House passes bill allowing 18-year-olds to conceal carry

Composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A bill that would allow 18- to 20-year-olds to carry a concealed firearm passed the Utah House Tuesday following ardent debate. The primary argument for the bill is that it will give young adults a much better means of defending against sexual violence, particularly on college and university campuses.

2017 HB 198 sponsor Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, introduces the her bill to the House floor and outlines why she believes allowing 18- to 20-year-olds to have conceal carry permits is a good idea. The primary argument in favor of the measure resolves around helping to prevent the sexual assault of young women on college campuses, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 21, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Legislature, St. George News

House Bill 198, Concealed Carry Amendments, is sponsored by Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, and co-sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross. It passed 63-12 along party lines with all House Republicans voting for the bill and all House Democrats voting against it.

“A group of women who brought this idea to me want to be able to defend themselves from rape,” Lisonbee said as she introduced the bill to the House floor. “Because most college campuses do not allow open carry, 18-20-year-old adults cannot carry a weapon on most college campuses unless they obtain a conceal carry permit.”

The idea of allowing an 18-year-old access to a conceal permit didn’t sit well with House Democrats who voiced their opposition. Rep. Karen Kwan, D-Murray, an associate professor of psychology at Salt Lake Community College, said the brains of 18-20-year-olds are still developing and have issues in the impulsivity department.

”It’s already scary on campus,” Kwan said, and added there are times she worries for her safety. Allowing 18-20-year-olds to conceal carry on campus would be more a potentially dangerous disruption to students and faculty than a benefit, she said.

Longtime high school educator Rep. Coral Moss, D-Holladay, echoed Kwan’s views on the lingering “impulsivity” issues of the 18-20-year-olds’ brain.

“They’re still kids in many ways,” Moss said. “I think it’s just beyond where we should be considering this …. This is just a step too far.”

Moss’ words were responded to by Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, who said, “A step too far is a completed rape.”

Rep. Coral Moss, D-Holladay, speaks against the 2017 Conceal Carry Amendments bill, calling it a “step too far” by allowing people as young as 18 to have a conceal carry permit, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 21, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Legislature, St. George News

While introducing the bill, Lisonbee cited a study from the Justice Department that indicates 20-25 percent of college-age women will be victims of a completed or attempted forcible rape during their undergraduate careers. The study also estimates only 5 percent of those rapes are reported to police.

“Most recent studies with improved methodology are consistently showing that the more forcible the resistance, the lower the risk of a completed rape,” Lisonbee said, adding that putting a gun in the hands of young women who may face such a threat is “a woman’s best means of resistance.”

“The single most effective way to stop a completed rape is the use of a gun or a knife,” Coleman said.

What came next silenced the floor.

“I have a daughter who (is) my age when I was a statistic,” Coleman said, revealing that she was a sexual assault survivor.

Coleman later told The Salt Lake Tribune that she had been attacked in an attempted rape, yet hadn’t shared that information with anyone for 20 years due to fear. That changed Tuesday as she spoke in favor of the bill’s passing the House.

“My 19-year-old daughter looks at her five roommates and wonders statistically which one of them it’s going to be,” Coleman said. “So I teach her to avoid circumstances. I teach her self-awareness, some practices to be safe. But in the event she can’t avoid a rape, studies have shown … a woman’s best option is to resist with a gun in her hands.”

Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, revealed to the House that she is a survivor of an attempted rape that occurred when she was 19 as she spoke in favor of 2017’s House Bill 198 which would make it possible for 18- to 20-year-old to get a provisional conceal carry permit. The primary argument in favor of the measure resolves around helping to prevent the sexual assault of young women on college campuses, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 21, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Legislature, St. George News

She asked the House to support the bill and to put “the best tool available” for protection in the hands of 18-20-year-olds.

Under the proposed law, those 18-20 could acquire a provisional conceal carry permit that is set to expire by their 21st birthday. In the case of 18-year-olds still in high school, the permit would not be valid on high school premises. Applicants for the permit must also provide “evidence of general familiarity with the types of firearms to be concealed.”

