Utah

Ammunition Regulation in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Utah limits the transportation of ammunition into or within correctional facilities, mental health facilities and institutions of higher education.1 For more information, see the Utah Location Restrictions section.

Utah does not:

  • Prohibit the possession of ammunition by individuals prohibited from possessing firearms;
  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers;
  • Require a license to purchase or possess ammunition; or
  • Prohibit the possession, transfer or use of armor-piercing or other unreasonably dangerous ammunition, although the federal prohibition on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition applies.

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Utah Code Ann. §§ 76-8-311.1 and 76-8-311.3. []

Assault Weapons in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Utah has no law regulating assault weapons.

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Background Checks in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Utah is a point of contact state for NICS.1 Utah law provides that, before transferring a firearm, all firearm dealers in Utah must contact the Criminal Investigations and Technical Services Division of the Department of Public Safety (more commonly known as the Bureau of Criminal Identification, or BCI), which conducts the background check referenced above.2

The dealer must require an individual receiving a firearm to present one form of government-issued photo identification. The individual must consent in writing to the background check and provide personal information on a form provided by BCI. The dealer must then contact BCI by telephone or electronic means.3 BCI is required to review criminal history files, including juvenile court records, to determine if the individual is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm by state or federal law, prior to approving a firearm transfer.4 The dealer may not transfer the firearm until receiving approval from BCI.5

Federal law does not require dealers to conduct a background check if a firearm purchaser presents a state permit to purchase or possess firearms that meets certain conditions. As a result, Utah concealed handgun license holders are exempt from the federal background check requirement when purchasing a firearm.6 Utah law also exempts concealed handgun license holders from the state provision requiring a background check.7 (Note, however, that people who have become prohibited from possessing firearms may continue to hold state firearms licenses if the state fails to remove these licenses in a timely fashion.)

Firearms transfers by private sellers (sellers who are not licensed as firearms dealers) are not subject to background checks in Utah. See our Private Sales policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited April 10, 2012). []
  2. See Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-526. []
  3. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-526. []
  4. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-526. []
  5. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-526. []
  6. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, Brady Law: Permanent Brady Permit Chart (Aug. 26, 2011), at: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/brady-law/permit-chart.html. []
  7. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-526(13). []

Child Access Prevention in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Utah does not penalize an adult who recklessly or negligently allows a minor access to a firearm.

In Utah, a parent or guardian may not intentionally or knowingly provide a firearm to, or permit the possession of a firearm by, any minor, defined as under age 18, who has been convicted of a violent felony or adjudicated in juvenile court for an offense which would constitute a violent felony if the minor were an adult.1

The state also prohibits any parent or guardian of a minor, where the parent or guardian knows that the minor is in possession of a firearm, from failing to make reasonable efforts to remove the firearm from the minor’s possession.2

For age requirements for the purchase or possession of firearms in Utah, see the Utah Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509.6(1). []
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509.7. []

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Utah law generally prohibits carrying a concealed firearm, including an unloaded firearm on the person or one that is readily accessible for immediate use and is not securely encased, except in the person’s residence, on his or her property, or in a business under the person’s control.1 Utah law also generally prohibits carrying a loaded firearm on a public street.2 However, neither of these prohibitions apply if the state has issued to a person a permit to carry a concealed firearm.3

Utah is a “shall issue” state, meaning that the Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification (“BCI”) must issue a concealed firearms permit if the applicant is 21 years of age or older, within 60 days, so long as the BCI establishes that the applicant:

  • Has not been convicted of a felony;
  • Has not been convicted of any crime of violence;4
  • Has not been convicted of any offense involving the use of alcohol;5
  • Has not been convicted of the unlawful use of narcotics or other controlled substances;6
  • Has not been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude;7
  • Has not been convicted of any offense involving domestic violence;
  • Has not been adjudicated as “mentally incompetent,” unless the adjudication has been withdrawn or reversed; and

In addition, the BCI may deny, suspend or revoke a permit if there is “reasonable cause” to believe that the applicant has been or is a danger to self or others as demonstrated by evidence including, but not limited to, and past pattern of behavior or past participation in incidents involving unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence.9 A “past pattern of behavior” means verifiable incidents, with or without an arrest or conviction, that would lead a reasonable person to believe that an individual has a violent nature and would be a danger to oneself or others.10 In determining whether the applicant has been or is a danger to self or others, the BCI may inspect expunged adult and juvenile records.11

In 2012, Utah repealed a provision requiring BCI to suspend a permit if the permit holder is charged with a crime of violence.

A law enacted in Utah in 2011 requires a nonresident applicant for a Utah concealed weapon permit who resides in a state that recognizes the validity of the Utah permit or has reciprocity with Utah’s concealed firearm permit to provide proof of his or her home state concealed weapon permit.12

A person who has applied for a permit may also apply for a temporary permit to carry a concealed firearm, which may be issued for 90 days after preliminary record checks and a demonstration in writing of “extenuating circumstances” that would justify issuing a temporary permit.13

In February of 2000, the BCI began checking arrest records on a daily basis against concealed firearms permit holders. As a result, permit revocations increased from 58 in 1998 and 75 in 1999, to 256 in 2000.14 Most recently, in 2010, 523 permits were revoked.15 As of March 31, 2008, there were 112,665 valid permits, up from 44,173 valid permits as of December 31, 2001.16 As of March 31, 2011, there were 249,003 valid permits.17

