Utah gun rule removes sodomy restriction

People convicted of violating the Utah sodomy law before such laws were determined in 2003 by justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to be unconstitutional won’t be restricted from being issued a Utah Concealed Firearm Permit, according to a new state-rule amendment which has the effect of law.

The permit is popular throughout the United States because it is valid in 34 states and doesn’t require Utah residency.

The amendment was adopted on Jan. 7 and reversed a three-month-old requirement to restrict the permits of applicants who were convicted of state sodomy-law violations. The requirement was part of the Utah Department of Public Safety rule R722-300 “Concealed Firearm Permit and Instructor Rule” that was renewed in October — more than two years after the rule expired.

Besides adopting the amendment, department workers explained on Dec. 1 in the Utah State Bulletin that the requirement “seems to be an oversight,” and agreed with Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah owner David Nelson who lobbied successfully to make the change permanent.

Nelson is also lobbying for similar changes to state occupational and professional licensing rules, and to state legislative bills.

“Until the state sodomy law is corrected, state-government workers should stop referencing its unconstitutional parts in other state laws and rules,” Nelson said. “Small improvements like this rule amendment help restore the rights and liberties of citizens who were harmed by such laws.”

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