Utah Capitol 25

Well, it’s an election year, and some conservative legislators are introducing bills that likely have little or no chance of passage but may bring a few votes back home.

The latest is Rep. Walt Brooks’ HB472.

You can tell by the high number that the bill was introduced late in the session -- like yesterday.

It would allow anyone 21 years old or older to carry a concealed firearm in public without the now-required concealed carry permit.

GOP Gov. Gary Herbert has vetoed similar legislation in the past, and the governor’s office tells UtahPolicy.com that should Brooks’ bill pass this session, he would likely veto it again.

Herbert is not running for re-election.

But Brooks, a Republican, likely is in his District 75 in St. George. Brooks couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday morning.

Speaking about gun control, all four of the Democratic-sponsored bills that would restrict firearm sales, storage or possession have all failed -- most of them held in the House Rules Committee without a public hearing.

All 75 House members are up for election, although a handful are not running again. Half of the 29-member Senate is up this year, two declaring their retirement already.

There are several abortion and abortion-related bills in this session. Election year is typical for those issues to bubble up.

The House had an emotional debate on a Senate bill Wednesday, only passing it after it was amended so that women who have a miscarriage in a hospital or clinic can dispose of the remains in the facility’s normal manner. But a woman who has an abortion must have the remains disposed of in a respectful and dignified manner -- clearly showing that most GOP legislators want to treat women who lose their fetus through abortion differently.

The three GOP-sponsored abortion bills are still alive in the Legislature, while the one Democratic abortion bill is dead.