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Home > Alerts & Updates > 2016 Bill Tracking Page > HB 67: Reduce Penalty for Firearms on Buses


house sponsor,
Norman Thurston

senate sponsor,
Allen Christensen
House Bill 67: Reduce Penalty for Firearms on Buses

by statutator Norman Thurston, house district 64 ("Republican"), and statutator Allen Christensen, senate district 19 ("Republican").

Summary: HB 67 eliminates the third degree felony penalty for carrying a firearm on a bus without a government concealed carry "permit".  All other open or concealed carry statutory restrictions would still apply.

Position: UT Gun Rights supports this bill as a baby step in the right direction.

Status:  Passed house committe (9 yeas, 1 nay, 3 absent/not voting), passed the house (59 yeas, 12 nays, 4 absent/not voting), passed senate committee (yeas, nays, absent/not voting), passed the senate (24 yeas, 2 nays , 3 absent/not voting) and awaits action by Gary "BB Gun Background Checks" Herbert.

See its bill status page.  To contact your statutators, click here. To contact Gary "BB Gun Background Checks" Herbert, click here.

"Reload" this page to see latest information.  Last updated: 3/11/16 at 5:25 PM.


Running it for real this time?
Jump Down to Topics:

1. A Baby Step Forward

2. Your Rights Pre-Exist the Birth of any Government

3. Utah Lags Behind More Gun-Friendly States

4. Appropriate Action: Contact the Two Bullies Who Dominate Your Statutators

A Baby Step Forward

It is absurd and offensive that Utah citizens must surrender their right to defend themselves and others whenever they board a public bus (or pseudo-government bus in the case of the taxpayer-subsidized Utah Transit Authority).

HB 67 eliminates the third degree felony penalty for carrying a firearm on a bus without a government concealed carry "permit".  All other open and concealed carry statutory restrictions would still apply, however, and most penalties for such violations are lesser misdemeanors, rather than felonies.

While this is a positive step, absent any true criminal wrongdoing, why is there any penalty at all on a bus or elsewhere in public — for carrying a firearm?

Last year, a nearly identical bill, HB 350, was prevented by senate bully Wayne Niederhauser from receiving a final floor vote.  See the article, "Two Bullies Steal Your Rights," in the 2016 Utah Government Corruption Report for more information on their dictatorial powers and gun control agenda.

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Revolutionary army soldier and practiced philosopher Thomas Paine.
Your Rights Pre-Exist the Birth of any Government

The right to defend one's self upon private or shared (i.e. public) property, either by possessing a weapon openly or in a concealed fashion, pre-exists government. In other words, it existed naturally and was freely exercised before such enslavement statutes and "permits" were imposed.

As American revolutionary Thomas Paine expressed it,

"Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have less rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured. His natural rights are the foundation of all his civil rights."
Source: Rights of Man, Part I, by Thomas Paine in 1791.

Carrying your firearm — concealed or openly — is your right, NOT a bureaucrat-sanctioned privilege.

Government and private organizations and citizens are not restricted from OFFERING training. But restrictions upon natural rights — such as the right to protect one's self — must be predicated by more than the fear that an adult MIGHT abuse them in the future.

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House Monarch-ess, Rebecca Lockhart
Speaking of buses... HB 67 is so weak because Utah gun owners still sit at the back of the political bus.
Utah Lags Behind More Gun-Friendly States

The original HB 76 in 2013 (from which this bill is modeled) went significantly further toward advancing one of UT Gun Rights' "Affirmative Agenda" items.  It essentially eliminated the requirement to obtain a government "license" in order to carry a concealed weapon.

Increasing numbers of states (AK, AR, AZ, KS, VT, WY) in general or outright do not require government "permits" and have not suffered any ill effects.  Vermont (and therefore AK, AZ, and theoretically OK via reciprocity) allows 16-year-olds to carry loaded, concealed firearms.

It is an absurdity that a person carrying openly becomes a criminal by putting on a windbreaker or jacket.  And it is equally absurd for that person to have to keep her firearm in an "unloaded" condition.

This bill still appears to move in a positive direction, but not nearly as much as should be demanded of a statutarium claiming to be "pro-gun".

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These playground bullies steal more than your lunch money.
Appropriate Action: Contact the Two Bullies Who Dominate Your Statutators

As the 2016 Utah Government Corruption Report amply demonstrates, two playground bullies abuse and dominate the house and senate and work together to destroy your rights: house speaker Greg Hughes and senate president Wayne Niederhauser.

Contrary to what you learned in civics class, these two men bully the entire statutarium (i.e. "legislature") and run roughshod over your elected officials.  They set the agenda and your statutators obediently follow it.

How can two people exercise such control? As one example, the house speaker and senate president alone appoint and remove EVERY member of EVERY committee. Hughes and Niederhauser are empowered to do this without any review or confirmation process.
Sources: "The general duties of the Speaker are to:... appoint the members of committees…" (House Rules 1-3-102. Duties of the speaker) and "The general duties of the president are to:… appoint the members of committees…" (SR1-3-102. Duties of the president)

Consider the vast implications of this incredible power. No bill may be voted on in the house or senate without going through a committee. As a result, bills live or die almost entirely upon the calculated orders of these two bullies.

Previous House Bully Becky Lockhart candidly admitted her power to the press:

"I empower [house] committee chairs..." [bold added]
Source: "Bill banning enforcement of federal gun laws 'stuck in limbo'," by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News, Feb. 22, 2013.

Lockhart's successor, Greg Hughes, likewise empowers the chairs of each house committee because he appoints and fires them at his will alone, as does Niederhauser for every senate committee.

Hughes' and Niederhauser's powers are so extreme, no specific provision exists in the house or senate rules to fire these bullies before their two-year terms are over.  Akin to an elected despotism, these bullies lord over each body, trade political favors, and sell your rights; all while pretending that decisions are made by the will of the majority.

The political buck stops with Hughes and Niederhauser for failing to advance positive gun owner bills, and for every gun control bill enacted. Until more statutators are motivated to oppose their power, your rights will continue to be undermined.

Because your house and senate statutators merely serve their will and agenda, contacting them is often just a courtesy call.  These two bullies hold the power over Utah's statutarium ("legislature"):

For House Bully Greg Hughes' contact information (and the rest of the house statutators), click here.  For Senate Bully Wayne Niederhauser's contact information (and the rest of the senate statutators), click here.

Other views & opinions to compare and contrast: Libertas Institute, Utah Grassroots.

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Click here to go back to The 2015 Bill Tracking Page: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

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