The bill’s language does not outline how the applicant would demonstrate the required firearms “familiarity” required if made law.

The bill now goes to the Utah Senate for consideration.

Southern Utah Reps. Walt Brooks, Merrill Nelson, Brad Last, John Westwood, Mike Noel, V. Lowry Snow and Jon Stanard each voted in favor of the House Bill 198.

Resources

Read more: See all St. George News reports on Utah Legislature 2017 issues

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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23 Comments

  • JOSH DALTON February 23, 2017 at 8:23 am

    So an 18yr old kid can vote, fight for our country, and now conceal a firearm, but they still can’t own or operate a cigarette lighter. They can’t be in possession of tobacco products or paraphernalia relating to tobacco….makes sense.

  • theone February 23, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Wait for it, yup another campus massacre on the horizon. Republicans have lost their minds and society is going to suffer from their delusional and sociopathic tendencies.

    Of course it would make too much sense to do all we can to prevent rapes from happening, educating, better lighting, more security staff just to name a few.
    Nah, lets give em a gun that the perp will most likely avoid by their surprise attack.
    No I’m not against guns and the 2nd Amendment so drop the thought before you speak.

  • .... February 23, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Well that means Real Life won’t have to carry his sling shot anymore now he can pretend to be somebody.

    • Real Life February 23, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Hey, good morning! 8:40am? That might be a record for you.

      • .... February 24, 2017 at 1:42 am

        If you had a job to go to you wouldn’t of been here making another one of your idiotic comments.

  • anybody home February 23, 2017 at 9:33 am

    The perceived need for this law says volumes about the culture of Utah males if rape is so prevalent on Utah campuses. And that likely gets right back to the culture of the leading religion in Utah which says a woman’s place is – well, you know.

    Legally arming 18-20 year olds of either sex is nuts. There are enough of them running around illegally armed already. And rapists are going to be sure to carry if they believe their victims will be carrying, too. More Utah madness. And heartache ahead.

  • comments February 23, 2017 at 10:56 am

    LDS should sponsor a bill to let 4 year olds carry glocks. Can’t be too careful with the “rape culture” and all.

    It’s silly because you can’t even buy a handgun until 21

    • Law24 February 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      You’re statement “It’s silly because you can’t even buy a handgun until 21” is false. While its true that a person must be 21 or older to purchase a handgun from an FFL dealer (pawn shop, sporting goods store, gun store, etc.), those that are over 18 can be “gifted” a firearm from a friend or family, or they can purchase through a private sale. Either option is completely legal in Utah.

      Also, 18 year olds have been been able to open to carry for years, this will simply allow them throw a jacket or hoodie on during rainy weather and not become a felon. 18 year olds can also legally carry concealed under a Maine non-resident Concealed Carry Permit that is recognized by Utah.

  • ladybugavenger February 23, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I don’t trust an 18 yr to carry my groceries lol…Josh has the best comment. You can carry a gun but not a cigarette

  • r2d2 February 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I see nothing wrong with properly trained 18 year carrying. When I was 18 I was carrying along with a lot of my friends. Right now there is a 18 year old with his finger inches away from one of the buttons to launch a missile that could wipe out an entire town or country. Good night, sleep tight. You are in save hands.

  • mesaman February 23, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Well done Utah Congressional Members. You have shown the maturity and sensibility of a rational society and that offers more safety and security than all the “safe” zones, anti-firearmers predictions, and fear and anxiety proponents could ever muster. Welcome and share the responsibility of this action, my young friends.

    • 556poor February 24, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Well said God bless them!

  • Utahguns February 23, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Another insightful, illustrious and completely sane comment.
    Yeah really…..

    “Comment’s” comment come from the type of people that illegally park in handicapped spaces, leave their phone on in a theatre, don’t use their turn signal, leave their pets outside in cold weather and support other comments from idiots like “Rainbow Dash” and “theone”.

    When the call to “embrace diversity” is shouted out, it’s yoyo’s like this that make embracing diversity a senseless act.

