Utah concealed carry permit holders better hope they didn’t smudge their fingerprints during the background checks.
The state has already revoked 399 concealed carry permits and nearly 80 percent of those were because of unreadable fingerprints. The new standards puts Utah in line with the FBI’s rule that applicants must request a new permit after two fingerprint rejections.
“It’s not necessarily that the person did anything bad if we’re taking their permit away,” said Jason Chapman, a firearms supervisor with the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification. “We just couldn’t complete background checks.”
The move has left many former concealed carriers frustrated, but Miriam Walkingshaw, president of Utah Parents Against Gun Violence, lauded the crackdown on fingerprinting.
“Utah law, in general, when it comes to concealed-carry permits, is already pretty weak,” said Walkingshaw. “[So if someone wants to] carry a loaded weapon in public, we should have a record of their fingerprints.”
Normally, if a concealed carrier had unacceptable fingerprints, the state would simply wait until they renewed their permit to reprint, but now the state is cleaning house and pulling permits of anyone who has failed to resubmit their prints within one year.
“We go the extra step to make sure this permit and anyone holding it has gone through very consistent, very in-depth background checks,” said Clark Aposhian, a gun lobbyist and member of the Bureau of Criminal Identification’s concealed-carry board.
It’s unclear what prompted Utah to tighten the regulations surrounding fingerprinting, but if they keep pulling concealed carry permits at this rate, the whole the state could become a gun-free zone.
(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)