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Utah Gun Laws

Utah Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Utah’s gun laws have experienced significant changes, reflecting the state’s commitment to upholding Second Amendment rights while addressing evolving perspectives on public safety. From concealed carry to background checks, these developments underscore Utah’s dedication to responsible firearm ownership. This article provides an overview of the key updates in Utah’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, presented in bullet points:

2013 – Enhanced Background Checks for Concealed Carry:

   – Strengthened background checks for concealed carry permit applicants, including mental health evaluations and criminal history reviews.

2014 – Open Carry Amendments:

   – Enactment of laws allowing individuals to carry loaded firearms openly in public places without a concealed carry permit.

2015 – Enhanced Penalties for Gun Crimes:

   – Introduction of legislation enforcing stricter penalties for individuals convicted of gun-related crimes.

   – Aims to deter illegal firearm use and promote public safety.

2016 – Enhanced Reporting on Lost or Stolen Firearms:

   – Strengthened laws requiring firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within a specific timeframe.

2017 – Enhanced Mental Health Reporting:

   – Strengthened reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

   – Aims to prevent firearm access by individuals with mental health concerns.

2018 – Firearm Storage and Child Access Prevention Laws:

   – Enactment of laws promoting responsible firearm storage and holding adults accountable for securing firearms from children’s access.

2019 – Enhanced Background Checks for Private Sales:

   – Introduction of legislation to require background checks for all firearm sales, including private transactions.

2020 – Enhanced Oversight of Firearms Dealers:

   – Strengthened regulation and oversight of firearm dealers to ensure responsible sales practices.

2021 – “Red Flag” Law Consideration:

   – Discussion about implementing “red flag” laws allowing law enforcement to seek temporary firearm removal for individuals posing risks.

2022 – Enhanced Training for Concealed Carry:

    – Exploration of measures to enhance training requirements for individuals applying for concealed carry permits.

2022 – Firearm Waiting Period Discussion:

    – Exploration of potential legislation implementing a mandatory waiting period for firearm purchases.

2023 – Enhanced Reporting on Mental Health and Firearm Access:

    – Further exploration of ways to improve the reporting and evaluation of mental health records in relation to firearm background checks.

2023 – School Safety Measures Enhancement:

    – Exploration of potential measures to enhance school safety, including resource officers or armed personnel.

2023 – Enhanced Domestic Violence Firearm Restrictions:

    – Strengthened laws preventing individuals with domestic violence convictions from accessing firearms.

Utah’s gun laws have evolved over the past decade, reflecting the state’s commitment to responsible firearm ownership and community safety. These changes demonstrate Utah’s proactive approach to firearm regulation. As the state continues to adapt its laws, it remains crucial for stakeholders, policymakers, and the public to engage in informed discussions that prioritize individual rights while maintaining community security.

Utah is considered to have a casual stance on gun laws, when compared to other states with restrictive interpretations. The state employs the citizen’s right to bear arms, and can be evident through the fairly simple statutes employed under Utah gun laws.

Utah gun laws do not impose the utilization of a permit to purchase firearms. Authorized gun dealers are required to conduct instant background checks that must be approved by the Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Identification, or BCI for short. A fee of $7.50 is charged to the buyer for the cost of the background check.

Those individuals that have a valid license for a concealed firearm are not subject to the background check or fee as long as the license is presented at the time of the sale. The possession of firearms is also not subjected to a permit or license. However, certain criteria outlining certain restrictions must be met in order to be considered under lawful possession of a firearm. Such provisions under Utah law on guns include:

     No one with felony charge convictions may possess a firearm

     Found to be in unlawful possession of a weapon and intentionally under possession of a controlled substance

     Illegal residents of the United States

     Ever found guilty to a felony charge by reason of insanity

     Dishonorable discharge from the military or armed forces

     Under parole of a “secure facility”

It is also considered illegal for a person to possess a firearm on or around school premises by Utah gun laws. Individuals with the authorization to carry a concealed firearm and the appropriate law enforcement officials are exempt from the statute.

The carrying of concealed weapons is only allowed by law to those with the appropriate permit. A person may apply for the license to carry a concealed weapon if he/she is at least 21 years of age and the background check results are negative.

Any individual for felony, alcohol, drugs or controlled substances, or violent crime convictions are immediately disqualified for consideration. Applicants must also provide for a copy of their driver’s license and recent color passport photo. All applicants are also required to obtain a Weapons Familiarity Certification by completing the course issued by the BCI.

The certification must be obtained before submitting the application for the concealed weapons permit. The permit fee is $65.25, and is valid for up to five years. Individuals licensed to carry a concealed weapon in other states will be recognized in state of Utah as long the permit is carried while carrying the weapon.

Concealed weapons are not permitted on any grounds to be considered as a secure area, which includes but is not limited to schools, courthouses, and airports. Certain facilities may impose their own restrictions not imposed by the state, and are required to designate a secure area to store the weapons while a licensed carrier is on the premises.

Any person under the age of 18 found in possession of a firearm must have the written permission of the parent or guardian, or be under controlled supervision of an adult. Exceptions include when a minor is engaged in hunting or while attending a hunting safety course, or while involved in other sporting activities that involve firearms and under supervision of an adult.

The carrying of a firearm in a vehicle does not necessitate a permit if the firearm is not loaded, secured in a case, and not readily usable. It is important to note that Utah is one of seven states that does not have any restrictions regarding automatic weapons. The acquisition or possession of automatic weapons is not controlled by the state regulations, and there are no written restrictions enacted in to law or legislature.