Utah Gun Laws/Restrictions

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Code Sections

Utah Code 76-10-500, et seq.: Weapons

Types of Illegal Firearms

Possession, sale, transfer, or manufacture of the below firearms is illegal:

  • Defaced firearms (i.e., altered, or removed, serial mark or identification number).

Waiting Period Before Purchase

  • None

Who May Not Own Guns

Utah prohibits several different categories of individuals from owning or possessing pistols:

  •  Those convicted of crime of violence or on parole or under indictment.
  • Those addicted to use of narcotic drugs.
  • Mentally incompetent or defective.
  • Illegal aliens (handguns only).
  • Those dishonorably discharged from Armed Forces (handguns only).
  • Minors (some exceptions).

Laws Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds

  • Misdemeanor: 76-10-505.5
  • Felony: 76-3-203

No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. A gun dealer shall not sell or transfer any firearm until an instant criminal history background check is conducted and approved by the Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI). All dealers shall collect a $7.50 fee to cover the costs of the background check. Holders of a valid concealed firearm permit issued by this state are exempt from this requirement so long as the person presents the permit to the dealer and the dealer verifies that the permit is valid.

Firearms Restrictions
  • Defaced firearms (i.e., altered, or removed, serial mark or identification number).
Stun Guns/Tasers Restrictions

State Statute or Definition: (76-10-501 Dangerous weapon definition, but legal.)

  • No restrictions

No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

It is unlawful for a person to own, possess, or have under his/her control or custody any firearms if that person:

  • has been convicted of or is under indictment for any felony;
  • has within the last seven years been adjudicated delinquent for an offense, which if committed by an adult would have been a felony (or 10 years for a violent felony);
  • is an unlawful user of a controlled substance;
  • is in possession of a dangerous weapon and is intentionally in possession of a controlled substance;
  • has been adjudicated as mentally defective or has been committed to a mental institution;
  • has been found guilty be reason of insanity for a felony offense or has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial for a felony offense;
  • is on parole or probation for any felony or is on parole from a “secure facility”;
  • is an alien who is illegally in the United States;
  • has been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces;
  • has renounced U.S. citizenship.

It is unlawful to possess or use a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. There is no exception for persons licensed in the pursuit of wildlife or who have a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm.

A person may not possess any firearm at a place the person knows, or has reasonable cause to believe is on or about school premises; this does not apply to concealed firearm permit holders or those otherwise authorized by law. It is lawful to possess a loaded firearm in one’s residence, temporary residence or camp.


It is unlawful to carry a “concealed dangerous weapon” without a permit. It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on any public street without a permit.

It is lawful to carry a firearm in a vehicle without a permit if: the firearm is unloaded; securely encased (not including a glove box or console box) and is not readily accessible for immediate use. It is lawful to carry a firearm "capable of being concealed" in one's home or place of business without a permit.

Within 60 days after receiving an application and upon proof that the person applying is of good character the Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) shall issue a permit to carry a concealed firearm for lawful self defense to an applicant who is 21 years of age or older. An applicant satisfactorily demonstrates good character if he:

  • has not been convicted of a felony or crime of violence;
  • has not been convicted of an offense involving the use of alcohol, narcotics or other controlled substances;
  • has not been convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude;
  • has not been convicted of any offense involving domestic violence; has not be adjudicated mentally incompetent, unless the adjudication has been withdrawn or reversed;
  • is qualified to purchase and possess a dangerous weapon and a handgun pursuant to state and federal law.

A permit may also be denied if there is reasonable cause to believe the applicant has been or is a danger to self or others as demonstrated by evidence of past unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence.

The applicant must provide to the issuing authority a photocopy of their driver license, one recent color photograph of passport quality; one set of fingerprints; and Weapons Familiarity Certification. Applicants must complete a firearms familiarity course certified by BCI. The course must be completed before the permit application. The permit is valid throughout the state for 5 years. A non-refundable fee of $46.00 for residents, and $51.00 for non residents, must be included with the application. The cost of renewal is $15.00 and the permit is renewed for five more years. The BCI will send a renewal application approximately one month prior to expiration. The denial of a permit shall be in writing and shall include the general reasons for the action. The applicant may file a petition for review with the board of review within 60 days from the date the denial or revocation is received by the applicant.

