Last Wednesday, the Utah House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee passed House Bill 373 by a 9-0-2 vote. Authored by state Representative Ryan Wilcox (R-7), HB 373 would require that certification by a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO), when a signoff is required for the transfer of a firearm or other item regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), be provided within fifteen days as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm or other item. The NRA is currently working with the bill sponsor to make a few technical improvements to the language of the bill to ensure its effectiveness. Representative Wilcox will offer the NRA-suggested amendments when HB 373 in considered on the House floor.
Under current law, a CLEO may refuse to sign off for any reason, including their own personal feelings toward NFA-related items, which has created issues for law-abiding citizens. As amended, HB 373 will bring the CLEO signoff process in line with the standard that sheriffs in Utah are already using when signing off on a concealed carry permit. By removing any possibility of personal bias, which may reside behind many CLEO’s refusal to sign off, and creating a statewide standard, HB 373 protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners across the Beehive State.
It is a good thing to hear that representatives are taking steps in the right direction to support our second amendment rights.