Today (June 16th) the United States Supreme Court issued a rather curious decision relating to firearm ownership, and more specifically relating to purchasing a firearm from a federal firearm dealer (FFL). Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans will buy firearms to give as gifts for holidays, birthdays, or graduations. Today the Supreme Court did not go so far as to say buying a firearm as a gift is illegal, but they did move that direction.

dontlie-campaign-logo-300x225The case in question is Abramski v. United States. Bruce Abramski had offered to purchase a handgun for his uncle from a local gun store. Bruce Abramski was a former cop who thought he could get a discount on the gun by playing the former cop card. The form that federal regulations required Abramski to fill out (Form 4473) asked whether he was the “actual transferee/buyer” of the gun, and clearly warned that a straw purchaser (namely, someone buying a gun on behalf of another) was not the actual buyer. Abramski falsely answered (according to the court) that he was the actual buyer. Abramski was convicted for knowingly making false statements “with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale” of a gun, 18 U. S. C. §922(a)(6), and for making a false statement “with respect to the in- formation required … to be kept” in the gun dealer’s records, §924(a)(1)(A). The case was challenged all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld Abramski’s conviction on a 5-4 split.

A straw purchase is when a person buys a gun on someone else’s behalf, while falsely claiming that it is for him or herself. The straw purchase question on the Form 4473 is worded as follows:

Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you. (See Instructions for Question 11.a.) Exception: If you are picking up a repaired firearm(s) for another person, you are not required to answer 11.a. and may proceed to question 11.b.

Many people ask us if they would be able to buy firearm as a gift for a friend or family member considering the above question asks them if they are the “actual buyer”. The answer is yes. It has long been (and still is) the position of the BATFE that you may purchase a firearm from a federal firearm dealer that is intended to be given as a gift. The instructions relating to the above question make this clear (see bolded and underlined portion below):

Question 11.a. Actual Transferee/Buyer: For purposes of this form, you are the actual transferee/buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (e.g., redeeming the firearm from pawn/retrieving it from consignment, firearm raffle winner). You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party. ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER EXAMPLES: Mr. Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the firearm. Mr. Jones is NOT THE ACTUAL TRANS- FEREE/BUYER of the firearm and must answer “NO” to question 11.a. The licensee may not transfer the firearm to Mr. Jones. However, if Mr. Brown goes to buy a firearm with his own money to give to Mr. Black as a present, Mr. Brown is the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm and should answer “YES” to question 11.a. However, you may not transfer a firearm to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), (n), or (x). Please note: EXCEPTION: If you are picking up a repaired firearm(s) for another person, you are not required to answer 11.a. and may proceed to question 11.b.

The problem in the Abramski case (according to the government) is that it was not a gift. Abramski was essentially using his Uncle’s money and direction to buy a gun on his behalf, to save his uncle the hassle of filling out the paperwork. Understand, Abramski’s uncle was not prohibited in any way from purchasing the firearm, he was not a felon or otherwise prohibited from purchasing/owning guns. Had his uncle been a felon it would have been a clear cut straw purchase case. Instead, the law abiding uncle simply wanted his nephew to buy a gun for him. Imagine a relative who has physical limitations that prevent them from going to the local gun store, or is unable to read or write, and has asked you to purchase a firearm for them. That is essentially the issue in dispute in this case and what the Supreme Court criminalized today.

Although Justice Kagan does a very bad job of writing the majority decision (no surprise, she also does a very bad job of being a Supreme Court Justice in my opinion), there are a few things we can glean from it that may help keep you out of trouble:

