UINTAH -- A group of Uintah city residents are firing back at Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of House Bill 76 by helping circulate word of a petition calling for a special session of the state Legislature to be called for the purpose of overriding the governor's action.
House Bill 76 proposed amendments be made to Utah law relating to concealed weapon carry permits. The amendment would have made it easier for gun owners to obtain a concealed weapon carry permit.
A group of Uintah city residents, in response to Herbert's actions, are circulating through social media sites a petition, born out of Utah county. The petition urges lawmakers to call for a special session to back the proposed amendment, according to Uintah Discussion Group, which regularly posts on Facebook.
The "anti-gun" crowd claims the majority of Utahns are against HB 76 because they got 1,200 signatures, Uintah city resident Jessica Hollenbeak Garlick posted on the UDG Facebook post.
"Well, let's get 10,000 signatures," Garlick said of the petition created by Utah County resident Aaron Browning.
Browning said the petition he began circulating March 24 already has 1,400 signatures.
The petition has a two-fold purpose: one, to call for a special session to override the veto; and two, to ask lawmakers who initially supported HB 76 to continue their support of it, said Browning, who lives in Pleasant Grove.
"If they originally voted no, that is their conscience," he said. "We're not trying to twist any arms. It is a polite petition."
Officials with Gov. Gary Herbert's office contend the petition being circulated is part of the process.
"There are people who will agree and disagree with the governor's action on a bill. They now have the opportunity to contact their legislators," said Ally Isom, the governor's office deputy chief of staff.
"We welcome public engagement," Isom said. "It's a valuable part of the process."
But Uintah city elected leaders are distancing themselves from the petition drive and the local group behind it.
The effort by the UDG group, which posts under a name that includes "Uintah" in its title, is in no way associated with the city, Uintah Mayor Sue Bybee said.
"They (the group) are not representative of Uintah," Bybee emphasized. "(What they are saying) only represents that group."
Some UDG members are not even city residents, she said.
Garlick, who did post word of the petition, is a resident of Uintah.