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Legislators to take new look at state's concealed gun permit law
By Glen Warchol
The Salt Lake Tribune
State lawmakers decided today to take another look at Utah's concealed firearm permit.
The Legislature's Administrative Rules Review Committee has been wrestling with how to deal with an influx of out-of-state applicants. Applicants are not required to set foot in Utah to get the state's cheap and easy-to-obtain concealed-carry permit, which allows them to carry a gun in most other states.
Half of Utah's permits are issued to out-of-state residents.
The committee was surprised to learn that about 1,000 non-resident citizens of foreign countries also have been issued the permit.
"We are becoming the state of choice for a lot of people around the country to obtain these concealed weapon permits," said the Public Safety Department's Rick Wyss.
Utah Bureau of Criminal Information officials say other nations do not provide adequate crime records to determine if applicants have good character. Until an emergency rule change went into place this month, the foreign permits were being issued simply because state attempts to access the foreign crime databases came up empty. Now, no permits are issued to foreign nationals, unless they can provide complete criminal history files.
"We have been holding our residents to a much higher standard than those that are non-residents," said Public Safety Commissioner Ed Phillips.
The committee will begin drafting a bill to correct the problems and hope to introduce it in the January session.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune