SALT LAKE CITY -- Although it passed the Senate and the House, Governor Gary Herbert has yet to decide if he will sign or veto a bill that would allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
Rev. John C. Wester from the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City wrote a letter to Herbert, saying House Bill 76 "promotes a culture of violence."
"Having a law that takes away the need to have a background check to carry a concealed weapon is not common sense, and I think it's something that ultimately will further intrude on the sanctity of human life," Wester said in a press conference Friday.
If signed into law, HB 76 would require concealed weapons to be unloaded. Supporters of the bill say it would be helpful to someone who openly carries a gun, but inadvertently breaks the law by covering it with a jacket, for example.
Opponents of the bill say it would be detrimental to the state to do away with the permit process and the training currently required to obtain a concealed firearm permit.
Although Herbert has yet to make a decision on HB 76, he has stated that he is a concealed firearm permit holder and he supports the right to carry concealed weapons.
"The laws on the books right now today have served us very well. We have lower crime rates than the national average by a long ways. We're doing good things in Utah," Herbert said.
Should Herbert choose to veto HB 76, it could still become law if 20 Senators vote to override that veto.