FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Utah Gun Laws

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Introduction

Utah is located in the Western United States. Most of its 2,940,000 people live along the Wasatch Front, which is centered in Salt Lake City, and much of the state is nearly uninhabited. Utah is bordered by Arizona to the south, Colorado to the east, Wyoming on the northeast, Idaho to the north and Nevada to the west, as well as a corner of New Mexico. Open carry is legal in Utah with a valid license to carry, and is legal even without a license so long as at least two actions are required to fire the gun, such as racking the slide and pulling the trigger.

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Utah Constitution states:

“The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.”

[http://gunla.ws/ut1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of Utah’s preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“(2) …  All authority to regulate firearms shall be reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities. Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or rule pertaining to firearms.”

[http://gunla.ws/ut2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Utah will recognize another state’s license to carry.

“The provisions of Subsections 76-10-504 (1) and (2), and Section 76-10-505 do not apply to any person to whom a permit to carry a concealed firearm has been issued: … (b) by another state or county.” [http://gunla.ws/ut3]

Utah’s reciprocity agreements can be viewed here:

[http://gunla.ws/ut4]

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D. NFA Items

Utah permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. It is legal to use suppressors for hunting. CLEOs are required to sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the NFA within 15 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it. [http://gunla.ws/ig84]

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E. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Utah generally prohibits carrying concealed firearms in vehicles without a permit. It is illegal to possess a loaded long gun in a vehicle. You may only carry a handgun without a permit if: (1) You are legally in possession of the vehicle; (2) have the consent of the owner; (3) are over 18 years old; and (4) the firearm is unloaded; securely encased (not including glove box or console box) and is not readily accessible for immediate use. [http://gunla.ws/ut5]

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F. Self-defense Laws

Utah has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat from anywhere You have a legal right to be. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, if You reasonably believe the intruder intended to harm an occupant of the dwelling or commit a felony inside it. [http://gunla.ws/ut6]

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G. Criminal Provisions

Under Utah law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances, whether it is issued by Utah, or a person is carrying pursuant to a reciprocity agreement between his or her state of license and Utah:

  • Any secured area in which firearms are prohibited and notice is posted. Including:
    • A school or educational facility that has prohibited carrying pursuant to § 53B-3-103
    • Correctional facility, as defined by § 76-8-311.3
    • Law enforcement facility
    • Mental health facility, as defined by § 62A-15-602
    • A courtroom or courthouse which has prohibited carrying pursuant to § 78A-2-203
  • Any airport secure area

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:  [http://gunla.ws/ut7]

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H. Duty to Inform Officers

No. Although there is no legal requirement to disclose to a LEO that You are carrying a firearm, it is recommended to do so. If a LEO sees a gun on Your person during their contact with You, and You have not identified Yourself as a permit holder in legal possession of a firearm, the officer may assume You are carrying illegally and may take defensive action. [http://gunla.ws/5xu4]

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I. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

It depends. “No Guns” signs have the force of law if they are posted at a house of worship or private residence. Firearms are also prohibited where the owner or responsible person has verbally communicated that firearms are not permitted. Failure to leave or disarm constitutes trespass. [http://gunla.ws/kcxm]

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J. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes. If You possess a license/permit, You are allowed to carry into all establishments that serve alcohol. You are allowed to consume alcohol while You carry, but it is illegal to carry while intoxicated (blood alcohol level over .08%) [http://gunla.ws/06w8]

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K. Open Carry

Open carry of a loaded firearm is legal for those with a valid permit/license. Open carry of a firearm without a permit is allowed as long as the gun is at least two actions from being fired, i.e., no bullet in the chamber. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry.

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More