  • Buying a firearm from a federal firearm dealer for someone else who has either given you money to purchase it, or is going to give you money to purchase it, is never ok. People generally do not pay for gifts, so if they are paying for it they need to buy it themselves.
  • Someone who gives you specific directions or requests relating to what gun to buy (even if they are not paying you for it) is now questionable. Prior to this decision I would have told a client that there is no problem with buying a gift for someone who has specifically requested a certain gun, so long as no money changes hands and no agency relationship is formed. After all, who doesn’t tell their parents, spouse, or friend what gun they would like before they receive it as a gift? However, this decision muddies the water a little on whether specific directions on firearm purchases are indeed straw purchases. Justice Kagan worded it as follows:
    • The individual who sends a straw to a gun store to buy a firearm is transacting with the dealer, in every way but the most formal; and that distinguishes such a person from one who buys a gun, or receives a gun as a gift, from a private party.”  (emphasis added) Abramski v. United States, 706 F.3d 307 (4th Cir. 2013) cert. granted, 134 S. Ct. 421,(U.S. June 16, 2014).
  • Buying a firearm purely as a gift (with no remuneration, direction or specific request) is still ok. You would answer line 11a as “yes”.
  • Guns Intended as Raffle Prizes are still ok. As Justice Scalia words it, “The Government considers the man at the counter the true purchaser even if he is buying the gun “for the purpose of raffling [it] at an event”—in which case he can provide his own information on Form 4473 and “transfer the firearm to the raffle winner without a Form 4473 being completed or a [background] check being conducted” on the winner, [unless state law requires one].” (see: 2005 ATF Guide 195)

If you’ve taken a Legal Heat class in the last 6 years you have heard us teach that someone paying you to purchase a firearm from a FFL on their behalf has always been a bad idea, even if the other person is completely law-abiding. Now we know the Supreme Court believes it is a federal crime to do so. We will provide updates on this rather ambiguous decision as they come.

Remember, none of the straw purchase regulations apply to private part sales if your state allows for such.

Advertisements

Have you heard about the recent court ruling that overturned the ban on firearms on post office property? Online gun forums have been buzzing about it, major news outlets have written about it, and even many of my fellow firearm instructors were singing its praises at a recent instructor course I attended. The only problem is the law prohibiting firearms on postal property is still very much alive, and the case everyone is talking about didn’t do any of the things everyone thinks it did.

Let’s start from the beginning. In 1972, the Postal Service enacted 39 C.F.R. § 232.1(l ), which provides:

Weapons and explosives. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, except for official purposes.
.
As you can see, the regulation not only prohibits carrying a firearm into a post office building, but it also prohibits firearm possession (or storage) anywhere on postal property.  A violation of this regulation may result in a fine, imprisonment up to thirty days, or both. Although it is rarely enforced with regards to USPS parking lots, there are several cases of unfortunate self-defense enthusiasts getting hit with charges for merely storing firearms in their vehicles on postal property.
38 years after the USPS enacted their prohibition against firearms, one brave Colorado resident named Tab Bonidy wrote a letter to his local post office in Avon, Colorado (population 6,365) asking them if he would be prosecuted for carrying his firearm onto the post office property. Legal counsel for the post office responded with a resounding yes, stating:
“The regulations governing Conduct on Postal Property prevent [Mr. Bonidy] from carrying firearms, openly or concealed, onto any real property under the charge and control of the Postal Service…. There are limited exceptions to this policy that would not apply here.”

 

If your name was Tab Bonidy, you could legally store a firearm in this parking lot.

If your name was Tab Bonidy, you could legally store a firearm in this parking lot. But your name isn’t Tab Bonidy, so you’d just go to jail.

Given that Mr. Bonidy wasn’t about to give up defending himself or collecting his mail, he did the only logical thing he could think of and went postal  sued the USPS. In his complaint Mr. Bonidy claimed  39 C.F.R. § 232.1(l ) violated his second amendment right to keep and bear arms. On July 9, 2013 a United States Judicial District Court for the District of Colorado agreed with him and issued an injunction prohibiting USPS from enforcing 39 C.F.R. § 232.1(l ). Great news! The problem is the court issued a very limited ruling. So narrow in fact that the ruling apparently only applies to Mr. Bonidy and the parking lot of the Avon Post Office, under the specific circumstances set forth in the case. Unless your name is Tab Bonidy and you are looking to carry a gun in the parking lot of the Avon Post Office, this case doesn’t really help you. To be concise, the court’s ruling was worded as follows:
ORDERED, that the Defendants take such action as is necessary to permit Tab Bonidy to use the public parking lot adjacent to the Avon Post Office Building with a firearm authorized by his Concealed Carry Permit secured in his car in a reasonably prescribed manner. Bonidy v. U.S. Postal Serv., No. 10-CV-02408-RPM, 2013 WL 3448130 (D. Colo. July 9, 2013)
.
As evidenced by the court’s order, the court doesn’t attempt to overturn 39 C.F.R. § 232.1(l ) nor does it extend its ruling anywhere outside of the Avon post office. The judicial district court ruling on this case was one of 94 different judicial district courts in America. Although the Bonidy decision sets great precedent, it is unfortunately not binding on the other 93 districts. Unless you want to be the test case for your district, you probably don’t want to start carrying on postal property.
In sum, even though the Bonidy case is great and we all wish it overturned the prohibition against carrying on postal property, it simply doesn’t.  For most of us, it is still every bit as illegal to possess a firearm on postal property today as it has been since 1972. Now that you know, tell your friends.

