You MUST Have A Valid Utah Concealed Firearm Permit
To Carry A Firearm In Or On Any School In Utah

The firearm can be carried openly or concealed, but police will generally advise permit holders to conceal the firearm

Firearms In School Zones

It is LEGAL to carry a firearm, without a concealed firearm permit, while walking on the sidewalk, riding a bicycle, etc. through a school zone as long as you do not go onto the school property.

It is ILLEGAL to carry or possess any firearm or dangerous weapon in or on the grounds of any school without a valid Utah concealed firearm permit. See more information about this below.

Yes, it is true there is a federal law known as the “Gun-Free School Zone Act”, see federal laws below, that prohibits firearms within a school zone. There are many people out there including websites and Utah concealed firearm permit instructors who are lying and/or misleading you into believing you can’t do it. Unfortunately, they are very wrong. Federal laws are enforced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) federal law enforcement officers. Utah does not recognize this law. How do we know this? Because we actually know the laws.

  1. Utah does not enforce the “Gun-Free School Zone Act”. No one has ever been charged with this federal law in Utah unless they were committing another criminal offense and this was used as an enhancement to that charge.
  2. It is legal to carry a firearm through a school zone without a Utah concealed firearm permit as long as you DO NOT enter the school property;
    1. Anyone who is at least 21 years old, not a prohibited person, who is carrying a firearm under Utah’s constitutional carry.
    2. Anyone who is 18 to 20 years old, not a prohibited person, who is openly carrying an unloaded firearm.
    3. Anyone who is 18 to 20 years old, not a prohibited person, who has a valid provisional concealed firearm permit.
  3. It is legal if you are at least 18 years old, not a prohibited person, to have a firearm in your vehicle while driving through the school zone.
  4. As explained in the next section it is legal if you are at least 18 years old, not a prohibited person, to have a firearm in your vehicle on school property.

Firearms In Vehicles On School Property

It is LEGAL if you are at least 18 years old, not a prohibited person, to have a loaded handgun in your vehicle as described in 76-10-505 without a concealed firearm permit. This includes driving through the school zone AND having firearms stored in your vehicle while parked in the school parking lot as described in 76-10-505.5. Also, see firearms in vehicles & parking lots

The law specifically says it is legal to have a firearm in your vehicle. Using a little common sense, how would you get your vehicle into the school parking lot without driving through a school zone? Answer… because Utah does not recognize the federal “Gun-Free School Zone Act”.

It is ILLEGAL to carry or possess any firearm or dangerous weapon in or on the grounds of any school without a valid Utah concealed firearm permit. See more information about this below.

Carrying A Firearm On School Property

It is LEGAL for a person to carry or possess a firearm on or about school premises, as described in 76-10-505.5 (see below) IF:

  • You have a valid Utah “regular” concealed firearm permit including a temporary Utah concealed firearm permit
  • You are exempt from weapons laws as provided in 76-10-523
  • The possession is approved by the responsible school administrator
  • The item is present or to be used in connection with a lawful, approved activity and is in the possession or under the control of the person responsible for its possession or use
  • The possession is at the person’s place of residence or on the person’s property
  • The firearm is in any vehicle lawfully under the person’s control, other than a vehicle owned by the school or used by the school to transport students.
  • The firearm is a short-barreled shotgun (SBS), you must have an approved ATF Form 4 and NFA Tax Stamp with the firearm at all times.
    Note: This law does not specifically say anything about a Short-Barreled Rifle (SBR), silencer, fully automatic, or Any Other Weapon (AOW) but it’s all legal if you have the approved ATF Form 4.

Regular Utah Concealed Firearm Permit Holders

It is LEGAL to carry a firearm in and on the grounds of any;

  • Public or private elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through 12th-grade), including on the grounds of any of those schools. This also includes Charter Schools and Religious schools
  • Public or private institutions of higher education (colleges and universities) including on the grounds of any of those schools
  • Preschool or child care facility

Provisional Utah Concealed Firearm Permit Holders

It is LEGAL to carry a firearm in and on the grounds of any;

  • Public or private institutions of higher education (colleges and universities) including on the grounds of any of those schools
  • Preschool and child care facilities ONLY if it is not on any kindergarten through 12th-grade school premises

It is ILLEGAL for a person under the age of 21 with a permit of any kind to carry a concealed firearm on any kindergarten through 12th-grade school premises as described in 53-5-710(2) and 76-10-505.5(1)(a), except as provided in 76-10-505.5(4). (see laws below)

To see a list of public or private preschools, elementary, secondary, and charter schools click here, or for the list of public colleges and universities see 53B-2-101 below.

