Firearms In Vehicles
It is LEGAL for any individual who is at least 18 years old and not a prohibited person as defined in 76-10-503 or 18 U.S.C. 922(g) to have a fully loaded handgun anywhere in a vehicle including concealed on your body if it is your vehicle or you have consent from the owner of the vehicle.
It is ILLEGAL to have a loaded rifle, shotgun, or muzzle-loading rifle in a vehicle unless; you have a valid concealed firearm permit and it is your vehicle or you have consent from the owner of the vehicle.
It is ILLEGAL to have or carry any firearm, even if unloaded, in a vehicle in any state prohibited area or federal prohibited area, such as correctional facilities, mental health facilities, military bases, post offices, etc. which may include parking lots.
There is no requirement to notify a law enforcement officer if you are in the possession of, or have a firearm in your vehicle.
See Duty To Notify Law Enforcement
Commercial Drivers License (CDL)
Many people have asked questions about having a firearm while driving a vehicle for their employer if they have a CDL.
A commercial vehicle is defined in 41-1a-102 and means a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer used or maintained for the transportation of persons or property that operates as a carrier for hire, compensation, or profit, or as a carrier to transport the vehicle owner’s goods or property in furtherance of the owner’s commercial enterprise.
The same things apply to commercial vehicles as it does to personally owned vehicles. It is not illegal to have a firearm in the vehicle (as described in the section above) even if your employer has a written policy or has told you “no firearms or weapons in our vehicles”. The only thing that could happen, if they found out, is to terminate your employment.
However, as explained in 76-10-505.5, if it is a vehicle owned by the school or used by the school to transport students (school bus) it is a class A misdemeanor to have possession of a firearm or short-barreled shotgun, or a class B misdemeanor to have possession of a dangerous weapon.
Exiting Vehicles With Firearms
- If you are at least 18 years old and DO NOT have a valid provisional concealed firearm permit the handgun must be unloaded AND in plain view “open carry“
- If you are at least 18 years old with a valid provisional concealed firearm permit you can carry any legally owned firearm fully loaded AND concealed
- If you are at least 21 years old you can carry any legally owned firearm fully loaded AND concealed with a valid concealed firearm permit or without a concealed firearm permit under Utah’s constitutional carry law
It is LEGAL to store firearms in the vehicle in any parking lot, unless prohibited by state or federal law, as long as the firearm is secured in the vehicle or in a locked container attached to the vehicle, and the firearm cannot be seen from the outside of the vehicle. See the parking lot law.
Traveling Out Of State With Firearms
It is LEGAL to transport firearms in a vehicle while traveling through another state, as described in 18 USC § 926A, if;
- The firearm and ammunition is legal within the state
- The firearm is unloaded (no ammunition in the firearm)
- The firearm and any ammunition being transported are not readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment (trunk). If the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment (pickup truck, motorcycle, etc) the firearm and ammunition shall be contained in a locked container, AND
- The firearm is secured (locked) in an area other than the glove compartment or console.
Be aware that some states have very strict gun laws. Police can and most likely will arrest you even if you are complying with federal law
This generally does not apply to handguns for individuals who have a valid concealed firearm permit in a state that recognizes the Utah permits, you must ensure that you know and follow all laws of the states you are traveling into.
As used in this chapter:
(8) "Autocycle" means the same as that term is defined in Section 53-3-102.
(11) "Camper" means a structure designed, used, and maintained primarily to be mounted on or affixed to a motor vehicle that contains a floor and is designed to provide a mobile dwelling, sleeping place, commercial space, or facilities for human habitation or for camping.
(14) "Commercial vehicle" means a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer used or maintained for the transportation of persons or property that operates:
(a) as a carrier for hire, compensation, or profit; or
(b) as a carrier to transport the vehicle owner's goods or property in furtherance of the owner's commercial enterprise.
(21) "Electric motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is powered solely by an electric motor drawing current from a rechargeable energy storage system.
(36) "Manufactured home" means a transportable factory built housing unit constructed on or after June 15, 1976, according to the Federal Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (HUD Code), in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width or 40 body feet or more in length, or when erected on site, is 400 or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems.
(38) "Mobile home" means a transportable factory built housing unit built prior to June 15, 1976, in accordance with a state mobile home code which existed prior to the Federal Manufactured Housing and Safety Standards Act (HUD Code).
(41) (a) "Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled vehicle intended primarily for use and operation on the highways.
(b) "Motor vehicle" does not include:
(i) an off-highway vehicle; or
(ii) a motor assisted scooter as defined in Section 41-6a-102.
(43) "Motorcycle" means:
(a) a motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground; or
(b) an autocycle.
(47) "Off-highway vehicle" means the same as that term is defined in Section 41-22-2.
(52) "Park model recreational vehicle" means a unit that:
(a) is designed and marketed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use;
(b) is not permanently affixed to real property for use as a permanent dwelling;
(c) requires a special highway movement permit for transit; and
(d) is built on a single chassis mounted on wheels with a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the setup mode.
