Before the Legislature convened in January, people with permits to carry concealed firearms could take their guns into churches, businesses, public schools, colleges and universities and other people's homes without breaking the law.
When bills passed by the 1998 Legislature take effect later this year, none of that will change.Despite apparent public support, a plea from Gov. Mike Leavitt to pass concealed-weapons legislation and the introduction of a bill by Senate President Lane Beattie, another session has come and gone without a resolution to the concealed-weapons dilemma.
Beattie decided there wasn't enough support for his bill, which would have allowed churches, public schools and homeowners to ban legally permitted concealed handguns from their premises.
Late in the session, three Senate Democrats wanted to amend a noncontroversial House bill to restrict handguns from churches and public schools. But Republican leaders, wise to the plan, held the bill.
The issue undoubtedly will resurface next year. While House Speaker Mel Brown doesn't see the need for such a law, while other legislators agree with Leavitt and Beattie that something should be done.
During the session, however, the Legislature's own attorney issued an opinion against Leavitt's decision forbidding state employees from carrying permitted concealed weapons in state buildings or vehicles, unless required in their jobs.
The Legislature did pass a bill allowing concealed firearm permit holders to skip a criminal background check when buying a gun.