Two state legislators are planning bills for the 1997 Legislature that would let schools, churches, private business owners and maybe even those who run public offices ban concealed weapons from their premises.

Rep. Ray Short, R-Holladay, says he questions whether a 1995 concealed weapons law should have precedence over a law that he sponsored several years ago banning weapons on school property.The two laws appear to be in conflict, and if one must say whether weapons will be allowed on school property or not, Short wants to side with banning all weapons from school grounds.

Meanwhile, Sen. Robert Steiner, D-Salt Lake, wants to give private property owners the right to ban all weapons from their grounds. "And I'm thinking that we should also give those who manage public property the right to ban all weapons also," says Steiner.

Steiner, who represents the northeast section of the city, has tried for a number of years to give local authorities the power to deal with gun control. He's lost more battles than he's won, but sees an opening now after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement several weeks ago saying churches are places of sanctuary and that any weapons are inappropriate within their walls.

Short said that when he sponsored his "weapons free zone" school bill several years ago, he never imagined a subsection that talks about "legal" weapons being allowed in schools would allow regular citizens with legal concealed weapons permits to bring their guns to school.

"I and everyone else (in the Legislature) figured we were talking about law enforcement officers" bringing their weapons into schools, said Short.

But that apparently isn't the case. Pro-gun advocates interpret the section to mean anyone legally authorized to carry a concealed gun may take the weapon into schools - which was not Short's intent in his bill.

Short doesn't want to give each school administrator the power to say whether concealed weapons should come in or not. That would be too confusing to the good citizens who have concealed weapons permits, he says. And he's worried about citizens leaving their weapons in their cars while visiting a school, where the guns could be stolen or involved in accidents. "Right now, I'm trying to get some reaction (to banning all weapons - except those of police - in schools)." Short can't say exactly now what he plans to do.

Steiner is more certain: Give any private property owner the right to ban weapons or let them in as he sees fit.

Steiner is willing to consider letting administrators of public property ban weapons as well. "If the Salt Lake City Council wants to ban all weapons from its parks or public buildings, they should be able to do that," says Steiner.

Steiner is a member of the Legislature's interim transportation and public safety study committee. Two months ago, most committee members were sympathetic when gun-rights advocates who packed a committee room argued against Public Safety Commissioner Doug Bordrero's concerns over concealed-weapon permit holders taking their weapons anywhere - to churches, schools and private businesses that cater to the public.

Steiner said he won't be taking his gun-control bill to that committee. "I know what could happen to it there - I'll just introduce the measure in the (1997) Legislature," he said.