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Nevertheless, the bill passed 21-7 in the Senate and 51-18 in the House. Both vote totals — if they were to hold — would be sufficient to override the veto if lawmakers decide to challenge it. An override requires at least 50 votes in the House and 20 in the Senate.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said legislative leaders will wait until after April 3 —the deadline for Herbert to sign bills — to see how many other bills could face attempts at a veto override. Then they will poll members about how many want an override session.
"I know HB76 passed both houses with a two-thirds vote," Niederhauser said. "But I really don’t know how hard or how soft that vote is. We won’t know until we do our polling."
House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said House members would be "thoughtful and methodical and evaluate whether or not they want to go into override. It’s a pretty serious thing."
While Christensen said he and others will push for a veto override, he does not know how strong of an appetite lawmakers have for that.
"When it comes to pushing back that strongly, there are a lot of those votes that were not emphatic. They were ‘yes’ votes for the bill — but will they hold up? I would certainly like to see the override happen, and I will be pushing for it. I would hesitate to try to guess at the results of an override session," Christensen said.
Lobbying • Aposhian said his shooting sports council board will meet next week to see what steps it may take to seek an override. He adds he will try to schedule meetings with several legislators to talk about how it could help with a push for an override.
With a possible override fight looming, Bellenger said her anti-violence group will continue to encourage people to call legislators to ask them to vote against it.
Similarly, Maryann Martindale, executive director of Alliance for a Better Utah, noted 1,200 people signed a petition against HB76, and said, "It would be contrary to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Utahns who favor sensible gun rights to override the governor’s veto..... We call on the citizens of Utah to tell their legislators not to override the veto."
If Herbert had signed the bill, Utah would have joined about a half dozen other states with constitutional-carry laws on the books, including Vermont, Arizona, Wyoming and Montana.
Utah is the second Republican governor in a week to veto a bill legalizing concealed carry without a permit. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed his state Legislature’s measure March 15 and lawmakers were unable to muster sufficient votes to override him.
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