Pro-Gun Bill Passes

Pro-Gun Bill Passes

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A pro-gun bill passed the Utah House Wednesday despite an apparent rules violation in the committee that sent the bill to the full chamber.

The bill, Senate Bill 103, would eliminate all restrictions on out-of-state concealed-weapon permit holders in Utah -- even those who haven't passed a criminal background check or who have pending domestic charges.

Only six members of a 13-member House committee voted on bill -- five in favor and one against. Seven members are necessary for a quorum.

The bill reached the House floor and passed 48-8.

The chairman who mistakenly endorsed his committee's action, Rep. Ben Ferry, R-Corinne, later apologized.

"It was a mistake on our part -- I take responsibility for it," Ferry said. "There was no intent. There was no foul play."

House Speaker Marty Stephens, R-Farr West, who was off the floor when the bill passed, said lawmakers acted on the advice of their attorney who said once a bill is read-in properly on the floor of the House, it doesn't matter what happened during a public committee hearing.

"The committee may have violated its rules," Stephens said. "We did not."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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