Many of you are aware that Legal Heat has spent the last 6 months fighting with the Illinois State Police to obtain our Illinois Instructor certification (as non-Illinois residents we had a much harder time, an ISP is as helpful and transparent as one might imagine). The good news is we have obtained our certifications and have already began instructing Illinois permit classes. Our first class was last weekend at the Hoffman Estates Cabelas store, and our next class at that location will be on March 13, 2014 (click here to read more about that upcoming class). The class was s great success and we’re thankful for those that attended, some of whom waited several months for us. Here are some photos from that class, make sure to let your friends and family know about our March 13th class so they can signup before it fills! Thanks again to all those who attended our inaugural course, we’re looking forward to helping Illinois residents obtain their permits for many years to come!

We had a great group, many of whom had waited several months for Legal Heat to obtain our certifications. We're also very thankful to Cabela's for working with us to offer these courses.

We had a great group, many of whom had waited several months for Legal Heat to obtain our certifications. We’re also very thankful to Cabela’s for working with us to offer these courses.

photo 2-2 photo 3 photo 4-2

Legal Heat instructor and Glock aficionado Dustin recently made a fantastic series of videos that cover how to completely disassemble a Glock, disassemble a Glock Mag, and reassemble them both. For an M&P guy like me who happens to own a few Glocks (but is far from a Glock armorer), these videos were the best I’ve ever seen. This is one you’ll want to keep bookmarked for that special time at 2am when you’ve got a reassembled Glock, and 3 extra Glock pieces laying on your workbench!

 

 

If you feel a little downtrodden with regards to the Second Amendment lately, take a look at the below graphic and take comfort in knowing our Second Amendment rights have expanded dramatically in the past 20 years. Legal Heat is now approaching the 100,000 landmark for students who we’ve helped obtain concealed firearm permits. Our nation has a LONG way to go and Legal Heat will continue our mission to “Arm America”, but we should all take heart in realizing we’ve come an incredibly long way in a short amount of time. Here’s to seeing more green states and less yellow state in the next few years!

Rtc

As most of you are aware, Legal Heat travels the country each month certifying thousands of people to obtain their concealed firearm permits. One of the most common questions we get asked in our classes is, “what is the best concealed carry insurance/legal protection product?” As a result of all of these inquiries, Legal Heat has been on a quest to find the best firearm defense liability insurance/protection in the business. We don’t take the endorsement of products lightly, and so we wanted to make absolutely sure we vetted each option as best we could. Since November I have spoken with or met with nearly every major provider of firearm liability protection in America. They all have their merits, but for us there is one clear industry leader, CCW Safe.

TO LEARN MORE OR ENROLL IN CCW SAFE PROTECTION CLICK HERE

First let’s discuss what firearm defense protection is all about.

If you are involved in a self-defense shooting your first priority is survival. Once survival is secured,  not having your life destroyed by an unbelievably expensive and emotionally draining legal battle now becomes your priority. That is where liability protection comes in. You pay a monthly or annual premium and gain the peace of mind of knowing you’ll be more financially secure and legally protected should such need arise. In the liability protection world there are two options, insurance products and service products.

