Can a weapon be “dangerous” before it’s actually used as a weapon?
That’s the reasoning behind HB 300, sponsored by Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove. His legislation seeks to remove a stand-alone charge for possession of a concealed weapon.
A Utah Supreme Court decision from last year determined that a weapon could only be determined as being dangerous after it was used in a dangerous manner.
“The Utah Supreme Court decided that something isn’t a dangerous weapon until it has been used and you look at the manner of its use,” says Greene. “Right now, the law creates an illogical scenario to have a standalone criminal charge of posession of a deadly weapon.”
Greene’s bill seeks to bring statute in line with the court decision – that posession isn’t use, and something is not a deadly weapon until after you use it.
“Think of a lead pipe in the game of clue. Anything can be a deadly weapon, but it’s not that way until you use it as such. The possession of a concealed weapon shouldn’t be a crime in and of itself.”
The bill does not include firearms as that remains in the statute. It simply removes knives and other concealed weapons to bring the law in line with the court decision.