Tens of thousands of Americans are applying for concealed weapon permits in Utah, even though they’ve never been there, and don’t intend to visit. The state has become the gun permit capital of the country, the New York Times explains, because its permits are dirt cheap, easy to get, and honored in 32 other states. Last year, Utah got 73,925 applications, almost 60% of which were from non-residents.
Utah happily issues those permits; you needn’t set foot there to apply or take the required safety class. “Self-defense should not stop at a state’s border,” says one Utah gun lobbyist. “Not once has there been a pattern of problems with Utah permit holders.” But gun control advocates worry that many states neglect to submit felony records to the federal background check database. “I think it’s ludicrously irresponsible," one argues, "to say that anybody anywhere who wants one of our concealed-carry permits…can just log onto our website and pay 60 bucks." (Click here to read an equally crazy story on why some people are getting gun permits in Texas.)