Frequently Asked Questions about Constitutional Carry in Utah
1- Who can legally carry a concealed firearm for self defense in Utah?
– Anyone with a valid Utah Concealed Firearm Permit, or a similar permit from another state.
– Starting May 5, 2021, any Utah resident who can legally purchase a firearm- basically 21 or older; no felony or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions; not a user of illegal drugs (marijuana use is still a disqualifier, even “medicinal”); not subject to a protective order; not adjudicated as mentally ill; not dishonorably discharged from the military, and not an illegal alien.
2- Exactly where are you NOT ALLOWED TO CARRY?
– Concealed or open carry firearms are prohibited in schools (except for Utah residents with Utah Concealed Firearm Permits.)
– Firearms are prohibited in federal or state restricted areas i.e. any airport secured area, federal facilities, courts, correctional & mental health facilities, law enforcement secured areas; a private residence where notice given and/or posted, any secured area in which firearms are prohibited and notice posted, or otherwise prohibited by state of federal law.
– Houses of Worship which have prohibited firearms, listed on the BCI site (includes Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
2B- What about private businesses? Can they post signs prohibiting someone from carrying a gun into their business?
– Naturally, private property owners may apply whatever restrictions they want. Whether or not these restrictions violate one’s constitutional rights is for the civil courts to decide.
2c- May I carry my loaded and concealed firearm into a bar or other drinking establishment?
– There is nothing in state statute that prohibits concealed legal self defense weapons from being in a bar. However, it is illegal to be intoxicated and in possession of a firearm. The level of intoxication that is considered illegal is the same standard as when driving a car. (.05 B.A.C.)
3- Can I “open carry” without a permit?
– Yes, but remember that many people have an irrational fear of guns (“hoplophobia”) and may call police on you. Be polite, discrete and don’t provoke the hoplophobes.
4- When can someone use a firearm for legal self defense?
– Only when you (or another person) are faced with the imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
5- Can someone who is NOT a UTAH RESIDENT carry without a permit in Utah?
– NO. Utah’s Constitutional Carry law ONLY applies to Utah residents.
6- Can a UTAH RESIDENT without a permit carry in other states?
– NO, in most states. Check the laws of any state you plan to visit.
6B- If I get stopped by a police officer, do I, as a permit holder or doing Constitutional Carry, have to tell the officer that I have a gun in my possession?
– Although there is no legal requirement to tell a law enforcement officer you are carrying, it is recommended to do so.
If an officer finds or sees a gun on your person during their contact with you, and you have not identified yourself as being in legal possession of a firearm, the officer may assume you are carrying the gun illegally and may take defensive action. For the safety of all involved, it is recommended to immediately identify yourself to the officer as being in possession of a handgun. This action gives the officer some assurance they are most likely dealing with a law abiding citizen.
7- If I feel someone MAY be a threat to me, can I show them that I have a gun to scare them off?
– Any action you take with a gun must be in direct self-defense; otherwise, it may be considered threatening with a dangerous weapon and you could be labeled as the aggressor. You may be criminally charged and you will possibly have your permit to carry a concealed firearm revoked. Carrying a firearm is very serious business. There is no room for mistakes. If you pull a firearm on someone or even display the weapon, then it must be in self defense or it is not justified.
8- If I think I may need to use a gun for self defense, what should I do?
– First, try everything possible to avoid having to shoot someone. Leave the area if possible, seek shelter and call the police if you can. Avoiding a gun fight is always the best outcome!
9- If I display or fire a gun for self defense, what should I do afterwards?
– Call 911 and request police and medical assistance. Whoever calls first has more credibility!
– Provide first aid as needed;
– DO NOT be holding a gun when police arrive.
– You do not need to make any statement before consulting legal advice.
– Many people advise telling the police ONLY “I was afraid I would be killed or hurt so I acted in self defense. I don’t want to say anything more until I talk with a lawyer.” THEN STOP TALKING!
– Consult with a lawyer with expertise in firearms self defense cases.
10- What happens if I shoot at an attacker, but hurt someone else?
– “You own every bullet you fire and are responsible for any harm it causes.” That includes property damage as well as any injuries or death. That includes any negligent or accidental discharges as well as deliberate firing at an attacker.
11- Should I have insurance if I carry a legal self defense weapon?
– Legal costs from a legal self defense situation can be tens of thousands of dollars to millions if there are civil lawsuits filed later. Insurance specifically for self defense situations is available from several companies and is highly recommended.
12- Why should I get a Utah Concealed Firearm Permit when I can carry without one?
– A permit will allow you to carry concealed in 30+ other states
– You will not be charged the $7.50 fee when you buy a firearm from a dealer, they merely verify your permit is still valid.
– If you ever have a traffic stop, your status as a “good guy” is quickly and easily established.
13- What is the Utah Shooting Sports Council (USSC)?
– USSC is Utah’s leading gun rights advocacy group, dedicated to protecting and promoting the safe and legal ownership and use of firearms including self defense, competitive shooting, plinking, and collecting. USSC actively promotes pro-gun bills and works to defeat attacks on gun rights in the Utah Legislature, County and local governments.