Insurance Products:

Many of the insurance products currently available sound great on the surface, until you read the fine print and discover that (for many) you must first use your own money to hire an attorney, then afterwards submit your claim to the insurance company for reimbursement.  Not only is it extremely discomforting to imagine the insurance company denying your claim, it is also economically impossible for most people to come up with the funds required to hire an attorney in the first place. George Zimmerman’s legal defense cost 2.5 million dollars. If you were in Zimmerman’s position and had purchased many of the insurance products out there, you would could have been required to front the 2.5 million dollars and then later on submit your claim for reimbursement. I don’t know about you, but I personally question my ability to raise $25,000 overnight, let alone 2.5 million. Another huge downfall of insurance products is many have claim limits.  Self-defense criminal cases can cost much more than most people imagine. When you walk into an attorney’s office and he tells you your case may run into the hundreds of thousands, you don’t want to worry about claim limits. For all these reasons and more, we have decided to personally (and professionally) choose the service product offered by CCW Safe over competing insurance options. Although we’ve chosen to purchase CCW Safe coverage, I want to make it abundantly clear that we are not saying competing products (such as those offered by our industry friends USCCA or the NRA) are bad. USCCA and the NRA are great organizations, we simply feel CCW Safe provides the most protection and best value for our needs. It should also be noted that there is nothing that prevents you from obtaining multiple protection plans (CCW Safe & USCCA Law Shield), there’s no such thing as too much protection.

Service Product (CCW Safe):

As opposed to many insurance products, CCW Safe does not require you to front the costs of your legal defense and has no claim limits. CCW Safe also covers the costs of investigators and expert witnesses (which many of the competitors do not). Additionally, one of the best benefits of CCW Safe is their emergency hotline. In the wake of a self-defense shooting, all you need to do is make one call to CCW Safe’s emergency hotline and they’ll take care of the rest. They will quickly arrange legal counsel, investigators, and expert witnesses who will go to bat for you. As a former prosecutor myself, I can tell you the quicker a defendant has an attorney, the better. Those who spend weeks trying to find the right attorney waste crucial time and risk getting swallowed alive by the legal system. In a self-defense shooting you need a good attorney, and you need one yesterday! CCW Safe can offer the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve got a full legal team in your pocket. Finally, CCW Safe is available to anyone in America so long as they have any concealed firearm permit.

It should be noted that CCW Safe does not cover civil judgments or punitive damages (should you lose your case). The reason this is not a major concern for me is simply because losing a criminal case (such as a second degree murder trial) would result in a complete destruction of my life as I know it. Jail time, careers ending, family being torn apart…all of these things would take precedence over how much damages I’ll have to pay the court. My primary concern is obtaining good legal defense protection at an affordable price, and CCW Safe provides exactly that. 

Quick Comparison

How CCW Safe Works:

Notification: Immediately upon being involved in a critical self defense incident, you will need to notify CCW Safe.  First, notify 911 and request help and medical support.  Next, notify CCW Safe by calling the 24 hour emergency number on your membership card.  You will talk to an attorney who will give you guidance on your next action.  You will be instructed to give a very basic statement.  This statement should include your name, the fact that you are a victim and were forced to defend yourself, identifying the suspect, any witnesses, and present your ccw permit and CCW Safe membership card.  You will be instructed to advise authorities that you have legal representation and that you would like to give a full statement in the presence of your attorney. CCW Safe attorneys may initiate an investigative response team to begin investigation on your incident.

Official Interview: CCW Safe attorneys will attempt to secure a 24 – 48 hour window before any statement is given.  This is based on the fact that all parties involved will want the most accurate account of the incident.  Once that interview is scheduled, you may give an official statement after consultation with your attorney.  You will be advised not to talk to anyone, not even your family and friends about the incident until the official interview is complete.  Even after this interview, you will be advised to keep strict discretion about any conversation regarding the incident until the decision is made by the District Attorney or States Attorney on whether any charges will be filed.   Any media requests for interviews should be directed to your legal counsel.

Determination Phase: There will be a period of time, ranging from days to weeks that will determine if any criminal charges will be filed.  In the case of civil or administrative action, this period of time may be much longer, possibly up to a year or two.  During this time, CCW Safe will retain all investigative reports, interview reports and other reports necessary to prepare for the “next fight” if needed.

Preparation: It is always possible that civil action and/or criminal charges could be filed. In a civil case (one where someone sues you for causing them an injury based on negligence) there is a long period called discovery. This is the mechanism that all parties have to learn about what evidence there is and what evidence they intend to put on at the time of trial. This is a n incredibly costly process of meetings with witnesses, experts, deposition testimony, etc. This all has to be done in advance of a trial. In a criminal charge, there is no discovery phase. There are no depositions. But, there are witness meetings in an attempt to prepare the best possible defense. CCWSafe will provide the lawyers for our members at no cost to the member. This is a savings of tens of thousands of dollars.

