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Utah Background Check and Gun Laws

Subject/Law
Long guns
Handguns
Relevant Statutes
Notes
State Permit to Purchase? No No None Utah charges a $7.50 fee for an instant background check. This fee is waived for persons with a Utah issued Concealed Firearm Permit.
Firearm registration? No No None  
"Assault weapon" law? No No None  
Owner license required? No No None  
Carry permits issued? Yes Yes 53-5-704 Division duties—Permit to carry concealed firearm.
The division or its designated agent shall issue a permit to carry a concealed firearm for lawful self defense to an applicant who is 21 years of age or older within 60 days after receiving an application, unless during the 60-day period the division finds proof that the applicant is not of good character.
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 53-5-102 Uniform firearm laws.
"… All authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities. Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact, establish, or enforce any ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy pertaining to firearms that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property.
NFA weapons restricted? No No 76-10-505.5 The only mention of NFA weapons in Utah law is possession of a sawed-off shotgun on school premises. The penalty is the same as a normal firearm, and there is no exemption for concealed firearm permit holders.
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes 76-10-523 Persons exempt from weapons laws.
(g) a nonresident traveling in or through the state, provided that any firearm is: unloaded; and securely encased as defined in Section 76-10-501. Handguns may be loaded in any vehicle under the person's control.
Castle Doctrine? Yes Yes 76-2-402 Force in defense of person—Forcible felony defined.
A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that force is necessary to defend himself or a third person against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, that person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if he or she reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or a third person as a result of the other's imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Utah allows for open carry of unloaded firearms without a concealed firearm permit. "Unloaded" as it applies here, means that there is no round in the firing position, and the firearm is at least two "mechanical actions" from firing. As carrying the firearm with the chamber empty, but with a full magazine, meets this definition (the handler must chamber a round, and then pull the trigger), this is a common work around for Utah residents who do not wish to acquire a permit. Without the permit, the firearm must be clearly visible. Utah requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm. With a permit, a person may carry a firearm with a loaded chamber either openly or concealed. Utah will honor a permit issued by any state or county.
 
Utah law allows for a "Non-Resident" Concealed Firearm Permits to be issued. The Utah Concealed Firearm Permit is valid in thirty-four states across the US. However there are several states that have passed statutes that do not honor a "Non-Resident" permit. For example, Colorado will honor Utah's permit, but the permitee must be a resident of Utah for his permit to be valid. Utah concealed firearm permits are "shall issue" and will be issued to anyone meeting the requirements.
 
Utah law recognizes a permit to carry a concealed firearm issued by any state or county.
 
Utah is a "Stand Your Ground" state, in which there is no duty to retreat before use of deadly force, the person reasonably believes that a perpetrator is going to commit a forcible felony in the habitation, and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
 
In Utah a person may carry firearms in many places not allowed by other states, including (but not limited to): banks, bars, and state parks. With a valid Utah concealed firearm permit you may also carry in schools (K-12 and public colleges). Utah's Uniform Firearm Laws expressly prohibits public schools from enacting or enforcing any rule pertaining to firearms. Accordingly, Utah is the only state in the Union that requires public schools to allow lawful firearms possession.
 
Utah weapon laws can be found at the Utah State Legislature home page.
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