Legally Carry at Utah Public Schools?
Most will recall at least hearing about a couple of horrific events involving deadly shootings at schools. In 1999, there was the Columbine High School massacre (near Littleton, CO), where 12 students and 1 teacher were brutally gunned down by 2 students. In 2007, at Virginia Tech University, a lone individual killed 32 people, and wounded 25 others. These, and similar shootings around the country stirred great concerns among those who believe that prepared concealed carry permit holders could have saved lives.
Until very recently, Utah was the only State in the Union to allow a concealed weapons permit holder to lawfully carry on public school property. I recently learned, that Oregon and New Hampshire now also have similar laws.
After decades of banning guns on University campuses, in 2004, the Utah State Legislature, after much debate, finally passed a law expressly allowing concealed weapons permit holders to carry on state property. This law was subsequently challenged and upheld in 2006 by the Utah Supreme Court.
The current law in Utah provides that it is lawful for a Utah CCW Permit holder to carry on any public school property (K-, and colleges). A private school retains the right to elect to prohibit firearms. So, the distinction under Utah law, is public vs. private schools.
There has been some debate in the last year or so as to whether or not a person with a Utah CCW permit should open carry on a University Campus, as some feel it contributes to a public nuisance, or may disrupt school in some way. My recommendation, is that in public, I see absolutely no benefit to a person with a Utah Concealed Carry Permit to open carry, and that such a person should keep his gun concealed, and thereby retain his tactical advantage (among other things). Carrying firearms in public is NOT about making political statements, it is about "making it to tomorrow".
It is noteworthy, that according to the Utah Shooting Council, guns legally carried by people with concealed carry permits have never been involved in any violent act in schools in any state.
It is my hope and belief that more and more states will follow lead in allowing holders of a concealed carry permit to lawfully carry concealed on public school property.
In fact, I firmly believe that the greater the number of concealed carry permit holders there are in society, that it creates a significant and powerful deterrent against violent crime. For statistical evidence that this is true, please refer to John Lott's book: More Guns Less Crime, in which he provides the details behind his studies which indicate that 98% of all attacks can be deterred by simply brandishing a gun. In addition Mr. Lott states that "Of all the methods studied so far by economists, the carrying of concealed handguns appears to be the most cost-effective method for reducing crime".
If you are ready to begin down the road of taking responsibility for your own safety, and that of your family, please visit my website: www.SafeUtah.com, and register to attend one of the many Utah Concealed Carry Permit classes we teach multiple days every week, or call me to get answers to your questions.
Mike Munnerlyn, Instructor
Utah Concealed Carry Permit
I am currently retired from teaching. My son-in-law Rob Wilkinson, who used to teach with me, is now teaching on his own. Please call him at 801-671-6773.
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