Post updated on April 23rd, 2021 to include more detailed information.
Governor Cox signed H.B. 60 Conceal Carry Firearms Amendments into law on February 12th, 2021, making Utah the 17th state to become Constitutional Carry, also known as "Permitless Carry".
Don't just start loading up and carrying yet though, as the new law does not take effect until May 5th, 2021. While it's great news for Utah, there are some very important things you must know before you start carrying your firearm everywhere you go. There is a LOT of wrong information being spread around by companies and instructors about this new law so we are going to set the fact straight as we always do, for you to better understand the truth.
FACT: This new law does not get rid of the Utah concealed firearm permits. There will still be classes available (unfortunately from the same instructors mentioned above) and the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) will still issue new permits and renew permits to anyone who meets the minimum requirements. Anyone who is under 21 years old (18 to 20 years old) will still be required to obtain a Utah "Provisional" permit to be able to carry a loaded or concealed firearm.
The New Law Allows
- Anyone at least 21 years old, not a prohibited person, can carry a concealed firearm without a permit
- Carry any legally owned firearm, not limited to handguns like a lot of other states
- Carry the firearm fully loaded
- Carry anywhere that current permit holders can EXCEPT on any school premises, and all State prohibited areas and Federal prohibited areas
The law also creates a fund known as the Suicide Prevention and Education Fund where 50% of excess funds from concealed firearm permit fees will be transferred to the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to be used in suicide prevention efforts that include a focus on firearm safety as related to suicide prevention.
What The New Law Does NOT Allow
Even after May 5th, 2021, if you DO NOT have a valid Utah concealed firearm permit:
- It is still ILLEGAL to carry a firearm on ANY public or private school premises, including charter schools and religious schools (kindergarten through 12th-grade schools) AND public or private institutions of higher education (colleges and universities). Having a loaded handgun in your vehicle is LEGAL, but this means if you step outside your vehicle while in the parking lot of any school, you are committing a class A misdemeanor as described in 76-10-505.5.(3)(b). Being convicted would prohibit you from obtaining a Utah concealed firearm permit for at least FIVE (5) YEARS if you ever decided you wanted to get a Utah permit. Just make sure you DO NOT get out of your vehicle with your firearm while in the school parking lot or go onto the school property. See more about schools here.
NOTE: There is a lot of confusion about Federal law 18 U.S.C. 922 Subsection (q)(2) also known as the "Gun-Free School Zone Act" which prohibits firearms within a school zone.
FACT: It has been legal for a long time to open carry an unloaded firearm while walking through the school zone. Nothing changes that would prohibit you from carrying a loaded or concealed firearm through a school zone under Constitutional Carry.
FACT: Most companies and instructors tell you that you're going to be arrested and charged with a federal felony for carrying a firearm through the school zone. This is either a scare tactic to get you to attend their classes where they will continue to provide false and misleading information or they simply don't know what they are talking about (like most instructors that teach the class). As explained above the "Gun-Free School Zone Act" is not recognized or enforced in Utah unless you commit a crime, then the possession of the firearm could be an enhancement to the criminal charges.
FACT: It is already legal to have a loaded handgun in a vehicle without having a concealed firearm permit, but it is ILLEGAL to possess a loaded rifle, shotgun, or muzzle-loading rifle in a vehicle unless you have a valid concealed firearm permit. See more about vehicles here.
- It is still ILLEGAL to possess ANY firearm in State prohibited areas or Federal prohibited areas. (individuals with a permit still can't carry here either).
- It is still ILLEGAL to carry ANY firearm in any other state, subject to the laws of that state. There are currently 19 states (this number may increase in the future) that allow Constitutional Carry which you may be able to carry in if you decide not to get the Utah permit. See our Reciprocity Map.
- Under Constitutional Carry, a business owner is NOT protected under 53-5a-103 from being sued or charged with a crime for any damage or harm resulting from the discharge of the firearm while on the owner's property. We are actively working with our Legislators to change the current law to protect business owners who allow anyone who is legally carrying a firearm on their property.
Why You Should Get And Keep A Utah Permit
- To be able to carry a firearm on ANY public or private school premises, including charter schools and religious schools (kindergarten through 12th-grade schools) AND public or private institutions of higher education (colleges and universities). See more about schools here.
- To have (in addition to a loaded handgun) a loaded rifle, shotgun, and/or muzzle-loading rifle in a vehicle. See more about vehicles here.
- To be able to carry a firearm in ALL of the 38 states/territory that recognizes the Utah "Standard" permit. Reciprocity Map
- To be exempt from paying the $7.50 background check fee when purchasing a firearm from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer in Utah. See more here.
If you want to get the Utah concealed firearm permit or if you want to learn more about Utah gun laws then come to the BEST concealed carry class in the entire United States. See our training at https://utahfast.com