Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wes Hutchins. I am an attorney practicing in Salt Lake City since 1993. I recently became a handgun owner and went through the firearms training course to obtain my concealed firearms permit. I enjoyed the course immensely, and it peaked my interest in Utah laws governing the use of firearms.
The purpose of this email is to inform you of a change in the Utah Administrative Code that previously purported to mandate that permit holders, if stopped by a police officer, must inform the officer that they are a permit holder and that they are either armed, or unarmed. (Hereinafter referred to as the "Inform Requirement"; see Utah Administrative Code R722-300-12)(I say "purported to mandate" since there is a dispute whether or not admin rules rise to the level of enforceable "law" -- a debate beyond the scope of this email).
I have conducted considerable research into the issue, and have learned that the Inform Requirement, along with all other provisions under the Admin Code pertaining to concealed firearms, no longer exist. That's right, they are not current law in Utah, as of approximately May of 2008. I am confident informing you of this change in the law for the following reasons:
(1) If you research the Utah Administrative Code online (you can run a Google search to see all the different references), the website identifying the "effective" provisions no longer lists R722-300-1 through -17 (example: go to http://www.rules.utah.gov/main
and then go to "Public Safety" section, link to Title 722, and it will give you the rules "As in effect on May 1, 2008," and R722-300-1 et seq. is not among them);
(2) If you go to the Department of Public Safety website (http://das.utah.gov.main
) and go to Concealed Weapons, then click on Concealed Firearm Law and Rule References (under General Information), and then click on Concealed Firearm Rule (third from the bottom), it then "thinks" for a minute or two and gives you a "File Not Found" screen; and
(3) I have spoken to individuals at DPS and at the Utah Administrative offices, all of whom confirm that the Concealed Firearm Permit Rule, including the Inform Requirement, is not presently in effect.
Interestingly, as part of my recent research, I have learned that DPS is in the process of promulgating a new rule - one which is apparently going to close the gap that presently allows out-of-state and even foreign individuals to obtain their permits in Utah. Nobody has been able to tell me if the new proposed rule will resurrect the Inform Requirement, or some version thereof, but I suspect it will. There will be a 30-day public comment period on the proposed rule, once it is presented to Utah Administrative Services. Whatever your position is on the Inform Requirement, I encourage you to exercise your freedom of speech and let it be known. You can review and comment on new admin rules by getting on the Admin Services website at and follow link to Administrative Rules, then to Proposed Rules. That takes you to the Utah State Bulletin, and if you go to the bottom of that page you can subscribe to be notified of any changes to the Bulletin.
Most of you may already be aware of the current status of the Inform Requirement, and further aware of all the foregoing resources for information. I apologize for any redundancy. My goal is to help inform folks of the change, and to encourage healthy debate on the issue when the new proposed rule comes out. One thing is for sure - it's going to be interesting!
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or if I might be able to provide you with any additional information, feel free to respond to this email, or to contact me at my office. Also, feel free to forward this email on to anyone in your "network" that you believe may be interested in these issues. If you would like more information about me or our law offices, you can visit our firm's website at http://www.scalleyreading.com
Have a great day!
Wesley D. Hutchins
SCALLEY READING BATES
HANSEN & RASMUSSEN, P.C.
15 West South Temple, Suite 600
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 531-7870 (voice line)
(801) 531-7968 (facsimile)