Utah Republican Wants To Expand Right To Carry Guns On Buses And Trains
[su_right_ad]You can carry guns on buses and trains with a permit or with permission of the vehicle’s owner, but that isn’t good enough for Provo State Rep. Norman Thurston.
While the law makes exceptions for those with permits or permission from the transit owner, Thurston said it allows someone to very easily commit a crime without realizing it.
“You were perfectly fine walking down the street and then you get on a bus and now you’re a felon.” Thurston said. “You’re not doing anything different.”
Utah Transit Authority spokesman Remi Barron said the agency has not had any problems with riders carrying concealed weapons on trains or buses and didn’t believe anyone had been cited for it.
[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]Thurston said someone in his district pointed him toward the issue while exploring whether to use public transit to commute to work. He’s has started a bill to tackle the issue during the upcoming legislative session, but it’s not public yet and Thurston said he’s still figuring out exactly how to change the law.
Another Republican with a solution in search of a problem.
“If it’s legal to be on the street, it should be legal to be on a bus,” he said. “If it’s illegal to be on the street, it should be the same type of illegal to be on the bus.”
Miriam Walkingshaw of Utah Parents Against Gun Violence, said that while someone may cite protection as a reason to carry a weapon, she’s concerned about public safety risks if they carry it on a bus or train where many people might be moving in and out.
“If their weapon isn’t secured safely,” she said, “It’s just one of those incidents where I think the risk of something going wrong or someone deliberately using it in a bad way is higher than any change of it preventing any sort of crime.”
Thurston said he doesn’t know if transit officials are regularly citing people under the law, but if they’re not, that’s another reason to take it off the books, he said.
Okay, how about finding out first. But then you might find out expanding the carrying of guns accomplishes nothing.