Over half a million people now hold a permit from Utah to carry a concealed firearm. The total was 521,900 as of the end of September. That total equates to one permit for every five people living in the state.
Of course, the state is not similar to the Wild West, as the largest number of permits are for people who live outside the state. The split is currently 62% to 38%, said a spokeswoman for the state’s Bureau of Criminal Identification.
The reason so many non residents have permits is because the permit for the state is recognized by more states than most other permits, so many want it so they can have easier travel between states with guns.
That might also be why the amount of permits has surged by more than 126,000 over the last year and close to quadrupled over the last five years.
The permit for Utah is a great value said the chairman of the Shooting Sports Council of Utah. Clark Aposhian said no other permit in the U.S. gets a person into 35 states.
Each state has the right to determine which state permits it accepts.
However, some critics have said the permit in Utah is too easy to obtain and that makes it so popular. For example, a member of the center Gun Violence Prevention Center said the state only requires a cursory knowledge of the laws over firearms and does not require that the person in possession of the gun and permit knows how to use the gun.
New Mexico and Nevada for example took away recognition of Utah’s concealed gun permit since it did not require live-fire practice.
However, one state legislative member from Utah said the real reason Nevada stopped excepting Utah permits was because Utah was selling gun permits for less than Nevada.
Others have said beside the popularity for out of staters, the permits in the Utah are increasing in number due to fear of safety and worry the federal government might eliminate guns rights.