State Laws

Utah Gun Laws


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 owners.

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 the result.

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 circumstances.

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.

See also:
Utah Felony Laws
Utah Divorce
Utah Bankruptcy Laws
Utah Misdemeanor Classifications External link (opens in new window)
Utah Expungement External link (opens in new window)