Defense Phase: The defense phase is the actual trial process.  Again, this can last a long time and can be a very stressful time, perhaps the most stressful time of your entire life.  CCW Safe will provide representation throughout the trial process, and even into retrials or appeals if necessary.  And remember, no additional fees are charged to the member for this.

How to Enroll:

Enrolling in CCW Safe is easy, simply click here or visit www.ccwsafe.com/legalheat

It’s once again that magical time of year when each state is scrambling to write as many gun laws as possible before the close of the session. Here in Utah we’ve got a gem of our own brewing in the form of HB 0276. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing it has disguised itself as a pro-gun piece of legislation and sadly even managed to fool gun rights groups like the Utah Shooting Sports Council. Make no mistake, HB 0276 is the antithesis of pro-gun legislation and everyone needs to understand why.  For those of you outside of Utah, hopefully this will help you spot similar proposals in your state.

UT HB 0276

First, let’s briefly cover what HB 0276 does. Currently under Utah law (as it is in most states) the crime of disorderly conduct is limited to a few select acts. Here is how the current law reads:

(1) A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if:
(a) he refuses to comply with the lawful order of the police to move from a public place, or knowingly creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition, by any act which serves no legitimate purpose; or
(b) intending to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:
(i) engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior;
(ii) makes unreasonable noises in a public place;
(iii) makes unreasonable noises in a private place which can be heard in a public place; or
(iv) obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-102

Now, here is what Rep. Paul Ray would like added to the disorderly conduct statute:

(3) The mere carrying or possession of a holstered or encased firearm, whether visible
or concealed, without additional behavior or circumstances that would cause a reasonable
person to believe the holstered or encased firearm was carried or possessed unlawfully or with
criminal intent, does not constitute a violation of this section. For purposes of this section, the
belief of a reasonable person may not be based on a mistake of law. Nothing in this Subsection
(3) may limit or prohibit a law enforcement officer from approaching or engaging any person in
a voluntary conversation. (emphasis added by Legal Heat)

On first glance one might think this law is great. After all, it clarifies that my open or concealed carrying of a firearm (in and of itself) cannot constitute disorderly conduct…but is that all it does? Holstered or encased. That my friends is what we call a qualifier, and when it comes to the exercise of civil rights qualifiers go by another name…infringements. Ask yourself why the proposed legislation simply doesn’t say, “The mere carrying or possession of a firearm, whether visible or concealed…” That’s a law I could get behind, no qualifiers. But when you add contingencies such as “holstered or encased” all of the sudden you open the door for law enforcement (and the courts) to come to the very logical conclusion that anything that isn’t holstered or encased does in fact constitute the crime of disorderly conduct. Actually, under the rules of statutory construction the courts are compelled to interpret this proposed law as outlawing the open carry of unholstered firearms. When the legislature enumerates an exception to a rule, the courts are to infer that there are no other exceptions. Meaning, when the legislature says its ok to open carry a holstered or encased firearm, the rules tell us everything except those two manners of carry are then illegal. The bill’s sponsor Rep. Paul Ray clearly supports this restrictive interpretation, as he explained to KSL:

“So if someone is carrying a gun around in their hand they can be cited,” he said. “This bill really clarifies things and gives them an outline to go by of in this situation you can write a ticket and in this situation you can’t.”

The same goes for people who openly display guns on their body. The man in JC Penney last year could have been charged with disorderly conduct, he said.

If they strap a rifle onto their back and walk into JC Penney, you can be cited for disorderly, which you ought to be,” Ray said. “But if you have your handgun holstered then you are ok.”

Rep. Paul Ray wants to prosecute this man for exercising his rights.

Rep. Paul Ray wants the state to give him the ability  to put this man in jail for exercising his rights.

In other words, currently a Utah resident has a constitutionally protected right to sling a rifle over their shoulder and go about their business as they please. Rep. Paul Ray doesn’t like that (freedom makes some people uncomfortable) so he wants to take that constitutional right, narrow it, and criminalize what is currently a perfectly legal exercise of one’s right to bear arms. Does this sound like a piece of pro-gun legislation groups like the Utah Shooting Sports Council should be lobbying for? No. It sounds more like an infringement of my rights. Remind me again how gun rights activists are supposed to feel about infringing on rights?

