Utah Open Gun Carry Laws Explained – 2021

The right of citizens to own and carry guns and firearms has become an intensely debated topic in recent years. With gun violence an ever-growing problem, many states have imposed stricter gun control regulations. However, other states, including Utah, remain steadfast in their beliefs that citizens should have more freedom to own and carry guns for their own protection. Utah’s open gun carry laws are very relaxed compared to some other jurisdictions, but there are serious consequences for violations of gun licensing and permit laws.

Generally, adults in Utah can freely carry guns on their person. Gun owners at least 21 years of age do not necessarily need a permit to openly carry a gun. Adults aged 18 to 20 may need to request a permit but may also freely carry their guns. Utah also places fewer restrictions on the types of guns that can be carried. While other states restrict open carry laws to handguns or similar firearms, Utah has no such restriction. Even though Utah’s gun laws are a bit more permissive, there are still gun control regulations that must be adhered to. Every year, citizens of Utah have their gun rights restricted or revoked because they violated the law.

If you are a gun owner in Utah or wish to become a gun owner, our legal team can help you. Our Salt Lake City gun attorneys can review the relevant laws and information with you to help you get a license to carry a gun. We can also help you if you believe you were wrongfully charged with violating Utah’s gun laws. Schedule a free legal consultation with Overson & Bugden today. Call (801) 758-2287 to get started.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Carry a Gun in Utah?

According to Utah Code § 76-10-500, unless state law provides otherwise, no citizen of Utah is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm that is lawfully obtained or under their control. Additionally, no citizen is required to obtain a license or permit to buy or own a gun. While this law appears to freely permit anyone and everyone to carry a gun unchecked, the state does impose certain regulations and restrictions on gun ownership.

Generally, a person who is at least 21 can apply for a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Permits are granted as a rule unless there is proof that the applicant meets specific criteria, making them eligible for restriction. People as young as 18 may apply for a provisional permit to carry a concealed firearm, although they might be subject to a few additional restrictions. Provisional permits expire when the permit holder turns 21, and a full permit may be issued.

While permits and provisional permits are often issued with little difficulty, some applicants may find themselves denied if they meet certain criteria. The law establishes certain conditions or circumstances that make a person restricted from owning, purchasing, or carrying a gun. As long as you do not meet any of these criteria, you are unlikely to have any trouble obtaining a lawful permit. For more information about obtaining a permit to openly carry a gun, call our Utah gun license attorneys.

Gun Licensing Requirements in Utah

Essentially, there are almost no gun license or permit requirements in Utah. As long as a permit holder is at least 21 years old or 18 years old for provisional permits, there are largely no restrictions. As mentioned previously, in Utah, no citizen or lawfully admitted alien would be prohibited from owning, buying, or keeping a gun or firearm. The law specifically mentions that purchasing, possessing, transporting, or keeping a firearm does not need a permit to be lawful.

Keep in mind that being granted a license to carry a gun in Utah does not mean you can carry a gun everywhere you go. Certain places, like schools or government buildings, may be restricted zones that do not permit any firearms on the premises. While you may lawfully carry a firearm, you cannot carry your firearm into certain restricted places.

While there are no restrictions for being issued a permit to carry a gun, there may be restrictions on certain classes or categories of people. For example, people with certain criminal convictions or a history of violence may be denied a permit. As long as these conditions do not exist, obtaining a permit typically comes with no roadblocks. Contact our Utah gun license attorneys for help and guidance.

People Restricted from Carrying a Gun or Firearm in Utah

Most people will be free from restrictions when applying for a license to carry a gun or firearm. However, people who are designated as “restricted” may be denied. People may be either a Category I restricted person or a Category II restricted person. While both categories are equally prohibited from obtaining a firearm permit, the consequences may be harsher for Category I restricted persons as their restrictions tend to be more serious.

There are numerous reasons a person might become restricted and prevented from obtaining a license to carry a gun. However, most restrictions apply to people with various criminal histories and backgrounds. Law-abiding citizens with no criminal records are unlikely to be Category I or II restricted persons. Call our Utah gun permit lawyers for more information.

Category I Restricted Persons

A Category I restricted person is an applicant for a gun permit who:

  • Was convicted of a violent felony, including arson, certain forms of assault, stalking, child abuse, certain domestic violence offenses, criminal homicide, kidnapping, certain sex offenses, robbery, and more,
  • is currently on probation or parole for any felony,
  • is on parole from secure care for juveniles,
  • was adjudicated within the past 10 years as a juvenile for an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a violent felony,
  • is an alien who is not legally present in the United States, or
  • is on probation for illegal possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance.

