It is LEGAL to have a firearm in a vehicle in any parking lot, EXCEPT as prohibited under state and federal law, if:

  • The person is not a prohibited person
  • The effect is a substantial burden on that individual’s free exercise of religion

When an individual leaves (stores) a firearm in a vehicle, the firearm must be locked in the vehicle or in a locked container attached to the vehicle AND the firearm cannot be seen from the outside of the vehicle.

Restrictions Allowed

It is ILLEGAL to have a firearm in a vehicle if:

  • The property owner provides FREE alternative parking where you can store firearms in your vehicle;
  • The property owner provides a secured and monitored storage location where you can securely store a firearm before proceeding with the vehicle into the secured parking area;
  • The person signs a lease agreement that prohibits firearms on the property;
  • The person complies with Subsection 34-45-107(5);

It is ILLEGAL to carry or have a firearm in your vehicle on the following properties which include parking lots

  • Correctional Facilities
  • Mental Health Facilities
  • Military Installations*
  • Post Offices**

* You may be able to take firearms onto the military installation for a shooting club ONLY if you have written authorization from the base commander.
Utah National Guard service members are exempt and CAN have a firearm in their vehicle on installations owned by the state (Camp Williams)

Private Property Owners Are Protected From Liability

  • If the property owner complies with the law and allows firearms to be stored in vehicles in their parking lot, they are not liable in any civil action for any occurrence resulting from, connected with, or incidental to the use of a firearm, by any person, unless the use of the firearm involves a criminal act by the person who owns or controls the parking area.
  • A property owner, who allows a person who has a concealed firearm permit to bring the firearm onto the owner’s property, is not civilly or criminally liable for any damage or harm resulting from the discharge of the firearm by the permit holder unless the property owner solicits, requests, commands, encourages, or intentionally aids the concealed firearm permit holder in discharging the firearm while on the owner’s property.

Private Property Owners Failure To Comply

If the property owner does not comply with the law, they can be sued.
People who have to sue the property owner can recover civil damages and even punitive damages to punish the parking lot owner, but the person suing has to show the Utah Attorney General warned the parking lot owner that they were in violation of the law or their failure to comply resulted in serious injury or death
The Attorney General can sue as well as the private attorney of the injured person or whose rights were violated.

Laws

34-45-101. Title.

This chapter is known as "Protection of Activities in Private Vehicles."

34-45-102. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Firearm" has the same meaning as provided in Section 76-10-501.
(2) "Motor vehicle" has the same meaning as provided in Section 41-1a-102.
(3) "Person" means an individual, property owner, landlord, tenant, employer, business entity, or other legal entity.

34-45-103. Protection of certain activities -- Firearms -- Free exercise of religion
(1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), a person may not establish, maintain, or enforce any policy or rule that has the effect of:
(a) prohibiting any individual from transporting or storing a firearm in a motor vehicle on any property designated for motor vehicle parking, if:
(i) the individual is legally permitted to transport, possess, purchase, receive, transfer, or store the firearm;
(ii) the firearm is locked securely in the motor vehicle or in a locked container attached to the motor vehicle while the motor vehicle is not occupied; and
(iii) the firearm is not in plain view from the outside of the motor vehicle; or
(b) prohibiting any individual from possessing any item in or on a motor vehicle on any property designated for motor vehicle parking, if the effect of the policy or rule constitutes a substantial burden on that individual's free exercise of religion.
(2) A person may establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that has the effect of placing limitations on or prohibiting an individual from transporting or storing a firearm in a motor vehicle on property the person has designated for motor vehicle parking if:
(a) the person provides, or there is otherwise available, one of the following, in a location reasonably proximate to the property the person has designated for motor vehicle parking:
(i) alternative parking for individuals who desire to transport, possess, receive, transfer, or store a firearm in the individual's motor vehicle at no additional cost to the individual; or
(ii) a secured and monitored storage location where the individual may securely store a firearm before proceeding with the vehicle into the secured parking area; or
(b) the person complies with Subsection 34-45-107(5).

34-45-104. Protection from liability.
A person that owns or controls a parking area that is subject to this chapter and that complies with the requirements of Section 34-45-103 is not liable in any civil action for any occurrence resulting from, connected with, or incidental to the use of a firearm, by any person, unless the use of the firearm involves a criminal act by the person who owns or controls the parking area.

34-45-105. Cause of action for noncompliance -- Remedies.
(1) An individual who is injured, physically or otherwise, as a result of any policy or rule prohibited by Section 34-45-103, may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against any person that violates the provisions of Section 34-45-103.
(2) Any individual who asserts a claim under this section is entitled to request:
(a) declaratory relief;
(b) temporary or permanent injunctive relief to prevent the threatened or continued violation;
(c) recovery for actual damages sustained; and
(d) punitive damages, if:
(i) serious bodily injury or death occurs as a result of the violation of Section 34-45-103; or
(ii) the person who violates Section 34-45-103 has previously been notified by the attorney general that a policy or rule violates Section34-45-103.
(3) The prevailing party in an action brought under this chapter may recover its court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred.
(4) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed or held to affect any rights or claims made in relation to Title 34A, Chapter 2, Workers' Compensation Act.