Teachers & School Employees

  • NO ONE can require you to notify anyone or receive permission to carry a firearm.
  • Firearms must be possessed as provided in district/school policies. Always have your firearm concealed on your body at all times. The firearm CAN NOT be in a desk, briefcase, or bag where a student or anyone else may gain access to or steal the firearm.

For example; the Jordan School District Policy Manual, AA409 – Scope of Employment states, “District property may not be used to hide, cover or secret a firearm. A lawfully concealed firearm must be within the employee’s immediate control at all times. Employees must recognize that students could gain access to a firearm that is not properly concealed, or controlled. Therefore, employees must use good judgment and strictly follow the law and this policy.”

Concealed Firearm Permits/Licenses Issued By Another State

It is ILLEGAL to carry a firearm in and on the grounds of any public or private school premises, including charter schools and religious schools (kindergarten through 12th-grade schools, public or private institutions of higher education [colleges and universities], preschool and child care facilities. You must have a valid Utah concealed firearm permit.

Higher Education Institutions (Colleges and Universities) Are Allowed To:

  • Make a rule that allows a resident of a dormitory located at the institution to request only roommates who are not licensed to carry a concealed firearm.
  • Establish no more than one secure area at each institution as a hearing room as prescribed in Section 76-8-311.1 {see below}, but not otherwise restrict the lawful possession or carrying of firearms. The restriction of firearms, ammunition, or dangerous weapons in the secure area hearing room is in effect only during the time the secure area hearing room is in use for hearings and for a reasonable time before and after its use.

Private Schools

Private schools have the right to restrict the possession of firearms because it is private property. Just like any other private property, owners are allowed to have policies that include “no weapons” or “no firearms” allowed on the property. It is important to understand that if you have a Utah concealed firearm permit, it is not illegal to carry a firearm in and on the grounds of any private school even if they have a restrictive policy. This falls under the same category of the no weapon signs. If you are asked to leave, you must leave. A violation could result in being charged with criminal trespassing and/or disorderly conduct. If you are a teacher or employee it could result in termination of employment, or if you are a student you could receive disciplinary action or be dismissed from the school.

Example: Brigham Young University (BYU)
Firearms and other weapons are not permitted – concealed or not concealed, with or without a concealed weapon permit – on property owned or controlled by the university, including on-campus housing, without specific written permission from the managing director of BYU Police and BYU Security. Law enforcement officers, security officers, and ROTC members authorized by this policy to carry a firearm or other weapon on campus do not need specific written permission.
Firearms & Weapons Policy Firearms and Weapons Procedures – For additional details go to police.byu.edu

Laws

State Laws

53B-2-101. Institutions of higher education -- Corporate bodies -- Powers.
(1) The following institutions of higher education are bodies politic and corporate with perpetual succession and with all rights, immunities, and franchises necessary to function as such:
(a) the University of Utah;
(b) Utah State University;
(c) Weber State University;
(d) Southern Utah University;
(e) Snow College;
(f) Utah Tech University;
(g) Utah Valley University;
(h) Salt Lake Community College;
(i) Bridgerland Technical College;
(j) Davis Technical College;
(k) Dixie Technical College;
(l) Mountainland Technical College;
(m) Ogden-Weber Technical College;
(n) Southwest Technical College;
(o) Tooele Technical College; and
(p) Uintah Basin Technical College.

53B-3-102. State institution of higher education defined.
(1) As used in this chapter, "state institution of higher education" means an institution described in Section 53B-2-101 or any other university or college that is established and maintained by the state.
(2) A state institution of higher education includes:
(a) a branch or affiliated institution; or
(b) a campus or facilities owned, operated, or controlled by the governing board of the state institution of higher education.

