Reciprocity agreements allow gun owners to carry firearms between states without fear of being charged with gun crimes. Utah shooting and hunting enthusiasts scored a legal victory in July, when Nevada adopted legislation recognizing concealed carry permits issued in Utah.
Is it Legal to Carry a Concealed Weapon in Nevada with a Utah CCW Permit?
Some states are more lenient than others when it comes to the restriction of gun rights. For example, Guns & Ammo ranks New York and New Jersey as some of the toughest, while Arizona and Vermont score high marks.
Differences between states’ gun laws — which can be vast, even between neighboring states — sometimes create serious legal problems when it comes to interstate travel. Just ask Pennsylvania resident Shaneen Allen, who was arrested in New Jersey for a gun she owned legally under her home state’s laws.
Allen, a nurse and mother of two with no criminal record, was eventually pardoned by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie after her prosecution, which one attorney described to the Washington Post as “unconscionable,” stirred up legal controversy. Many cases like Allen’s do not end so fortunately for the defendant, but hers is a situation lawful gun owners in Utah will no longer risk encountering — at least, not when traveling to Nevada.
The new law, which was part of a legislative overhaul signed by Governor Brian Sandoval in 2015, took effect in Nevada on July 1, 2016. It adds 10 states, Utah among them, to Nevada’s reciprocity list, expanding member states from 16 to 26.
Nevada’s new gun reciprocity with Utah applies to visitors and residents who have recently relocated. As long as the permit to carry concealed weapons (CCW) was issued lawfully in Utah, and the permit holder is at least 21 years old, gun owners should have little to fear from law enforcement. However, new residents still need to abide by certain time limits: once you move from Utah to Nevada, you have 60 days to apply for a Nevada permit.
Which States Have Gun Reciprocity Agreements with Utah?
According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, 18 states in addition to Nevada also recognize concealed carry permits that were issued in Utah. These states are:
Utah also has formal (i.e. written) gun reciprocity agreements with the following 17 states:
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
On the other hand, gun owners should be made aware that Utah does not currently have any reciprocity agreements with the following states, which means your Utah gun permit will not be recognized in the following locations:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
State Gun Laws Restricting the Ownership of Firearms
By sheer geographical luck, all of the states immediately surrounding Utah either have formal reciprocity or recognize Utah concealed carry permits (with the exception of New Mexico), which makes interstate travel easy. Still, to avoid getting into legal trouble over a firearm, it’s important to remember a few basic rules about gun ownership in Utah:
- It is a crime to carry a concealed weapon in Utah unless you have a valid, up-to-date CCW permit. Carrying a concealed firearm can be charged as a misdemeanor or even felony offense under Utah Code § 76-10-504, depending on factors like whether the gun was loaded and what type of weapon was involved. At maximum, concealed carry is a second degree felony, for which criminal penalties can include a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. At minimum, it is a Class B misdemeanor, which can lead to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- You can apply for a CCW permit in Utah by sending a completed application, along with the necessary accompanying documents, to the Bureau of Criminal Identification. You can download the application form, and find more information about the Utah concealed carry application requirements, from the Utah Department of Public Safety.
- If you are a “restricted person,” you cannot legally own or buy a gun in Utah. Under Utah Code § 76-10-503, you are a restricted person if you:
- Are currently on probation for possession of Schedule I drugs (which include marijuana/cannabis, heroin, LSD/acid, and ecstasy), possession of Schedule II drugs (which include cocaine, methamphetamine, OxyContin, Vicodin, and Adderall), or possession of a controlled substance analog.
- Are currently on probation or parole for any felony.
- Have ever been convicted of a felony. For more information on this topic, see our article on how getting convicted affects your gun rights in Utah.
- Have ever been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military.
- Use controlled substances of any kind.
Questions About Your Gun Charges? Call a Criminal Attorney in Utah
If you or one of your family members was arrested for gun possession in Salt Lake City, or charged with other weapons crimes in Utah, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 758-2287 for a free legal consultation with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer committed to protecting your Second Amendment rights.