4 years, 12 months ago
The State of Utah is close to jettisoning bigotry and prejudice associated with firearms.
Utah residents may be one step closer to being able to carry their firearms with them wherever they go. Wednesday the Utah House of Representatives passed House Bill 49, an open-carry law that would make it legal for a resident to carry a gun in plain sight.
HB 49, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray (R-Clearfield) says that in the absence of threatening behavior, the lawful possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon, whether visible or concealed, cannot be considered in violation of municipal ordinances and government entities cannot give citations for disorderly conduct or a enforce dangerous weapon laws.
But bigotry and hatred die hard.
Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said that he is against the bill because it would complicate the job of his officers. According to Edmunds, it is unreasonable to allow someone to carry a weapon in plain view if they are not an officer.
“The world is becoming an increasingly violent place and firearms in plain view frighten people,” Edmunds said, adding that while he is against the bill, he is a big firearms proponent and a strong believer in the Second Amendment. “I have never had a problem with someone who holds a concealed weapons permit; in all my years as Sheriff I have never encountered a problem with those people. You should be allowed to carry a weapon in public but you need to go through the proper channels.”
Edmunds, who is president of the Utah Sheriff’s Association, said the group as a whole is against the bill.
Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter said he is against the bill as it is currently drafted because it takes away law enforcement’s right to enforce disorderly conduct codes if a person carrying a weapon causes shock and alarm to citizens in a public place.
Some police officers are even more crass and bold about their bigotry.
… says Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank, a bad guy with a loaded weapon can do “a lot of damage very fast.”
He said that in his 20 years as a policeman, “we’ve had very few problems and concealed-weapons holders. It’s not a big issue.”
But open-carry is different, he adds. For example, a law enforcement officer openly carries a weapon for its “intimidation factor. In law enforcement, that’s the message you send.”
Civilians who openly carry weapons are another matter. “Is this person’s intent to do harm, or is he just carrying a gun? It puts police officers in a very awkward position,” he said.
You know, because only police officers can be trusted with weapons, and especially ones that can be seen by others. It’s the “intimidation” factor. And it causes me to wonder how many more LEOs think this way.
Except that this is fake … make believe … fantasy land. The issue is a red herring. I open carry, and as I have mentioned before, and women and children don’t run off screaming in fear, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, who are well-educated and comprehensively trained, simply wave and smile as they go past me while openly carrying my weapon. The issue has to do with bigotry and prejudice, not concocted or fabricated problems that it causes.
And speaking of civil rights, I notice that South Carolina is pressing forward to show that they are a gun-friendly state.
Firearm enthusiasts might have something more to look forward to than sales at the mall this Black Friday if one Upstate lawmaker gets his way.
Rep. Mike Pitts (R-Laurens) put a proviso in this year’s budget that would reinstate a three-day gun tax holiday the weekend after Thanksgiving. The holiday, called “Second Amendment Weekend” was introduced at the start of the recession in 2008 to encourage buying but was cancelled last year because of the state’s shrinking budget.
This year revenues are higher than expected and Pitts said that the $13,000 of sales taxes the state won’t get from guns that weekend is really a drop in the bucket of a $22.5 billion budget.
Plus there’s a huge increase in the sale of other items like camouflage hunting gear, boots and ammunition that bring in more tax revenue and pump profits into small businesses.
Right. A tax holiday. How about Representative Pitts supporting the same bill we discussed in Utah making it acceptable to open carry in S.C. (I have proposed this before). South Carolina has the dubious distinction of being similar to California in prohibiting open carry. Would Rep. Pitts move into the twenty first century in rejecting bigotry and supporting our civil rights?