Herbert vetoes controversial gun carry bill

'We're not the wild and woolly West,' governor says

Published: Friday, March 22 2013 11:40 a.m. MDT

"I'm very grateful to the governor, who acted responsibly and has shown great prudence," Bishop Wester said Friday. "I think his decision represents the majority of Utahns who feel that HB76 is a threat to public safety."

The governor has faced opposition from gun rights activists, who say that the bill is misunderstood. 

Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council and Utah's chief gun lobbyist, said the council was disappointed with the veto, which they felt "was a small legislative step, but a bigger step toward self defense in the state."

"There are at times public misconceptions or misinterpretations about legislation," Aposhian said. "I think that if the public fully understood that this was a very, very tiny step from what we can do right now, their support would be swayed."

Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, said that it's not just the public who misunderstands the bill, but the governor and his staff, as well. 

Oda said the bill simply allows those who can legally carry a gun to put a jacket on over their firearm. 

"It's not gun control, it's jacket control," Oda said. "He's creating inadvertent criminals of law abiding citizens."

Oda said the bill had overwhelming support from pro-gun organizations like the National Rifle Association, the Gun Owners of America, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

E-mail: mmellor@deseretnews.com

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