53B-3-103. Power of board to adopt rules and enact regulations.
(1) The board may enact regulations governing the conduct of university and college students, faculty, and employees.
(2) (a) The board may:
(i) enact and authorize higher education institutions to enact traffic, parking, and related regulations governing all individuals on campuses and other facilities owned or controlled by the institutions or the board; and
(ii) acknowledging that the Legislature has the authority to regulate, by law, firearms at higher education institutions:
(A) authorize higher education institutions to establish no more than one secure area at each institution as a hearing room as prescribed in Section 76-8-311.1 [see below], but not otherwise restrict the lawful possession or carrying of firearms; and
(B) authorize a higher education institution to make a rule that allows a resident of a dormitory located at the institution to request only roommates who are not licensed to carry a concealed firearm under Section 53-5-704 [concealed firearm permit] or 53-5-705 [temporary concealed firearm permit].
(b) In addition to the requirements and penalty prescribed in Subsections 76-8-311.1(3), (4), (5), and (6), the board shall make rules to ensure that:
(i) reasonable means such as mechanical, electronic, x-ray, or similar devices are used to detect firearms, ammunition, or dangerous weapons contained in the personal property of or on the person of any individual attempting to enter a secure area hearing room;
(ii) an individual required or requested to attend a hearing in a secure area hearing room is notified in writing of the requirements related to entering a secured area hearing room under this Subsection (2)(b) and Section 76-8-311.1;
(iii) the restriction of firearms, ammunition, or dangerous weapons in the secure area hearing room is in effect only during the time the secure area hearing room is in use for hearings and for a reasonable time before and after its use; and
(iv) reasonable space limitations are applied to the secure area hearing room as warranted by the number of individuals involved in a typical hearing.
(3) The board shall enact regulations that require all testimony be given under oath during an employee grievance hearing for a non-faculty employee of an institution of higher education if the grievance hearing relates to the non-faculty employee's:
(a) demotion; or
(b) termination.
(4) The board and institutions may enforce these rules and regulations in any reasonable manner, including the assessment of fees, fines, and forfeitures, the collection of which may be by withholding from money owed the violator, the imposition of probation, suspension, or expulsion from the institution, the revocation of privileges, the refusal to issue certificates, degrees, and diplomas, through judicial process or any reasonable combination of these alternatives.

53-5-710. Cross-references to concealed firearm permit restrictions.
(2) Notwithstanding Subsection 76-10-505.5(2), a person under the age of 21 with a permit of any kind to carry a concealed firearm may not carry a concealed firearm on or about school premises, as defined in Subsection 76-10-505.5(1)(a).

76-3-203.2. Definitions -- Use of dangerous weapon in offenses committed on or about school premises -- Enhanced penalties.
(1)(a) As used in this section "on or about school premises" means:
(i) (A) in a public or private elementary or secondary school; or
(B) on the grounds of any of those schools;
(ii)(A) in a public or private institution of higher education; or
(B) on the grounds of a public or private institution of higher education;
(iii) within 1,000 feet of any school, institution, or grounds included in Subsections (1)(a)(i) and (ii); and
(iv) in or on the grounds of a preschool or child care facility.
(b) As used in this section:
(i) "Dangerous weapon" has the same definition as in Section 76-1-101.5.
(ii) "Educator" means a person who is:
(A) employed by a public school district; and
(B) required to hold a certificate issued by the State Board of Education in order to perform duties of employment.
(iii) "Within the course of employment" means that an educator is providing services or engaging in conduct required by the educator's employer to perform the duties of employment.
(2) A person who, on or about school premises, commits an offense and uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon, as defined in Section 76-1-101.5, in the commission of the offense is subject to an enhanced degree of offense as provided in Subsection (4).
(3)(a) A person who commits an offense against an educator when the educator is acting within the course of employment is subject to an enhanced degree of offense as provided in Subsection (4).
(b) As used in Subsection (3)(a), "offense" means:
(i) an offense under Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person; and
(ii) an offense under Title 76, Chapter 6, Part 3, Robbery.
(4) If the trier of fact finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, while on or about school premises, commits an offense and in the commission of the offense uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon, or that the defendant committed an offense against an educator when the educator was acting within the course of the educator's employment, the enhanced penalty for a:
(a) class B misdemeanor is a class A misdemeanor;
(b) class A misdemeanor is a third degree felony;
(c) third degree felony is a second degree felony; or
(d) second degree felony is a first degree felony.
(5) The enhanced penalty for a first degree felony offense of a convicted person:
(a) is imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and which may be for life, and imposition or execution of the sentence may not be suspended unless the court finds that the interests of justice would be best served and states the specific circumstances justifying the disposition on the record; and
(b) is subject also to the dangerous weapon enhancement provided in Section 76-3-203.8, except for an offense committed under Subsection (3) that does not involve a firearm.
(6) The prosecuting attorney, or grand jury if an indictment is returned, shall provide notice upon the information or indictment that the defendant is subject to the enhanced degree of offense or penalty under Subsection (4) or (5).
(7) In cases where an offense is enhanced under Subsection (4), or under Subsection (5)(a) for an offense committed under Subsection (2) that does not involve a firearm, the convicted person is not subject to the dangerous weapon enhancement in Section 76-3-203.8.
(8) The sentencing enhancement described in this section does not apply if:
(a) the offense for which the person is being sentenced is:
(i) a grievous sexual offense;
(ii) child kidnapping under Section 76-5-301.1;
(iii) aggravated kidnapping under Section 76-5-302; or
(iv) forcible sexual abuse under Section 76-5-404; and
(b) applying the sentencing enhancement provided for in this section would result in a lower maximum penalty than the penalty provided for under the section that describes the offense for which the person is being sentenced.

