See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Utah law generally prohibits carrying a concealed firearm without a permit–including an unloaded firearm on the person or one which is readily accessible and not securely encased–except in or on the person’s residence or property, a business under the person’s control, a vehicle in the person’s lawful possession, or in another individual’s vehicle if the person carrying the firearm has the consent of the individual in lawful possession of the vehicle. Utah law also generally prohibits carrying a loaded firearm on a public street. However, neither of these prohibitions apply if the state has issued the person a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
Utah is a “shall issue” state, meaning that the Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification (“BCI”) must issue a concealed firearms permit if the applicant is 21 years of age or older (although, in 2017, Utah enacted a law allowing 18 to 20-year-olds to obtain provisional permits that allow them to carry wherever permittees are allowed to carry with the exception of k-12 school campuses), within 60 days, so long as the BCI establishes that the applicant:
- Has not been convicted of a felony;
- Has not been convicted of any crime of violence;
- Has not been convicted of any offense involving the use of alcohol;
- Has not been convicted of the unlawful use of narcotics or other controlled substances;
- Has not been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude;
- Has not been convicted of any offense involving domestic violence;
- Has not been adjudicated as “mentally incompetent,” unless the adjudication has been withdrawn or reversed; and
In addition, the BCI may deny, suspend or revoke a permit if there is “reasonable cause” to believe that the applicant has been or is a danger to self or others as demonstrated by evidence including, but not limited to, and past pattern of behavior or past participation in incidents involving unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence. A “past pattern of behavior” means verifiable incidents, with or without an arrest or conviction, that would lead a reasonable person to believe that an individual has a violent nature and would be a danger to oneself or others. In determining whether the applicant has been or is a danger to self or others, the BCI may inspect expunged adult and juvenile records.
In 2012, Utah repealed a provision requiring BCI to suspend a permit if the permit holder is charged with a crime of violence.
A law enacted in Utah in 2011 requires a nonresident applicant for a Utah concealed weapon permit who resides in a state that recognizes the validity of the Utah permit or has reciprocity with Utah’s concealed firearm permit to provide proof of his or her home state concealed weapon permit.
A person who has applied for a permit may also apply for a temporary permit to carry a concealed firearm, which may be issued for 90 days after preliminary record checks and a demonstration in writing of “extenuating circumstances” that would justify issuing a temporary permit.
In February of 2000, the BCI began checking arrest records on a daily basis against concealed firearms permit holders. As a result, permit revocations increased from 58 in 1998 and 75 in 1999, to 256 in 2000. Most recently, in 2010, 523 permits were revoked. As of March 31, 2008, there were 112,665 valid permits, up from 44,173 valid permits as of December 31, 2001. As of March 31, 2011, there were 249,003 valid permits.
Firearm Safety Training
The BCI requires, with the application materials, evidence of familiarity with the types of firearms to be concealed. General familiarity with the types of firearms to be concealed includes training in the safe loading, unloading, storage, and carrying of those firearms, as well as knowledge of current firearms laws. Evidence of this familiarity may be satisfied by:
- Completion of a course conducted by a national, state, or local firearms training organization approved by the BCI;
- Certification by a person certified by the BCI (who may be a law enforcement officer, military or civilian firearms instructor, or hunter safety instructor); or
- Equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition, law enforcement, or military service.
Duration & Renewal
Once issued, Utah concealed firearms permits are valid for five years.
Disclosure or Use of Information
Utah does not allow personal application or permit information of concealed firearm permit holders to be made public. Records of permits must be maintained in the Bureau of Criminal Identification, which must immediately file a copy of each permit it issues. However, the names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of persons receiving permits are considered “records the disclosure of which would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual.” As such, they are “protected records,” not available to the public for research purposes.
Additional rules pertaining to accessing concealed firearm permit records are available in the Utah Administrative Code.
A permit to carry a concealed firearm that has been issued by another state (or a county within another state) is valid in Utah. Additionally, Utah’s concealed carry restrictions generally do not apply to a nonresident traveling in or though the state, provided that any firearm is unloaded and securely encased.
For a list of states with which Utah has signed formal reciprocity agreements, see the Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification’s Utah Permit Reciprocity page.