Utah State Law Summary

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

utah

utah

Among other things, Utah acts as a “point of contact state,” meaning that it conducts its own background checks on individuals purchasing firearms from licensed dealers.

Utah law does not, however:

In 2013, Utah had the 19th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. According to data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in 2009, Utah had the 19th lowest number of crime gun exports per capita, among the states, although it had the sixth highest ratio of crime gun exports to imports. Utah exports crime guns at a rate that is more than three times the rate at which it imports such guns.
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Open Carrying in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Utah allows the open carrying of unloaded firearms on the person with no permit or license required.1 Utah allows the open carrying of loaded firearms on the person with a concealed weapons permit.2

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505(1). []
  2. Utah Code Ann. §§ 76-10-505(1), 76-10-523. []

Guns in Schools in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Utah prohibits any person from possessing any firearm at a place that the person knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is on or about school premises.1 “On or about school premises” is defined as:

  • In a public or private elementary or secondary school, or on the grounds of any such school;
  • In a public or private institution of higher education or on the grounds of any such institution;
  • Inside the room or rooms where a preschool or child-care operation is being held.2

In 2011, Utah repealed restrictions governing other buildings, parks and stadiums being used for K-12 school activity, the area within 1,000 feet of school grounds, and other portions of buildings that house preschools and daycare centers.

Concealed weapons permit holders are not subject to the prohibition against firearms on or about school premises.3 Other exceptions include:

  • Firearms used in connection with a lawful, approved activity in the possession or under the control of the person responsible for its possession or use;
  • Possession at the person’s place of residence;
  • Possession on the person’s property; or
  • Possession in any vehicle lawfully under the person’s control, other than a vehicle owned by the school or used by the school to transport students.4

In Utah, any student in a public elementary or secondary school who possesses or controls a firearm shall be expelled from school for a period of not less than one year.5

While the Utah State Board of Regents generally has the power to enact regulations governing the conduct of university and college students, faculty, and employees, Utah law expressly reserves to the Utah State Legislature the authority to regulate firearms at higher education institutions.6 Therefore, while the Utah State Board of Regents maintains limited authority to regulate firearms in the areas listed below, it may not otherwise authorize higher education institutions to restrict the lawful possession or carrying of firearms.7 Specifically, the State Board of Regents may authorize a higher education institution to:

  • Allow dormitory residents to request only roommates who are not licensed to carry a concealed firearm; or
  • Ensure enforcement of rules pertaining to private hearing rooms that have been designated as “secure areas”, meaning that there are restrictions on the transportation of firearms and ammunition into the hearing rooms.8

For more information about the rights of public entities to regulate firearms on public property, see Local Authority to Regulate Firearms in Utah.

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5(2). []
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5(1). []
  3. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5. []
  4. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5. []
  5. Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-904(2)(a), (b). []
  6. Utah Code Ann. § 53B-3-103(1), (2)(a). []
  7. Utah Code Ann. § 53B-3-103(2). []
  8. Utah Code Ann. §§ 76-8-311.1 and 53B-3-103. []

Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Utah does not require firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm.

See our Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Registration of Firearms in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Utah does not require firearm owners to register their firearms.

Utah prohibits the Criminal Investigations and Technical Services Division of the Department of Public Safety, which performs criminal history background checks before all firearm transfers, from maintaining any records of a background check for longer than 20 days from the date of the dealer’s request for the background check, if the Division determines that the individual receiving the firearm is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transferring the firearm under state or federal law.1

See our Registration of Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-526(8)(a). []

Licensing of Gun Owners & Purchasers in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Utah has no law requiring gun owners or purchasers to obtain a license.

See our Licensing of Gun Owners or Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Immunity Statutes in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

A person who lawfully designs, manufactures, markets, advertises, transports, or sells firearms or ammunition to the public may not be sued by the state or any of its political subdivisions for the subsequent use, whether lawfully or unlawfully, of the firearm or ammunition, unless the suit is based on the breach of a contract or warranty for a firearm or ammunition purchased by the state or political subdivision.1

For detailed information about government and private party lawsuits against the gun industry, the status of litigation involving gun industry immunity statutes in various states, or pending gun industry immunity legislation, visit the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Gun Industry Immunity page.

See our Immunity Statutes / Manufacturer Litigation policy summary for further information.

 

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 78B-4-511. []

Gun Shows in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Utah does not regulate gun shows.

See the Utah Private Sales section for state laws that apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Private Sales in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Private firearms transfers (i.e., transfers by individuals not licensed as dealers) are not subject to a background check requirement in Utah.

In 2012, Utah enacted a law prohibiting transfer of a firearm to a person that the seller knows is prohibited under Utah law from possessing firearms.1

See the Firearms Trafficking in Utah section for laws aimed at gun trafficking.

Utah prohibits the sale of any firearm to a person under age 18 unless he or she is accompanied by a parent or guardian.2

See our Private Sales policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(8). []
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509.9. []

Dealer Regulations in Utah

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

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.