76-8-311.1. Secure areas -- Items prohibited -- Penalty.
(1) In addition to the definitions in Section 76-10-501, as used in this section:
(a) "Correctional facility" has the same meaning as defined in Section 76-8-311.3.
(b) "Explosive" has the same meaning as defined for "explosive, chemical, or incendiary device" defined in Section 76-10-306.
(c) "Law enforcement facility" means a facility which is owned, leased, or operated by a law enforcement agency.
(d) "Mental health facility" has the same meaning as defined in Section 26B-5-301.
(e) (i) "Secure area" means any area into which certain persons are restricted from transporting any firearm, ammunition, dangerous weapon, or explosive.
(ii) A "secure area" may not include any area normally accessible to the public.
(2) (a) A person in charge of a correctional, law enforcement, or mental health facility may establish secure areas within the facility and may prohibit or control by rule any firearm, ammunition, dangerous weapon, or explosive.
(b) Subsections (2)(a), (3), (4), (5), and (6) apply to higher education secure area hearing rooms referred to in Subsections 53B-3-103(2)(a)(ii) and (b).
(3) At least one notice shall be prominently displayed at each entrance to an area in which a firearm, ammunition, dangerous weapon, or explosive is restricted.
(4) (a) Provisions shall be made to provide a secure weapons storage area so that persons entering the secure area may store their weapons prior to entering the secure area.
(b) The entity operating the facility shall be responsible for weapons while they are stored in the storage area.
(5) It is a defense to any prosecution under this section that the accused, in committing the act made criminal by this section, acted in conformity with the facility's rule or policy established pursuant to this section.
(6) (a) Any person who knowingly or intentionally transports into a secure area of a facility any firearm, ammunition, or dangerous weapon is guilty of a third degree felony.
(b) Any person violates Section 76-10-306 who knowingly or intentionally transports, possesses, distributes, or sells any explosive in a secure area of a facility.

76-8-701. Definitions.
For the purposes of this part:
(1) "Chief administrative officer" means the president of an institution of higher education or a person designated by the president.
(2) "Enter" means intrusion of the entire body.
(3) "Institution" or "institution of higher education" means:
(a) a state institution of higher education as defined in Section 53B-3-102; or
(b) a private institution of higher education in the state accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

76-8-703. Criminal trespass upon an institution of higher education.
(1)(c) The mere carrying or possession of a firearm on the campus of a state institution of higher education, as defined in Section 53B-3-102, does not warrant an order to leave under Subsection (1)(a) if the person carrying or possessing the firearm is otherwise complying with all state laws regulating the possession and use of a firearm.

