This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utah's permit to carry a hidden handgun is recognized by 33 states. As a result, it's popular. About 125,000 Americans who are not Utahns hold Utah permits. The Beehive State willingly undertakes the regulatory burden of policing these permits for non-Utahns to promote the carrying of guns for lawful self-defense.
We have argued that Utah should not take on this burden, that other states should issue their own permits and police them.
Recently, however, there has been another development that has discomfited gun-rights proponents in Utah. A couple of neighboring states, Nevada and New Mexico, have withdrawn their recognition of Utah's permit. New Mexico objected that Utah does not require demonstrated proficiency with a firearm as a condition of a permit, while The Land of Enchantment does.
But Sen. John Valentine, R-0rem, who has looked into the matter, says he thinks the rejections have more to do with states rights and revenues. Other states want to exercise the option of issuing their own permits and collecting the revenues.
So, Valentine has proposed a bill that would tip its hat to other states that want to issue their own permits, but whose people might also want a Utah permit because it, like VISA, is accepted almost everywhere.
Valentine's bill would require non-Utahns to first gain a permit in their home state, if their state offers one, before they can obtain one in Utah. In fact, holding a valid permit in your home state would be a pre-requisite for getting a Utah permit.
That makes sense. If other states have requirements that are more stringent than Utah's, such as demonstrating proficiency on a firing range, then the non-Utahns who get Utah permits are going to be better trained. If, on the other hand, requirements in other states are less demanding than Utah's, that won't matter, because the Utah requirements will still apply to anyone applying for a Utah permit.
We also assume that other states are likely to conduct ongoing criminal background checks of its permit holders, as Utah does now. That could be another backstop against someone getting or keeping a permit who should not have one. People who have been convicted of a felony, a crime of violence or an offense involving alcohol, illegal drugs or moral turpitude, or who have been judged mentally incompetent, are not eligible to hold Utah permits.
Valentine's bill would be an improvement.