The BCI may issue a temporary permit to carry a concealed firearm to a person who has applied for a regular permit to carry a concealed firearm, has made application for temporary permit, demonstrates good character by the same requirements for a regular permit to carry a concealed firearm and demonstrates in writing to the satisfaction of the licensing authority extenuating circumstances that would justify issuing a temporary permit. A temporary permit may not be issued until preliminary record checks regarding the applicant have been made to determine any criminal history. A temporary permit is valid for a maximum of 90 days or any lesser period specified by the BCI, or until a regular permit is issued to the temporary permit holder, whichever period is shorter. The licensing authority may deny, suspend, or revoke a temporary permit prior to expiration if the commissioner determines: (a) the circumstances justifying the temporary permit no longer exist; (b) the holder of the permit has knowingly and willfully provided false information regarding his character; or (c) the holder of the temporary permit does not meet the requirements for a permit. A decision to deny or revoke a temporary permit shall be in writing and shall include the reasons for the action. The licensing authority’s decision to deny, suspend, or revoke a temporary permit prior to expiration may not be appealed.

Utah will recognize a permit issued by another state. A person with a permit to carry a concealed firearm may not carry a concealed firearm in any secure area. A secure area may be established at an airport, higher education institution, or courthouse. A mental health facility or correctional facility may be designated by rule as an area in which no firearm or ammunition may be transported, sold, given, or possessed upon the facility. At least one notice shall be prominently displayed at each entrance to any secure area in which a firearm is restricted. Provisions shall be made to provide a secure firearms storage area so that persons with lawfully carried firearms may store them while they are in the secure area. A person licensed to carry a concealed firearm may not knowingly and intentionally transport a firearm into a house of worship or a private residence after notice has been given that firearms are prohibited. Nonresidents may travel in or through the state provided that the firearm is unloaded and securely encased.


Utah does not prohibit the possession or transfer of machine guns although a person under age 18 is prohibited from possessing a “fully automatic weapon,” which includes a machine gun. Any person who transfers, in violation of applicable state or federal law, a fully automatic weapon to a minor is guilty of a felony.


Utah statutes define antique firearms and exempt them from the requirements for a background check prior to purchase. They are exempt from the prohibition on changing or removing the name of the maker, the model, manufacturer’s number, or other mark of identification. They are also exempt from the requirement that the Department of Public Safety be allowed to place an identifying number or mark on them, and from the prohibition on placing any number except one assigned by the Department of Public Safety on them. They are treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes.


It is unlawful to discharge any kind of firearm from any vehicle or from, upon or across any highway, within Utah State Park buildings, designated camp or picnic sites, overlooks, golf courses, boat ramps, and developed beaches; or without written permission to discharge the dangerous weapon from the owner or person in charge of the property within 600 feet of a house, dwelling, or any other building; or any structure in which a domestic animal is kept or fed, including a barn, poultry yard, corral, feeding pen, or stockyard. It is unlawful to fire any tracer or incendiary ammunition in the state of Utah except within the confines of an established military reservation.

It is unlawful for any person in the presence of two or more persons to exhibit any firearm in an angry and threatening manner unless in necessary self-defense.

It is unlawful for a person under 18 to possess a firearm unless he has permission from a parent or guardian, or is accompanied by the parent or guardian. A minor under 18 years of age many not possess a handgun unless the minor: is a patron of lawfully operated target concession at an amusement center and the firearm is chained or affixed to the counters; is in attendance at a hunter's safety course; is engaged in practice at a range or other area where discharge of a firearm is not prohibited by law; is engaged in organized competition; is on real property with the permission of owner, licensee or lessee of the property and has permission of parent or guardian, or the owner to possess a firearm; is hunting lawfully; is traveling to or from any activity listed above. Any minor under 14 years of age in possession of a dangerous weapon shall be accompanied by a responsible adult.

All authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except where the state legislature specifically delegates authority to local authorities. 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 contract or warranty for a firearm or ammunition purchased by the state or political subdivision.


UTAH CODE ANN. §76-10-500 (2011) - Uniform law

(1) The individual right to keep and bear arms being a constitutionally protected right, the Legislature finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state. Except as specifically provided by state law, a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien shall not be:

(a) prohibited from owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, transferring, transporting, or keeping any firearm at his place of residence, property, business, or in any vehicle lawfully in his possession or lawfully under his control; or

(b) required to have a permit or license to purchase, own, possess, transport, or keep a firearm.

(2) This part is uniformly applicable throughout this state and in all its political subdivisions and municipalities. All authority to regulate firearms shall be 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 or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or rule pertaining to firearms.


Utah Code §§76-10-500, et seq.

Last edited: 6/20/2016