Utah Lawmaker Will Run ‘Open Carry’ Bill Again

(KCPW News) Clearfield Representative Paul Ray wants to give gun owners more freedom. The Republican lawmaker is running a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would prohibit a person who is lawfully carrying a firearm in public from being charged with non-firearm related crimes like disorderly conduct.

“In order to be cited for disorder conduct you have to be disorderly,” Ray said. “Somebody can’t come up to you and say ‘you’re carrying a concealed weapon and that caused a great deal of concern and that was disorderly’..you can’t do that. You have the right to bare arms and this just says you still have that right.”

Ray says even in light of the recent shootings in Newtown, Connecticut he does not foresee any problems with his bill passing in the upcoming session.

“What my bill does in not tied in any way shape or form to what has happened nationally or even worldwide,” Ray told KCPW. “It doesn’t say you have the right to walk into a church with an AK47, the church has the right, or the business has the right to say no. So, we’re not touching any of that. We are saying disorderly conduct is comprised of these things, and if it is not these things it is not disorderly conduct.”

Ray ran a similar bill last year; it passed the house but was killed in the senate. He says he has cleared up the language in the bill that had some law enforcement agencies concerned about their right to question individuals; and now believes they are now on board with the revised bill.