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House passes bill to clarify law for carrying guns in public

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SALT LAKE CITY — A person openly carrying a gun without criminal intent would not be grounds for a disorderly conduct charge under a bill the Utah House passed Monday.

HB276 says having a holstered or encased firearm, whether visible or concealed, without behavior that would cause a reasonable person to believe the weapon was being carried illegally or with criminal intent does not constitute disorderly conduct.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, does not preclude approaching a person carrying again for a "voluntary" conversation.

"It just stops an officer from being able to charge someone for disorderly conduct just for the presence of the firearm," he said.

Oda also said the bill isn't about open or concealed carry of a gun.

"This is about protecting the citizens from some overreach at times," he said.

The House approved the measure 54-17. It now goes to the Senate.

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Dennis Romboy


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