Follow me down a logical path for a moment. Currently Utah law places no restrictions on a permit holder’s ability to carry a firearm however they choose. They can carry a handgun in their pocket, or an M1 Garand slung over their shoulder (bayonet and all). With this legislation the state would narrow that right to “holstered or encased, whether visible or concealed.” What, then, prevents Rep. Paul Ray from having his delicate sensitivities further offended a few years from now and removing the word “visible” from the code? Does open carry now become illegal in Utah? No. A better solution is NOTHING becomes illegal and Rep. Ray either amends the HB 276 or is outed for the civil rights infringing hoplophobe that he appears to be. Not in my state Rep. Ray, not in my state.

Why does any of this matter? Because of the Overton window.

The Overton Window Theory.

Most of us don’t plan on slinging rifles over our shoulder and going to the store. As I’ve mentioned prior, I open carry my holstered handgun roughly 80% of the time and conceal it the other 20%. I have never open carried a rifle in public. So why am I so upset by Rep. Ray’s legislation? Because I understand how the Overton window works, and if you don’t, you should too.

The Overton window theory describes a narrow “window” which constitutes the range of ideas the public will accept and support at any given time. Essentially, there will always be fringe elements on either side of a political issue, then there is a happy place somewhere in the middle where most normal people operate. We need the fringe elements to balance out the middle. The extremes on either side are always heavily scrutinized, but we need them. If you take away the guy who open carries his AR into JC Penny (society calls him extreme, I do not), then suddenly the guy who simply open carries a holstered handgun becomes the extreme. Subsequently the Overton window shifts towards the ant-gun perspective, and the slippery slope begins.

Under current Utah law my act of open carrying my holstered firearm fits comfortably within the margins of the overton window. If, however, the guy who open carries his AR is no longer allowed to do so now I become the extremist. We need the fringe elements to balance out the middle.

Under current Utah law my act of open carrying a holstered firearm fits comfortably within the margins of the overton window. If, however, the guy who open carries his AR is no longer allowed to do so I now become the extremist and the Overton window naturally shifts towards the anti-gun side. We need the fringe elements to balance out the middle.

Don’t believe in the Overton window theory? Think I’m being paranoid? Let’s take a trip down memory lane with the state of California shall we (click to enlarge the graphic).

After each law was passed narrowing the right to open carry in California, the Overton window shifted and caused more scrutiny to be focused on those who had once been comfortably residing within the window.

After each law was passed narrowing the right to open carry in California, the Overton window shifted and caused more scrutiny to be focused on those who had once been comfortably residing within the window.

So with all due respect to groups like the Utah Shooting Sports Council and Rep. Ray, Utah does not wish to go down the same path of “qualifiers” as we’ve seen California travel. I’ll take my rights without qualifiers, and if I see a guy (or gal) open carrying an AR into JC Penny I’ll buy them lunch. If Rep. Ray believes open carry of unholstered firearms should be criminally prosecuted I know a place with beautiful beaches where he can violate civil rights to his heart’s content.

As a final note, I will say that in my experience I have never seen a single case in Utah where a person has been convicted of disorderly conduct for merely open carrying a holstered firearm. I have searched Westlaw and spoken with several other attorneys, and no one could point me to a single example of a conviction. That isn’t to say it hasn’t occurred (though I have my doubts), but isn’t this law designed to finally protect the right to open carry? From where I’m sitting it looks like we’ve got that right pretty well locked up and we don’t need Rep. Ray bargaining our existing rights in exchange for something we already have. I’d be glad to get behind a piece of legislation that protects all manner of carrying firearms, but not one that protects carrying under the conditions Rep. Ray feels comfortable with at the expense of all other manners. (Side note: I’d welcome any verifiable examples of convictions if anyone has any. I’m looking for someone who was simply open carrying a holstered firearm and was convicted of disorderly conduct.)

If you would like to contact Rep. Paul Ray and let him know how you feel about his proposed legislation you can do so by emailing him here: pray@le.utah.gov. Also, remember to contact your local representatives and voice your opinion as well. Finally, please share this article so others may contact their reps as well.

FOR A COMPLETE SUMMARY OF THE GUN LAWS IN EACH STATE DOWNLOAD THE LEGAL HEAT APP ON YOUR PHONE OR TABLET.