Utah has weak gun safety laws, earning a D- in our Annual Gun Law Scorecard. In 2018, Utah expanded its already dangerous “stand your ground” law, making public confrontations more likely to turn deadly. In 2017, Utah had the 21st-highest gun death rate in the country and supplied crime guns to other states at twice the rate it imported them. To further strengthen the state’s gun laws, Utah legislators could require background checks for all gun sales and pass an extreme risk protection order law.
State Law Background
Among other things, Utah acts as a “point of contact state,” meaning that it conducts its own background checks on individuals purchasing firearms from licensed dealers.
Utah law does not, however:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Regulate the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require gun owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Impose a waiting period prior to purchase of a firearm;
- Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
- Significantly regulate ammunition;
- Afford local law enforcement significant discretion to deny a concealed carry license; or
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms.
In 2017, Utah had the 21st highest gun death rate among the states. Utah also supplied crime guns to other states at the 30th highest rate among the states. Utah exported crime guns at more than twice the rate at which it imported crime guns from other states.
Utah Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Utah, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.