Utah Concealed Carry - Everything You Need To Know
Numbers paint a picture of how Utah concealed carry has advanced through the years. Despite the practice in Utah only being available to permit holders, a couple statistics illustrate the growth of gun rights, acceptance and visibility.
Over the past 15 years the total number of Utah concealed carry permits have increased from just shy of 42,000 in 2001 to just above 674,000 in late 2016.
About two-thirds of Utah concealed firearms permits in 2016 are held by non-residents -- a clear indication of the national presence this permit has.
Here’s how to join the hundreds of thousands of Second Amendment enthusiasts in Utah.
Get Ahold of a Utah Concealed Carry Permit
Admittedly, there’s a bit more to firearms training and gun ownership in this state, let alone anywhere, than beginning with a Utah concealed carry permit.
But in terms of legality, the five-year permit is the starting place. That being said, Utah’s Bureau of Criminal Identification accepts and sifts through applications during normal business hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The application may be mailed or submitted to the BCI at their Salt Lake City location. Resident applications come with a $37 fee, whereas nonresident applications are $47.
In addition to the base fee, applications must also include a photocopied driver’s license, a passport quality color photo, a fingerprint card and a firearms familiarity course certification.
Non-residents looking to apply must reside in a state that shares concealed carry reciprocity with Utah and must additionally submit proof of their concealed carry permit.
The fingerprint card must be completed by a professional technician, which means the service can be fulfilled by a private party, but the BCI offers fingerprint and photography services. One photo will cost $15, and up to three fingerprint cards will cost $15.
The firearms familiarity course, according to Utah Code 53-5-704(8)(a - c), will teach the soon-to-be concealed carrier how to safely load and unload a weapon, how to store it and appropriately carry it concealed. The course also covers applicable laws surrounding private citizen use of force, lawful self-defense, deadly force and other aspects within this realm.
In Utah’s permit licensing, the course may not be completed online. Tough luck, but safe, legal, hands-on experience is the best way to learn how to use a deadly weapon.
However, the BCI provides a public list of in-state and out-of-state course instructors certified by Utah. Those certified by the BCI -- including law enforcement officers, military or civilian firearms instructors and hunter safety instructors -- may award a certificate of general familiarity.
The applicant may satisfy the course requirement through involvement in organized shooting competitions, military service or through law enforcement.
Utah CCW Restrictions
Beyond completing a safety course prior to application submission, there are a few basic eligibility requirements applicants must satisfy. According to 53-5-704(2)(a), the applicant cannot be convicted of…
- Any felony
- Any crime of violence
- Any offense connected to alcohol
- Any offense connected to unlawful use of narcotics or controlled substances
- Any offense involving moral turpitude
- Any offense involved with domestic violence
Utah bars concealed carry permits for those adjudicated as mentally incompetent by a state or federal court, unless the adjudication has been withdrawn. The applicant must also be qualified to buy and own firearms as according to Utah legislation under Section 76-10-503 and federal law.
Breaking those requirements will also cause current concealed carry permit holders to have their license revoked or suspended. So, play by the rules. Easy.
As per 53-5-704(1)(a), the permit will be awarded or declined with 60 days. The permit may also be revoked if the BCI deems the concealed carrier is a danger to themselves or others.
The permit may only be renewed within 90 days of expiration. This may be done online for $15.75, or $15.00 if the renewal application form is sent via mail.
Why the difference in $0.75? It is listed as a “convenience fee.” While it isn’t highway robbery, it certainly is a curious addition to the price. Speaking of additions, the renewal application and fee must also include a new passport-quality photo and non-resident renewals will require another proof of permit.
Typically, the waiting period is two weeks -- not too bad.
Non-residents may apply for a Utah permit, benefitting from its reciprocity or the in-state perks, but what about those passing through the state and those leaving the state? What about those temporarily in the state?
Utah Concealed Carry Reciprocity Has a Few Complexities
State laws can get complicated -- they change and have specifications that may cause discrepancies in some locations as opposed to others, which makes Utah concealed carry reciprocity a subject the individual gun owner needs to consistently stay up-to-date on.
That means this guide is just an educational stepping stone, and not formal legal advice.
But, here are a few things to get started.
U.C.A 76-10-523 outlines that Utah will honor any concealed firearm permit issued by another state or county in the U.S. With some legal exceptions outlined in the cited Utah Code, nonresidents traveling through the state may do so in any case if the firearm is unloaded and securely encased.
Traveling to Utah with a firearm is pretty straightforward.
Concealed carry, however, gets a bit more complicated when the Utah concealed carrier decides to leave the state. Utah has formal reciprocity with 17 states and a total of 19 other states recognize the license.
Although that number, again, may shift. Stay up to date with a CCW map.
Now that traveling to and from Utah is covered, travel within the state has its own set of rules and prohibitions.
Where Concealed Carry in Utah is Prohibited
Among other places where concealed carry in Utah is prohibited, houses of worship are afforded the right to prohibit firearms on their premises under Utah Code 76-10-530, and the notice does not necessarily have to be in the form of a sign.
Although a sign is one of the modes of communicating that firearms are prohibited in the given house of worship, this may also be communicated through personal communication with the concealed carrier, an announcement in a congregation, publication in a regularly circulating document within the given religious community or through publication in a newspaper or similar publication within the county the house of worship primarily operates within.
The Church of Latter Day Saints, for example, notified the BCI about their intent to prohibit firearms on their premises, as well as gave public notice about it in early 2016 within local newspapers.
Interestingly, a concealed carry permit affords the right to carry in public schools, according to the BCI. However, the permit does not allow concealed carry in state and federally restricted areas, including airport secured areas, courts, federal facilities, correctional facilities, law enforcement secured areas, mental health facilities and private residences where notice is given or posted.
Although Utah has no laws prohibiting permit holders from carrying concealed in a bar, it is illegal to be intoxicated (at .08 BAC) while carrying a firearm.
No matter where the concealed carrier is, if they feel threatened they must understand that showing, drawing or using a firearm in that scenario must be in self-defense. They must not come across as the aggressor. That could be construed as criminal conduct.
Gun owners pride themselves on being law abiding citizens, so play by the rules, follow the right laws, adhere to all the procedures in state and research more about the topic at hand. There are multiple working parts in any state’s laws, and when it comes to the complexities of deadly weapons, the concealed carrier should feel compelled to look at all available sources of information.
About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter in his final year of studying public relations and apparel at the University of Idaho.