76-10-505.5. Possession of a dangerous weapon, firearm, or short barreled shotgun on or about school premises -- Penalties.
(1) As used in this section, "on or about school premises" means:
(a) (i) in a public or private elementary or secondary school; or
(ii) on the grounds of any of those schools;
(b) (i) in a public or private institution of higher education; or
(ii) on the grounds of a public or private institution of higher education; and
(iii) (A) inside the building where a preschool or child care is being held, if the entire building is being used for the operation of the preschool or child care; or
(B) if only a portion of a building is being used to operate a preschool or child care, in that room or rooms where the preschool or child care operation is being held.
(2) A person may not possess any dangerous weapon, firearm, or short barreled shotgun, as those terms are defined in Section 76-10-501, at a place that the person knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is on or about school premises as defined in this section.
(3) (a) Possession of a dangerous weapon on or about school premises is a class B misdemeanor.
(b) Possession of a firearm or short barreled shotgun on or about school premises is a class A misdemeanor.
(4) This section does not apply if:
(a) the person is authorized to possess a firearm as provided under Section 53-5-70453-5-70576-10-511, or 76-10-523, or as otherwise authorized by law;
(b) the possession is approved by the responsible school administrator;
(c) the item is present or to be used in connection with a lawful, approved activity and is in the possession or under the control of the person responsible for its possession or use; or
(d) the possession is:
(i) at the person's place of residence or on the person's property; or
(ii) in any vehicle lawfully under the person's control, other than a vehicle owned by the school or used by the school to transport students.
(5) This section does not prohibit prosecution of a more serious weapons offense that may occur on or about school premises.

Federal Laws

Federal law defines a school zone as 1,000 feet beyond the boundaries of public, private (including religious) elementary and secondary schools, but does not include preschool, child care, colleges or universities.

18 U.S.C. 922 states under Subsection (q)(2) it is unlawful for any individual to knowingly possess a firearm in a school zone unless the individual is licensed by the State in which the school zone is located. This law means, to have a firearm in a school zone, which is 1,000 feet beyond the boundaries of a school, you must have a Utah concealed firearm permit. If you do not have a concealed firearm permit the firearm must be unloaded and in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle.
This law does is not recognized in Utah, because it is legal to have a loaded handgun in a vehicle without having a concealed firearm permit, as described in 76-10-505.

18 U.S.C. 922 Unlawful acts
(q)(1) The Congress finds and declares that—
(C) firearms and ammunition move easily in interstate commerce and have been found in increasing numbers in and around schools, as documented in numerous hearings in both the Committee on the Judiciary and the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate;
(D) in fact, even before the sale of a firearm, the gun, its component parts, ammunition, and the raw materials from which they are made have considerably moved in interstate commerce;
(E) while criminals freely move from State to State, ordinary citizens and foreign visitors may fear to travel to or through certain parts of the country due to concern about violent crime and gun violence, and parents may decline to send their children to school for the same reason;
(F) the occurrence of violent crime in school zones has resulted in a decline in the quality of education in our country;
(G) this decline in the quality of education has an adverse impact on interstate commerce and the foreign commerce of the United States;
(H) States, localities, and school systems find it almost impossible to handle gun-related crime by themselves—even States, localities, and school systems that have made strong efforts to prevent, detect, and punish gun-related crime find their efforts unavailing due in part to the failure or inability of other States or localities to take strong measures; and
(I) the Congress has the power, under the interstate commerce clause and other provisions of the Constitution, to enact measures to ensure the integrity and safety of the Nation’s schools by enactment of this subsection.
(2)(A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm—
(i) on private property not part of school grounds;
(ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;
(iii) that is—
(I) not loaded; and
(II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;
(iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;
(v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;
(vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or
(vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.
(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), it shall be unlawful for any person, knowingly or with reckless disregard for the safety of another, to discharge or attempt to discharge a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the person knows is a school zone.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the discharge of a firearm—
(i) on private property not part of school grounds;
(ii) as part of a program approved by a school in the school zone, by an individual who is participating in the program;
(iii) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in a school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual; or
(iv) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity.
(4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as preempting or preventing a State or local government from enacting a statute establishing gun free school zones as provided in this subsection.

18 U.S.C. 924 - Penalties
(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, subsection (b), (c), (f), or (p) of this section, or in section 929, whoever—
(A) knowingly makes any false statement or representation with respect to the information required by this chapter to be kept in the records of a person licensed under this chapter or in applying for any license or exemption or relief from disability under the provisions of this chapter;
(B) knowingly violates subsection (a)(4), (f), (k), or (q) of section 922;
(C) knowingly imports or brings into the United States or any possession thereof any firearm or ammunition in violation of section 922(l); or
(D) willfully violates any other provision of this chapter, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(4) Whoever violates section 922(q) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the term of imprisonment imposed under this paragraph shall not run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment imposed under any other provision of law. Except for the authorization of a term of imprisonment of not more than 5 years made in this paragraph, for the purpose of any other law a violation of section 922(q) shall be deemed to be a misdemeanor.