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Proposed bill to further define open carry laws

By Mary Richards  |  Posted Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 1:41pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A new bill would define when someone could be charged with disorderly conduct when they are openly carrying a gun in Utah. Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, says it came after a picture surfaced last year of a man with a rifle across his back at a JC Penney in northern Utah.

Ray said his bill states guns have to be holstered.

"So if someone is carrying a gun around in their hand they can be cited," he said. "This bill really clarifies things and gives them an outline to go by of in this situation you can write a ticket and in this situation you can't."

The same goes for people who openly display guns on their body. The man in JC Penney last year could have been charged with disorderly conduct, he said.

"If they strap a rifle onto their back and walk into JC Penney, you can be cited for disorderly, which you ought to be," Ray said. "But if you have your handgun holstered then you are ok."

Ray has tried to pass this bill before. The sticking point for police last year was that they wanted to be able to stop and talk to anyone carrying a gun, but Ray said, without probable cause you can't do that. Under his bill, if a handgun is holstered, then that person is within the law and within their rights.

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