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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday signed a bill that allows young adults to carry a concealed firearm.
The measure, HB198 by Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Syracuse, was pushed as a self-defense bill for young women on college campuses to protected themselves from sexual assault.
Supporters also said other states that honor Utah's concealed carry law through reciprocity agreements allow young adults 18 and older to conceal a firearm.
Herbert, in his monthly KUED press conference held before he signed the bill, said he had heard the arguments for and against the change.
"I understand the arguments again on both sides of that," he said. "Are you mature enough in fact to have a concealed weapon at 18 to 21? You juxtapose that over we have people we put in the military that carry M16s and other weapons with the intent of defending our freedoms and killing people. If they are old enough to do that, they are probably old enough to get some training and carry a weapon."
Under the new law, young adults age 18 to 20 can receive a provisional permit if they meet eligibility requirements and complete training.
A person with a provisional permit is not allowed on elementary or secondary school premises.
Critics of the measure argued that it was foolhardy to issue a permit to young adults in a state that has one of the highest suicide rates in the country.