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Front Page » March 25, 2003 » Opinion » Governor made correct choice
Published 4,233 days ago

Governor made correct choice


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By JOE WALDRON
Citizens Commit. for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Governor Mike Leavitt made the right decision in signing legislation that clarifies an ambiguity in Utah's concealed carry statute on Wednesday afternoon. Leavitt did the responsible thing by signing SB 3108, which makes a common-sense clarification in the law for legally armed citizens, while also providing churches wider latitude in prohibiting firearms inside their sanctuaries.

This is a victory for all citizens. Gov. Leavitt properly, and courageously, looked beyond the specious arguments against this legislation from anti-gun groups, and even his own personal opposition to guns on school campuses. Utah citizens, not just armed citizens, owe the governor thanks for clarifying the law, and acting in its best interest.

The argument that this legislation would somehow threaten the safety of school students and staff is a false belief. Utah statute already allows legally-licensed citizens to carry their concealed handguns onto school campuses and into school buildings. SB108 simply clarified that another law, banning "dangerous materials" on campus did not apply to those law-abiding citizens.

In truth there have been no instances of legally licensed gun owners harming anyone or even posing a threat on a school campus anywhere in the country. In fact the proof shows just the opposite.

When Peter Odighizuwa went on a rampage at a Virginia law school last year, he was apprehended by an armed student, Tracy Bridges.

When teenage gunman Luke Woodham murdered two students and shot seven others at Pearl High School in Mississippi in 1997, he was stopped at gunpoint by assistant principal Joel Myrick.

Law-abiding gun owners are not, and never have been, a problem on school campuses. Indeed, they've often been heroes. They, along with other parents and even the school administrators and teachers who opposed the legislation, deserved to have this issue clarified. Gov. Leavitt didn't do the so-called 'gun lobby' a favor, he did everyone a favor by signing this bill.


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