What is HB 198 Concealed Carry Amendments?
HB 198 reduces the minimum age for concealed carry from 21 to 18 years-old. This bill was introduced with the argument that it will increase public safety; however, during the 2017 legislative session, no concrete evidence showed that lowering the age from the long-established 21 to the teen-age level would increase public safety. In fact, data from Utah suggest the opposite is true, which is why many organizations including The Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah support a veto of this bill.
CALL TO ACTION
- Contact Governor Herbert to ask him to veto HB 198 Concealed Carry Amendments. Be sure to give your name and zip code to show you are a Utah constituent. You may call Gov. Herbert’s offices here 801-538-1000 or here 800-705-2464 (in-state only) or send a written message by clicking here.
– There is a rampant problem with suicide in Utah, which has the fifth highest per-capita rate of suicide in the nation, and over half of Utah’s suicides are by firearms.
. The teen suicide rate in Utah has already tripled in the last 10 years.
-During the House Committee meeting during the legislative session, a Utah doctor testified that young people in this age range do not have full control of their rational brains. The combination of access to guns and natural impulsivity, he warns, is a public health danger.
-The argument presented during the 2017 session by bill sponsors that young women on college campuses may want to defend themselves against assault also lacks good evidence. In fact, data does not support the idea that young women who carry concealed weapons fare better in assault situations and at least one reputable study has found that carrying a firearm significantly increases a person’s risk of being shot during an assault.
-Research published in the American Journal of Public Health reported that, even after adjusting for contributing factors, individuals who were in possession of a gun were about 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession.
– We do not give 18-year- olds the right to drink alcohol, because they do not possess the judgment to know when they have had too much to drink.
– Eighteen-year- olds do enlist in the military; however, those few who do undergo rigorous firearms training and oversight by commanding officers. This bill requires no training nor oversight.