  • Rainbow Dash February 23, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Im always baffled by what Mormons think is right or good for humanity. I mean, think about it, in this state:

    You can’t smoke until you’re 19 or drink until you’re 21(and then you have to order a meal with your watered down wine) but you can die in a war over Oil prices at 18.

    You and your buddies can arm yourselves with high powered guns, take over a bird sanctuary in Oregon and get heralded as a ‘ true American patriot’ but if you dare to ask your your state representative to do the job you hired him to do, you’re labeled a ” violent, radical snowflake”.

    That’s just 2 examples but I could go on….

  • .... February 24, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Well now Real Life feels important this was a good day for him

    • Real Life February 24, 2017 at 6:51 am

      Did you set your alarm to make that comment?

  • Badshitzoo February 24, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Brilliant! Of course what will happen will be, that few 18yr girls will even be aware that they can now spend $600.00 on a gun, and a CCW class so they can carry it in their $200.00 purse, stumbling around in $400.00 heels; not that any normal 18yr girl would in the 1st place! Even in Utah, 1gun=1purse+new heels! Yea 4 No guns daddy! And the Father, Daughter night at the CCW class gun range? It may be your idea of quality time, but for her, not so much! But the 18yr boys, they’ll be shooting each other in line for class; oh, and not just the CCW class; cause there are lots of kids that turn 18yr in gym class too! And math class, and history class, wood shop. I hope Gold Cross is a publicly traded company? Well done Republicans! I always found it odd how you fight tooth & nail to save a person that hasn’t been born yet; but after that, all bets are off. Cut’em loose! Shoot’em, Starve’em, let’em freeze to death in the streets, just don’t give them a dime of your tax dollars!

    • Henry February 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      I agree about the requirement for additional education and training, but I think that should be a requirement for everyone prior to receiving a Utah CCP.

      The Midwestern state from which I received my CCP required marksmanship proficiency. 18 target hits out of 25 shots at the weapons range was the minimum requirement. There were several people in our CCW class that flunked the shooting requirement; for one person, it was the first time she’d ever fired a weapon and she definitely needed a lot more hands-on training.

      A person has to demonstrate the capability of safely operating a motor prior to receiving their initial drivers license. I think Utah should require a minimum proficiency in handling and firing a weapon prior to issuing a CCP.

  • Ladyk February 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    We don’t argue about or stop them from putting on a uniform and carrying a gun or laying down their life for the right of those 21 and over to be able to carry. I think this is good but I think it should require additional education and training before they receive their CCP.

    • Henry February 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      I agree about the requirement for additional education and training, but I think that should be a requirement for everyone prior to receiving a Utah CCP.

      The Midwestern state from which I received my CCP required marksmanship proficiency. 18 target hits out of 25 shots at the weapons range was the minimum requirement. There were several people in our CCW class that flunked the shooting requirement; for one person, it was the first time she’d ever fired a weapon and she definitely needed a lot more hands-on training.

      A person has to demonstrate the capability of safely operating a motor prior to receiving their initial drivers license. I think Utah should require a minimum proficiency in handling and firing a weapon prior to issuing a CCP.

    • 556poor February 24, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      I agree good to see our state standing up for the rights of our young people to be able to protect themselves.

  • high5 February 25, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Two Years ago I taught a 50 plus year old professional woman how to Shoot a hand gun. She was very well educated and Successful. Very Smart. But I gotta say, During that time of trying to teach her all aspects of gun safety, she scared the hell outta me ,swinging the handgun toward my head every time I needed to correct her, at the very least it should be a requirement that they can have a Revolver only weapon which is what I picked out for my Friend. after two hrs of training, i told her it would be a good idea if she took a Group Class that was available in Colorado twice monthly for women. Stop right there, I taught my Three Daughters and began at an early age. One of them outshoots me. Food for Thought for any Politician who sees this. The rest of you Grow the hell up!! your Comments Make me sick. Go Get out Hiking or something to vent your Frustrations. Jeeez You Make me laugh!!!!

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