Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated April 17, 2012
In our publication Gun Laws Matter 2012: Understanding the Link Between Weak Laws and Gun Violence, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 29 different firearms-related policy areas. Utah ranked 27th out of 50 – having enacted few gun violence prevention laws. 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:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Regulate the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require gun owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Require the reporting of mentally ill individuals to the database used for firearm purchaser background checks;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Impose a waiting period prior to purchase of a firearm;
- Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
- Significantly regulate ammunition;
- Afford local law enforcement significant discretion to deny a concealed carry license; or
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms.
In 2009, Utah had the 21st lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. However, even this relatively low ranking means that 260 people died from firearm-related injuries in Utah in that year. In addition, based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in 2009, Utah 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.
Utah Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Utah, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.