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Barney Fife's bullet

Published April 27, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In addressing citizen concerns about HB76, which, if the governor had not vetoed it, would have let adult Utahns carry concealed firearms without a permit, Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, reasoned: "Let's do a better job making the case publicly and bring it back next session" ("Utah Legislature unlikely to override guv's gun veto," Tribune, April 13).

Good thinking. After all, I just learned that this permitless concealed-carry law applied only to carrying without a permit an "unloaded" firearm, so some additional case-making and publicity was needed.

With this detail in mind, might not public perception of the unpopular bill be softened if it were renamed the Barney Fife Law? What better symbol of both gun rights and gun safety is there than the intrepid lawman of TV Mayberry fiction, who had to carry an unloaded handgun with a bullet in his shirt pocket?

Regrettably, "unloaded" in HB76 did not mean bullets only in the pocket; it meant just no bullets in the gun's firing chamber, so you'd have to pull the trigger twice to shoot a bullet. If our legislators are determined to pass this law, despite public opposition, we should extract the legislative immortalization a Barney Fife.

Bill Anderson

South Salt Lake