Category II Restricted Persons

Category II restricted persons are also prohibited from obtaining a permit to carry a gun. However, Category II tends to include lesser offenses and more minor reasons for restrictions. A Category II restricted person may be an applicant who:

  • has ever been convicted of any felony not included in the list for Category I,
  • was adjudicated within the last 7 years as a juvenile for an offense that would a felony is committed by an adult,
  • is found to be a user of unlawful controlled substances,
  • possess a dangerous weapon while also knowingly and intentionally possessing a Schedule I or II controlled substance,
  • was found not guilty by reason of insanity for a felony,
  • was found mentally incompetent to stand trial for a felony,
  • was adjudicated as mentally defective or has been committed to a mental institution,
  • was dishonorably discharged from military service,
  • has renounced their United States citizenship,
  • is bound by a protective order or child protective order for offenses related to child abuse or domestic violence, or
  • was convicted of assault or aggravated assault against a former or current spouse, parent, cohabitant, or someone with whom they share children.

Can Non-Residents Carry Guns in Utah?

States, in compliance with numerous federal laws, may legislate gun control regulations as they see fit. This means that different states may impose different restrictions on who may and may not be issued a permit to openly carry a gun. Non-residents of Utah who live in the state may not necessarily be issued a gun permit by Utah. However, certain states recognize permit reciprocity with Utah, so some non-residents may lawfully carry a gun in Utah.

According to Utah Code § 53-5-704(4)(a), a non-resident of Utah must meet all the qualifications previously mentioned. In addition, non-residents who live in states that share reciprocity with Utah regarding gun permits must show that they do indeed hold a concealed weapon permit from their home state. They must also submit a copy of the permit to the State of Utah when applying for a Utah gun permit.

A non-resident who submits false information to obtain a Utah gun permit will be denied a concealed weapon permit for 10 years. Such false information could include fake records showing a clean criminal history when in reality, the applicant has a felony record.

The rules for non-residents may be suspended for non-resident military service members who must report for duty in Utah. Similarly, the rules for non-resident applicants will not apply to a non-resident service member’s spouse. If you are not a Utah citizen but reside in Utah, call our Utah gun permit attorneys for help applying for a permit.

Losing Your Utah Open Gun Carry License

The state may determine that a particular applicant should be granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but that permit could be revoked at a later time. A person who has a lawful permit to carry a concealed weapon may have that permit suspended or revoked for certain legal violations.

Under the Utah Code § 53-5-704(2)(a), a permit could be revoked or suspended for criminal convictions, changes in a person’s mental health, or becoming a Category I or II restricted person. To have your permit revoked or suspended, you must be convicted of a felony or a crime of violence. However, not all convictions must be felonies. Convictions that involve alcohol or drugs may also cause your permit to be revoked or suspended. Not only that, but if the state adjudicates you as mentally incompetent, your permit will be revoked.

The state does not necessarily need a criminal conviction to justify a suspension or revocation of someone’s permit to carry a gun. The state may also revoke a permit if the permit holder demonstrates patterns of violent behavior or participates in violent incidents. A criminal conviction is not required.

If you believe your permit to carry a concealed weapon was wrongfully revoked or suspended, contact our Utah gun permit attorneys for help.

Penalties for Open Carry Law Violations in Utah

Obtaining a permit to carry a weapon might be relatively easy for someone with a clean criminal history and no other legal hang-ups. However, guns are not permitted to be carried everywhere. Certain places, like school zones, prohibit firearms even if you have a lawful permit.

According to the Utah Code § 76-10-504, it is against the law to carry a concealed weapon on your person that is readily accessible and not securely enclosed or encased in any place other than your home, property, or vehicle. If the gun is unloaded, you may be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. If the gun is loaded, you may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Different weapons carried in unlawful ways can be met with different penalties. If you carry a concealed, short-barreled shotgun or rifle that is unlawfully possessed, you can be charged with a second-degree felony. A person who uses a concealed firearm in the commission of a violent felony may also be charged with a second-degree felony.

In Utah, A Class B misdemeanor may be penalized with a jail term of no longer than 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000. If you are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor involving a loaded weapon, you can be punished with a jail term of not more than 364 days and a fine of no more than $2,500. For a second-degree felony conviction, you could spend at least 1 year and up to 15 years in prison and be made to pay up to $10,000 in fines.

If you believe you have been wrongfully charged with a crime involving your lawfully possessed firearm, call our Utah gun permit lawyers for help as soon as possible.

Contact Our Utah Gun License Attorneys

If you would like to apply for a permit to carry a gun in Utah, or if you were charged with criminal offenses related to the unlawful possession of a firearm, our legal team can help. Contact our Utah gun permit lawyers at Overson & Bugden for a free legal consultation. Call (801) 758-2287 to get started today.