Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Utah

Posted on January 1, 2012

Utah law provides that no person under age 18 may possess a handgun, sawed-off rifle, sawed–off shotgun, or fully automatic weapon.1 The state further prohibits any person under 18 years of age from possessing any other firearm (i.e., a rifle or shotgun) unless he or she:

  • Has the permission of one’s parent or guardian to have the weapon; or
  • Is accompanied by a parent or guardian while in possession of the gun.2

Exceptions regarding possession of handguns by minors include any person:

  • Firing at lawfully operated target concessions at amusement parks, piers, and similar locations provided the firearms to be used are firmly chained or affixed to the counters;
  • In attendance at a hunter’s safety course or a firearms safety course;
  • Engaging in practice or any other lawful use of a firearm at an established range or any other area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited by state or local law;
  • Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or participating in or practicing for such competition;
  • Under age 18 who is on real property with the permission of the owner, licensee, or lessee of the property and who has the permission of a parent or legal guardian or the owner, licensee, or lessee to possess a firearm not otherwise in violation of law;
  • Who is a resident or nonresident hunter with a valid hunting license or other person who is lawfully engaged in hunting; or
  • Traveling to or from any activity described above with an unloaded firearm in one’s possession (except the provision related to target concessions where the firearms must be firmly chained or affixed to the counters).3

Any person under 14 years of age in possession of a dangerous weapon shall be accompanied by a responsible adult.4 A “dangerous weapon” is “any item that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.”5

An applicant for a concealed firearms permit must be 21 years of age or older.6

Utah prohibits any person from selling handguns or long guns to a person under age 18 unless the person is accompanied by a parent or guardian.7

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509.4. []
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509. []
  3. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-512. []
  4. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509(2). []
  5. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-501(5)(a). []
  6. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704(1). []
  7. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509.9. []