34-45-106. Enforcement by attorney general.
(1) The attorney general may bring an action to enforce this chapter and may request any relief that is provided for under Section 34-45-105, including a request for damages on behalf of any individual suffering loss because of a violation of this chapter.
(2) Upon entry of final judgment for a cause of action brought under this section, the court may award restitution, when appropriate, to any individual suffering loss because of a violation of this chapter if proof of loss is submitted to the satisfaction of the court.

34-45-107. Exemptions -- Limitations on chapter -- School premises -- Government entities -- Religious organizations -- Single family detached residential units.
(1) (a) School premises, as defined in Subsection 76-3-203.2(1), are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Possession of a firearm on or about school premises is subject to the provisions of Section 76-10-505.5.
(2) Government entities, including a local authority or state entity, are subject to the requirements of Title 53, Chapter 5a, Firearm Laws, but are otherwise exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(3) Religious organizations, including religious organizations acting as an employer, are exempt from, and are not subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(4) Owner-occupied single family detached residential units and tenant-occupied single family detached residential units are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(5) A person who is subject to federal law that specifically forbids the presence of a firearm from property designated for motor vehicle parking, or a person who is subject to Section 550 of the United States Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 109-295 or regulations enacted in accordance with that section, is exempt from Section 34-45-103 if
(a) providing alternative parking or a storage location under Subsection 34-45-103 (2)(a) would pose an undue burden on the person; and
(b) the person files a statement with the attorney general citing the federal law that forbids the presence of a firearm and detailing the reasons why providing alternative parking or a storage location poses an undue burden.
(6) A person who is subject to Section 550 of the United States Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 109-295 or regulations enacted in accordance with that section is exempt from this chapter if:
(a) the person has attempted to provide alternative parking or a storage location in accordance with Subsection 34-45-103(2)(a);
(b) the secretary of the federal Department of Homeland Security notifies the person that the provision of alternative parking or a storage location causes the person to be out of compliance with Section 550 of the United States Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007, Pub. L. No.109-295 or regulations enacted in accordance with that section and the person may be subject to punitive measures; and
(c) the person files a detailed statement with the attorney general notifying the attorney general of the facts under Subsections (6)(a) and (b).

53-5a-103. Discharge of firearm on private property -- Liability.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Firearm possessor" means an individual who may lawfully possess a firearm.
(b) "Property occupant" means:
(i) a private property owner; or
(ii) a person who has the right to occupy a private property under an agreement.
(2) Except as provided under Subsection (3), a property occupant, who knowingly allows a firearm possessor to lawfully bring a firearm onto the occupant's property, is not civilly or criminally liable for any damage or harm resulting from the discharge of the firearm by the firearm possessor while on the occupant's property.
(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the property occupant solicits, requests, commands, encourages, or intentionally aids the firearm possessor in discharging the firearm while on the occupant's property for a purpose other than the lawful defense of an individual on the property.
(4) This section does not alter the responsibilities a tenant owes to a landlord under the terms of the lease agreement entered into between the tenant and landlord.

Prohibited Property & Parking Lots

Correctional & Mental Health Facilities

76-8-311.3.  Items prohibited in correctional and mental health facilities -- Penalties.
(1) As used in this section:
(c) "Correctional facility" means:
(i) any facility operated by or contracting with the Department of Corrections to house offenders in either a secure or nonsecure setting;
(ii) any facility operated by a municipality or a county to house or detain criminal offenders;
(iii) any juvenile detention facility; and
(iv) any building or grounds appurtenant to the facility or lands granted to the state, municipality, or county for use as a correctional facility.
(f) "Mental health facility" is as defined in Section 62A-15-602.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 76-10-500, a correctional or mental health facility may provide by rule that no firearm, ammunition, dangerous weapon, implement of escape, explosive, controlled substance, spirituous or fermented liquor, medicine, or poison in any quantity may be:
(a) transported to or upon a correctional or mental health facility;
(4) (a) Any person who transports to or upon a correctional facility, or into a secure area of a mental health facility, any firearm, ammunition, dangerous weapon, or implement of escape with intent to provide or sell it to any offender, is guilty of a second degree felony.

62A-15-602.  Definitions.
As used in this part, Part 7, Commitment of Persons Under Age 18 to Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Part 8, Interstate Compact on Mental Health, Part 9, Utah Forensic Mental Health Facility, and Part 10, Declaration for Mental Health Treatment:
(9) "Mental health facility" means the Utah State Hospital or other facility that provides mental health services under contract with the division, a local mental health authority, or organization that contracts with a local mental health authority.