Utah Lawmaker: Lower Carry Permit Age to 18

Utah Lawmaker: Lower Carry Permit Age to 18
photo from The Well Armed Womanweb photo

In Utah, and most other states, the legal age to acquire a concealed carry permit is 21. For students, this means that even if their state laws and their school allows students to carry on campus, most can’t do so until their senior year.

According to this story from deseretnews.com, a state lawmaker wants to lowers the minimum age for a CCW permit to 18.

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee (R-Clearfield) is the sponsor of HB198http://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0198.html and said she wants younger college students, especially women, to have the option to carry firearms to protect themselves from sexual assaults on campus, the story says.

"This is the equalizer for those young women who may get attacked," she said in the story. "They need to have that right."

Lisonbee also makes the point int the story that 18-year-olds are considered adults and are able to serve in the U.S. military and potentially die for their country, yet an individual could have been a service member, even in combat, for almost three years and still not be allowed to legally carry while on leave.

Utah law currently allows 18-20 year olds to carry openly only. There are seven states that allow those 18 and older to have concealed carry permits, the story says. By extension, 16 states allow 18-year-olds to carry concealed because of their reciprocity agreements recognizing out-of-state permits.

Under the proposed legislation, those ages 18 to 20 would be allowed to get a provisional concealed weapons permit if they pass a background check and complete a firearms training course or prove other familiarity with firearms, such as having military experience. The permit would expire when they turn 21 and would not allow them to carry in K-12 schools, which is allowed under Utah law for teachers and administrators with CCW permits.

The story says Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a similar proposal in 2013.