In opposition to other states, Utah has several restrictions that not
many others do. However, there are no state permit requirements for
purchasing handguns and shotguns. There is only a seven dollar fifty
cents fee for the necessary instant background check. Those who have
concealed weapons permits issued through Utah will not have to pay this
fee. No firearm registration is necessary in Utah. There is no assault
weapons law and licenses are not required for shotgun and handgun
Permits are required to carry both long guns and handguns. These
permits are issued to those over the age of twenty-one for self defense
purposes. The application is required to be processed within sixty days
of receiving the application. Permits may be denied if applications
have been deemed to have poor character.
Utah also preempts local restrictions. Under this act the local
governments are not allowed to establish, enforce, or regulate stricter
ordinances for firearms that are not designated by the state. This also
includes possessing firearms on both private and public property.
Specific Utah Laws
The only NFA weapon that is restricted in Utah is that of sawed-off
shotguns when possessed on school property. Concealed weapons permits
do not exclude any individual from this law. Peaceable Journey laws
exist for both shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Those traveling through
Utah borders are permitted to have unloaded and encased firearms as
well as loaded handguns if the firearms are under complete control.
These laws are according to Utah statute 76-10-501.
Castle Doctrine is also present for both long guns and handguns. Under
Castle Doctrine individuals are permitted to inflict considerable force
on another if his or her safety is impeded or if another's safety is
impeded. The extent of this force depends on the circumstance and
should be exhibited with caution, especially if bodily injury will be
Castle Doctrine also allows an individual to use force to prevent a
serious felony offense from taking place. "Stand your Ground" laws are
also permitted in Utah and allows individuals to defend themselves
before retreating. This may include deadly force in dangerous
Open Carry Laws
Those who do not have concealed weapons permits are allowed to openly
carry firearms if, and only if, the firearm is unloaded. No rounds can
be in the firing position and the firearm must be two or more
mechanical actions from the next fire. Also individuals without
concealed weapons permits are allowed to carry firearms with a full
magazine as it is under the unloaded stipulation. Concealed weapons
permit holders may openly carry a firearm whenever permitted. County
and state laws will recognize permits from any other Utah county.
Non-Utah residents are allowed to acquire concealed weapons permits,
though certain requirements apply. Utah is a "shall issue" state,
meaning that all those who meet the necessary requirements are allowed
to obtain a permit for carrying a concealed weapon. Thirty-four of the
fifty states will honor a Utah concealed weapons permit, however some
states will not honor non-resident permits as issued through Utah.