Utah protects the right to bear arms under Article I, Section 6 of the state constitution, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. While you may openly carry a weapon without a permit, Utah requires a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon concealed on (or near) your body or vehicle unless you are in your own residence or on your own property. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-511).
For more information on concealed weapon permits, see Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Utah.
The following sections explain who may not have a gun, as well as the circumstances when carrying a gun is illegal.
People Who May Not Carry a Gun in Utah
Utah lists persons restricted from carrying a firearm in two categories. Category I restricted persons are guilty of a second degree felony if they possess a firearm, whereas Category II restricted persons are guilty of a third degree felony -- a less serious offense -- for firearm possession.
Category I restricted persons:
- people convicted of a violent felony, or on probation or parole for any felony
- people on parole from a secure facility
- people adjudicated delinquent within the last ten years for an offense which, if committed by an adult, would have been a violent felony
- people illegally in the U.S.
Category II restricted persons:
- people convicted of any felony
- people convicted of an offense involving the use of alcohol or controlled substances, an unlawful drug user, or someone who is knowingly and intentionally in possession of a firearm and a Schedule I or II substance at the same time
- people adjudicated as mentally incompetent to stand trial for a felony offense , or committed to a mental institution
- people adjudicated delinquent within the last seven years for an offense which, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony
- former U.S. citizens who have renounced their U.S. citizenship
- people discharged from the military in other than honorable circumstances
(Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503.)
Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Gun is Illegal
The following rules govern when you may not carry a gun in Utah. They do not apply to law enforcement, U.S. marshals, judges, or federal officials required to carry a firearm.
- Unless you are in your own residence or on your own property, you may not carry a concealed firearm without a concealed carry permit. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-504(2)).
- You may not carry a weapon into a house of worship or into a private residence, even if you have a concealed carry license, if you are given notice that firearms are prohibited on the premises. “Notice” may include personal communication, publication, or a posted sign. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-530).
- You may not carry a weapon into a secure area of an airport. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-529).
- You may not carry a weapon on school premises. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5).
Penalties for Gun Carry Violations
It is a class A misdemeanor to carry a concealed firearm in Utah without a concealed carry permit, unless you are in your own residence or on your own property. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-504(2)).
Category I restricted persons who possess a firearm are guilty of a class 2 felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to 15 years in prison, or both.
Category II restricted persons who possess a firearm are guilty of a class 3 felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503).
Getting Legal Help
The penalties for violating gun carry laws are serious, and often include harsh fines and long prison sentences. If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Utah, or if you are facing charges for a gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.