Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Utah's Concealed Weapon Permit Process

According to this September 26, 2007 Associated Press article, Utah is no longer "shall-issue" for non-citizens:
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah has stopped issuing concealed-gun permits to foreigners because of the rising number of applicants and the difficulty of conducting background checks.
"Utah had become the state of choice for people who did not live in the United States but wanted to carry a gun in the country," said Richard Wyss, attorney at the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigation. State authorities "became alarmed," he told lawmakers Tuesday.
About 1,000 citizens of other countries have permits that allow them to carry a concealed gun in Utah and 30 states that have an agreement with Utah. Most are Canadians; others are from countries including Japan, Switzerland, Aruba, Mongolia, Mexico and the Republic of Congo.
Since 1995, Utah has issued 92,000 permits, 30 percent to non-Utah residents. Applicants typically must show they attended a safety class. Even a blind North Dakota man has one.
Background checks on foreigners were weak because Utah was denied access to records in other countries, but permits were issued if applicants met other requirements, authorities said. Utah now won't renew or issue the permits unless it can do a thorough background check.
I really can't say that I blame them. I rather suspect that the criminal background check system for Afghanistan is a little less thorough than for Wyoming. I would also worry a bit about terrorists entering the United States and using the deficiencies (or active assistance) of their home country's criminal justice system to allow them to carry concealed.

If the home country will provide adequate information, it appears that non-citizens can still get a Utah carry permit.

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