The Utah Legislature will not attempt to override Gov. Gary Herbert’s veto of a bill that would allow adults to carry concealed firearms without a permit, leaders confirmed Friday following a poll of members.
Fewer than two-thirds of lawmakers in both chambers — the number needed for an override — favored the move, so leaders say they will not call for the special session.
In the Senate, 16 of 29 members favored an override of HB76 — short of the 20 needed. In the House, 41 of the 75 members favored it, short of the 50 needed.
That comes even though two-thirds of members initially voted for the bill. Earlier, an unofficial survey by The Salt Lake Tribune indicated no override because several senators who voted for HB76 said they would not vote to push aside the governor’s veto.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, was among those who initially voted for the bill but voted against considering an override.
“A number of legislators don’t want to diminish our [existing] concealed-weapons permit law,” Niederhauser said Friday. “It seems to have been very successful.”
Niederhauser said many members wanted to solve some practical problems pointed to by bill sponsors — such as covering a gun with a coat in the rain being a technical violation of concealed weapon laws. “But I don’t think passion was there for the bill.”
He added, “A lot of them thought, ‘I’ll vote for it, but I’m not coming back to an override session for it.’ There was a lot of that sentiment.”
House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said House members’ reasons varied member by member.
“It could be they heard from their constituents. It could be they have concerns about spending taxpayer dollars for an override session. It may be that they think it is important to continue the conversation through the year and come back next year,” she said.