Firearm Safety Training

The BCI requires, with the application materials, evidence of familiarity with the types of firearms to be concealed.18 General familiarity with the types of firearms to be concealed includes training in the safe loading, unloading, storage, and carrying of those firearms, as well as knowledge of current firearms laws.19 Evidence of this familiarity may be satisfied by:

  • Completion of a course conducted by a national, state, or local firearms training organization approved by the BCI;
  • Certification by a person certified by the BCI (who may be a law enforcement officer, military or civilian firearms instructor, or hunter safety instructor); or
  • Equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition, law enforcement, or military service.20

Duration & Renewal

Once issued, Utah concealed firearms permits are valid for five years.21

Disclosure or Use of Information

Utah does not allow personal application or permit information of concealed firearm permit holders to be made public. Records of permits must be maintained in the Bureau of Criminal Identification, which must immediately file a copy of each permit it issues.22 However, the names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of persons receiving permits are considered “records the disclosure of which would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual.”23 As such, they are “protected records,” not available to the public for research purposes.24

Additional rules pertaining to accessing concealed firearm permit records are available in the Utah Administrative Code.25

Reciprocity

A permit to carry a concealed firearm that has been issued by another state (or a county within another state) is valid in Utah.26

For a list of states with which Utah has signed formal reciprocity agreements, see the Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification’s Utah Permit Reciprocity page.

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-504. []
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505. []
  3. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-523. []
  4. “Crime of Violence” is defined by Utah Admin. Code r. 722-300-3(2)(d) as a crime which has, as an element, the use, threatened use, or attempted use of physical force or a dangerous weapon. []
  5. Offenses involving the use of alcohol are defined by Utah Admin. Code r. 722-300-3(2)(m) to include a list of specific offenses. []
  6. Offenses involving the unlawful use of narcotics or other controlled substances are defined in Utah Admin. Code r. 722-300-3(2)(n). []
  7. Offenses involving moral turpitude are defined by Utah Admin. Code r. 722-300-3(2)(l) to include any crime involving conduct which:
    (i) is done knowingly contrary to justice, honesty, or good morals;
    (ii) has an element of falsification or fraud; or
    (iii) contains an element of harm or injury directed to another person or another’s property. []
  8. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704(2). See also Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503 (outlining individuals who are prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms). []
  9. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704(3). []
  10. Utah Admin. Code r. 722-300-3(P). []
  11. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704(3). []
  12. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704(4). []
  13. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-705. []
  14. Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification, Firearms Statistical Review (4th Quarter 2005). []
  15. Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification, Firearms Statistical Review (1st Quarter 2011). []
  16. Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification, Firearms Statistical Review (4th Quarter 2001); Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification, Firearms Statistical Review (1st Quarter 2008). []
  17. Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification, Firearms Statistical Review (1st Quarter 2011). []
  18. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704. []
  19. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704. []
  20. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704. []
  21. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704(1)(b). []
  22. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-708(1). []
  23. Utah. Code Ann. § 63G-2-305(10). []
  24. Utah Code Ann. § 63G-2-202. []
  25. See Utah Admin. Code r. 722-300-12. []
  26. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-523(2). []

Dealer Regulations in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Utah does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license or otherwise significantly regulate firearms dealers. For laws:

  • Applicable to both licensed and unlicensed sellers of firearms, see the Utah Private Sales section;
  • Requiring firearms dealers to conduct a background check on the purchaser, see the Utah Background Checks section;

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Utah does not specifically regulate junk guns or unsafe firearms.

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Disarming Prohibited Persons in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Utah requires a law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic violence to confiscate the weapon or weapons involved in an incident of domestic violence.1 See the Utah Domestic Violence & Firearms section for further information.

Utah does not have any other laws mandating the surrender or removal of firearms from persons who have become ineligible to possess them.

In 2012, Utah created an affirmative defense to the charge of transfer of a firearm by a prohibited person that the person transferred the firearm within 10 days of becoming a prohibited person.2

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-2.1(1)(b). []
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(7). []

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

(This section was last updated July 3, 2012.)

Utah law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, unlike federal law;
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

When a petition for an order of protection is filed, the court may prohibit the respondent from purchasing, using, or possessing a firearm upon a finding that the respondent’s use or possession of a weapon may pose a serious threat of harm to the petitioner.1 The court may make such an order ex parte (without notice to the respondent).2 A petition for such an order may be brought by any emancipated person or person 16 years of age or older who:

  • Is or was a spouse of the other party;
  • Is or was living as if a spouse of the other party;
  • Is related by blood or marriage to the other party;
  • Has one or more children in common with the other party;
  • Is the biological parent of the other party’s unborn child; or
  • Resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party.3

However, a petition for such an order may not be brought if one party is the natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent of the other, who is a minor, or if both parties are natural, adoptive, step, or foster siblings who are under 18 years of age.4

If a finding is made that the subject of a child protective order or an ex parte child protective order may pose a serious threat of harm to the minor, the order may prohibit the subject from purchasing, using or possessing a firearm.5

Federal law also prohibits firearm possession by certain protective order defendants.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Utah requires a law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic violence to confiscate the weapon or weapons involved in the alleged domestic violence incident.6

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Utah Code Ann. §§ 78B-7-106(2)(d), 78B-7-107(2). []
  2. Id. []
  3. Utah Code Ann. §§ 77-36-1(4), 78B-7-102(2), (5), 78B-7-106, and 78B-7-107(2). []
  4. Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-102(3). []
  5. Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-204(1)(d). []
  6. Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-2.1(1)(b). []

Fifty Caliber Rifles in Utah

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Utah has no laws regulating fifty caliber rifles.

See our Fifty Caliber Rifles policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.