SALT LAKE CITY -- Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund says he thinks the Legislature is unlikely to override Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of a bill that would allow Utah adults to carry a hidden, unloaded gun without a permit.
The Monroe Republican said he doubts bill supporters can muster enough votes for an override session by Friday's deadline.
"I would be surprised if the votes are there for an override session," Okerlund told The Salt Lake Tribune. "I could be wrong, but I sure would be surprised."
Okerlund, who was among 22 senators who voted for the bill, said he opposes an override session.
"We can deal with this bill or something similar next year," he said. "I'm also leaning toward the philosophy that our concealed-weapons law probably has us in a pretty good place right now."
It would take a two-thirds majority of both the Senate and House to convene an override session. That would mean 20 votes in the 29-member Senate.
According to a Tribune survey, 11 senators support an override and nine support Herbert's veto. One senator is leaning toward the override and two are leaning against it. Four are undecided and two senators' positions were unclear.
If bill backers secure two-thirds support in both houses, the override session would have to convene by May 13. It would cost taxpayers from $20,000 to $30,000 for the session.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, declined to say how he planned to vote, saying he did not want his leadership position to sway the outcome.
Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said he's struggling with his decision and is undecided.
"It's a principle that I actually support, but an override session when you're only ... nine months away from another session? I just don't know," he said.
Herbert, a Republican, has said existing laws on the issue work well and provide an important tool for law enforcement agencies. Dozens of mayors and police chiefs around Utah urged Herbert to veto the measure, as did the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.
Currently, an individual must take a training course, pass a background check and obtain a concealed-weapons permit to carry a hidden firearm. Utahns can openly carry an unloaded weapon without a permit.