(54) (a) "Pickup truck" means a two-axle motor vehicle with motive power manufactured, remanufactured, or materially altered to provide an open cargo area.
(b) "Pickup truck" includes a motor vehicle with the open cargo area covered with a camper, camper shell, tarp, removable top, or similar structure.
(61) "Recreational vehicle" means the same as that term is defined in Section 13-14-102.
(83) "Travel trailer," "camping trailer," or "fifth wheel trailer" means a portable vehicle without motive power, designed as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreational, or vacation use that does not require a special highway movement permit when drawn by a self-propelled motor vehicle.
(85) "Vehicle" includes a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, off-highway vehicle, camper, park model recreational vehicle, manufactured home, and mobile home.
As used in this chapter:
(3)(a) "All-terrain type II vehicle" means any motor vehicle 80 inches or less in width, traveling on four or more low pressure tires, having a steering wheel, non-straddle seating, a rollover protection system, and designed for or capable of travel over unimproved terrain, and is:
(i) an electric-powered vehicle; or
(ii) a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine and has an unladen dry weight of 2,500 pounds or less.
(b) "All-terrain type II vehicle" does not include golf carts, any vehicle designed to carry a person with a disability, any vehicle not specifically designed for recreational use, or farm tractors as defined under Section 41-1a-102.
(4)(a) "All-terrain type III vehicle" means any other motor vehicle, not defined in Subsection (2), (3), (12), or (22), designed for or capable of travel over unimproved terrain.
(b) "All-terrain type III vehicle" does not include golf carts, any vehicle designed to carry a person with a disability, any vehicle not specifically designed for recreational use, or farm tractors as defined under Section 41-1a-102.
(11)(a) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle which is self-propelled.
(b) "Motor vehicle" includes an off-highway vehicle.
(12) "Motorcycle" means every motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the operator and designed to travel on not more than two tires.
(14) "Off-highway vehicle" means any snowmobile, all-terrain type I vehicle, all-terrain type II vehicle, all-terrain type III vehicle, or motorcycle.
(24) "Street-legal all-terrain vehicle" or "street-legal ATV" has the same meaning as defined in Section 41-6a-102.
As used in this part:
(19) "Readily accessible for immediate use" means that a firearm or other dangerous weapon is carried on the person or within such close proximity and in such a manner that it can be retrieved and used as readily as if carried on the person.
(21) "Securely encased" means not readily accessible for immediate use, such as held in a gun rack, or in a closed case or container, whether or not locked, or in a trunk or other storage area of a motor vehicle, not including a glove box or console box.
76-10-505. Carrying loaded firearm in vehicle or on street.
(1) Unless otherwise authorized by law, a person may not carry a loaded firearm:
(a) in or on a vehicle, unless:
(i) the vehicle is in the person's lawful possession; or
(ii) the person is carrying the loaded firearm in a vehicle with the consent of the person lawfully in possession of the vehicle;
(b) on a public street; or
(c) in a posted prohibited area.
(2) Subsection (1)(a) does not apply to a minor under 18 years of age, since a minor under 18 years of age may not carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle.
(3) Notwithstanding Subsection (1)(a)(i) and (ii), a person may not possess a loaded rifle, shotgun, or muzzle-loading rifle in a vehicle.
(4) A violation of this section is a class B misdemeanor.
76-10-523. Persons exempt from weapons laws.
(1) Except for Sections 76-10-506, 76-10-508, and 76-10-508.1, this part and Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7, Concealed Firearm Act, do not apply to any of the following:
(a) a United States marshal;
(b) a federal official required to carry a firearm;
(c) a peace officer of this or any other jurisdiction;
(d) a law enforcement official as defined and qualified under Section 53-5-711;
(e) a judge as defined and qualified under Section 53-5-711;
(f) a court commissioner as defined and qualified under Section 53-5-711; or
(g) a common carrier while engaged in the regular and ordinary transport of firearms as merchandise.
(2) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), the provisions of Section 76-10-528 apply to any individual listed in Subsection (1) who is not employed by a state or federal agency or political subdivision that has adopted a policy or rule regarding the use of dangerous weapons.
(3) Subsections 76-10-504(1) and (2), and Section 76-10-505 do not apply to:
(a) an individual to whom a permit to carry a concealed firearm has been issued:
(i) pursuant to Section 53-5-704; or
(ii) by another state or county; or
(b) a person who is issued a protective order under Subsection 78B-7-106(1)(b) or 78B-7-404(1)(b), unless the person is a restricted person as described in Subsection 76-10-503(1), for a period of 120 days after the day on which the person is issued the protective order.
(4) Except for Sections 76-10-503, 76-10-506, 76-10-508, and 76-10-508.1, this part and Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7, Concealed Firearm Act, do not apply to a nonresident traveling in or through the state, provided that any firearm is:
(a) unloaded; and
(b) securely encased as defined in Section 76-10-501.
(5) Subsections 76-10-504(1) and (2), and Section 76-10-505(1)b) do not apply to a person 21 years old or older who may otherwise lawfully possess a firearm.
18 USC § 926A. Interstate Transportation of Firearms
Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.