Utahns Overwhelmingly Oppose ‘Constitutional Carry’

Concealed CarryThree-fourths of Utahns oppose a bill by a state GOP legislator who wants adults to be able to carry a concealed gun without first having to obtain a concealed carry permit from the state, a new UtahPolicy poll finds.

Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry – who is also a command officer in the Utah Highway Patrol – says he will introduce such a measure in the 2017 Legislature.

GOP Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a similar bill back in 2013, saying at the time that there are benefits for a qualifying adult to get a concealed carry permit, and that it is not prohibitive for one to do so.

UPD pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds in a new survey:

  • 75 percent of Utahns “definitely” or “probably” say that adults in the state should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon unless they have a state permit to do so.
  • 24 percent say a concealed weapons permit should not be required.
  • And 2 percent don’t know.

Eleven other states, including Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming, now allow adults to carry concealed weapons without any kind of a special permit.

Advocates of such a law argue that because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the right to bear arms extends to qualifying adults, that right should not be abridged by requiring a permit to carry such a weapon under a jacket or in a coat pocket.

Utah is currently an open carry state, meaning you can carry a shotgun down the street, or you can carry a handgun strapped to your belt, in open view.

But like many other states, in order to conceal a handgun on your person you must have a state permit.


Utah has a liberal conceal/carry law, it is relatively easy to get a permit, you just have to pass a background check and take a four- or five-hour class from a licensed instructor and sign up for a state-issued permit.

The Utah concealed/carry permit is recognized by dozens of other states, so you can visit those states and legally carry a concealed weapon there, too.

Jones finds there is a large difference between men and women on this question of conceal/carry permitting:

  • 30 percent of men say Utah should not require a permit to conceal/carry.
  • But only 18 percent of women feel likewise.
  • 81 percent of women say the current conceal/carry law should not be changed.
  • While 68 percent of men agree; no change.

Republicans say don’t change the concealed/carry law, 69-29 percent.

Democrats really oppose liberalizing the concealed carry law, 94 percent oppose a change to just 4 percent in favor.

Political independents also oppose changing the law, 75 percent say don’t allow concealed/carry without a permit, 23 percent say change the law.

The only demographic group that actually favors allowing concealed/carry without a permit are those who self-identified to Jones that they follow the tenets of the Tea Party – 58 percent of Tea Partiers say no permit should be required to carry a weapon concealed, only 37 percent favor no change in the current law.

In recent legislative sessions, where a legislator has talked about filing a bill doing away with the concealed/carry requirement, Herbert has reiterated that he would veto such a bill again, should it pass.

Various law enforcement groups have opposed such a change in the law. And Perry says he is not speaking for the UHP nor other cops when he proposes such legislation, only that many of his rural constituents favor the change.

Jones polled 818 adults from Oct. 12-20. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.43 percent.