public have placed themselves and all of those around them in some danger.
It is a danger we accept as part of the right, if not always the rational need, of self-defense. But the idea that such acceptance is, constitutionally, rationally or ethically, without limit is absurd in the extreme.
Which is why Gov. Gary Herbert should stick to his, well, convictions and be ready to veto the next attempt by anyone in the Utah Legislature to eviscerate the state's concealed carry law by removing the requirement for a permit.
As the governor argued in 2013, there seems to be no concrete example of how the long-standing law that requires a minimal level of training for anyone to legally carry a concealed firearm inconveniencies, much less criminalizes, any person's right to carry a weapon in self-defense.
That hasn't stopped some lawmakers from trying to pass legislation that pretends otherwise. Such a bill passed four years ago, only to be vetoed by Herbert.
The argument Perry raises is the same weak case that was put forward before. He fears that someone carrying a weapon openly, as allowed by law, might suddenly become a criminal if he put on a sweater or a raincoat.
When the sponsor of the 2013 version of the bill could produce no example of such a thing really happening, Herbert had all the reason he needed to veto the bill. He says he will do so again if the same argument is presented this year. And he should.
Even especially cultures that are at home with the idea of a right to keep and bear arms have both the right and the need to set some reasonable limits.
That "well-regulated militia" bit in the Second Amendment is there for a reason. It is a recognition that the safety that supposedly comes from an armed populace is weakened, if not totally reversed, when there are no limits on the time, place and manner of firearms or on those who would tote them around a civilian population.
The effort and cost ($37) involved in acquiring a Utah concealed carry permit are so minimal that they can in no way be considered an unconstitutional impediment to exercising one's Second Amendment rights. As the governor says, the law isn't broken, and there is no need to fix it.