HB 473 may not have passed BUT Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff gave his opinion during that setting...
An ambiguity in the concealed-carry law was cleared up in the most recent legislative session by HB473, which included language to read: “Concealed firearm permit" means a permit issued pursuant to Section 53-5-704 that permits, but does not require, concealment of the firearm on the permittee.”
Only one problem... HB 473 did not pass. The anti's got ahold of it and made hostile amendments, so the sponsor and the rest of the legislature killed it...
My opinion on that it is very clear that in Utah you can carry a weapon,
open, as long as it is unloaded. Meaning, nothing in the chamber, you can have a full
magazine in it but as long as there is nothing in the chamber. That is what “unloaded” is
defined as. You don’t have to have a permit. Anybody in this state, if they are of the
right age to own a weapon-
And law biding,
And they’re law biding and meet all of the other requirements, as far as
mental illness and so forth, then you qualify to carry open unloaded. The question comes
is to when and if you can carry it open and loaded. The law says that if you get a
concealed weapon permit then you can conceal it. By the way it is illegal to conceal a
weapon unless you get the permit. So, you can clearly, one of the exemptions from the
weapon’s law is that when you get the permit you can conceal it. So you are exempt
from the weapon’s law that says you can’t conceal it. Secondly, the question comes up
then, well let’s say you are concealing it, you’re carrying it, it’s loaded, as you would
expect it to be a concealed weapon and, you know, your jacket comes open and whatever.
If your jackets you’re now carrying open, are you in violation of the law? And since
firearm permit, a concealed weapon permit is not defined there has been some confusion
in some agencies and it has been interpreted differently. My understanding from the
Department of Public Safety is that they interpret it to mean that, indeed, the law is that if
you have a concealed weapon permit you are exempt from all weapons laws and you can
carry it open loaded. But there have been other local jurisdictions who have interpreted it
otherwise so they’re stopping people and creating a problem. So I think that, my
recommendation was to clarify it up front. That is the best thing you can do."