What you need to know about permitless concealed carry in Utah after May 5, 2021

Gov. Spencer Cox signs Utah Permitless Concealed Carry Into Law

On February 12, 2021 Governor Spencer Cox of Utah, signed H.B.60 Concealed Carry Firearms Amendments into law officially making Utah the 17th state in the US to allow what is commonly known as “constitiutional carry” or “permitless carry” of a concealed firearm. 

Constitutional Carry in Utah begins May 5, 2021, but there are details every responsibly armed citizen should understand about these amendments. 

What “permitless carry” means after May 5, 2021

As far as how citizens may carry their a handgun on the streets of Utah, two fundamental amendments have been made to the law:

  1. The ability to carry a loaded handgun: Prior to these amendments taking effect, adults over the age of 21 in legal possession of a handgun in the state of Utah (residents and non-residents) may only carry it openly and statutorily unloaded. Once the new amendments take effect, residents over the age of 21 in legal possession of a handgun may carry it loaded. 
  2. The ability to conceal a loaded handgun: Prior to the new amendments being signed into law, any attempt to conceal a loaded or unloaded handgun without a permit was punishable by a Class A or Class B misdemeanor depending on the condition of the firearm. After May 5, 2021 an adult over 21 in legal possession of a firearm in the state of Utah may legally conceal a loaded handgun in public.

Don't overlook the differences between having a Utah CFP and permitless carry!

While these new amendments to laws that govern how residents and non-residents alike may access their right to keep and bear arms in the State of Utah are a step in the right direction, they are far from a free-for-all, and certain restrictions that are important to understand, still apply.

In fact, for those who plan to carry a concealed weapon daily in Utah, there is little down side and a lot of upside to attending a class and taking the necessary steps to obtain a concealed firearms permit. Some advantages include:
  • Currently 37 states in the US recognize the Utah CFP. That means for anybody that plans on carrying concealed outside the state, a CFP is a must. In fact, over 60% of the permits issued by the Sate of Utah are held by non-residents!
  • Only Utah CFP holders may carry concealed in Utah public schools. If you are a parent with children who attend public school, or if you are a school teacher, it may not be a bad idea.
  • If you wish to transport more than a single handgun that is loaded and ready for use inside your vehicle, holding a current valid Utah CFP is the only legal way to do so.
  • If you plan on purchasing more than one firearm per year, holding a current valid CFP exempts you from additional background check fees otherwise required at the time of purchase!

Points in the law that need clarification:

  • At present there is a lot of confusion amongst Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Instructors as to whether the amendments allow for carrying open and loaded, or if the requirement for permitless open carry for the firearm to be statutorily unloaded still applies.
  • While the amended law uses the phrase “encased firearm” to describe what may be concealed and carried without a permit, specifics around whether permitless carry applies to handguns only (like in other states), or if it applies to any legally possessed and encased firearm
No Permitless Carry Under 21

If you are under 21 years of age (but over 18), and you want to carry concealed, you need a permit.

Residents of the State of Utah who wish to carry a firearm loaded concealed must still take a class and obtain a Provisional Concealed Firearms Permit.
Utah Public Schools & Concealed Carry

If you plan to carry concealed in public schools, you must have a permit!

Anyone who does not have a current valid Utah Concealed Firearms Permit may not carry in any public, private, religious, charter, or higher education school premises.
One Single Loaded Handgun Utah Permitless Carry

If you plan on carrying more than a single loaded handgun in your vehicle, you must have a permit.

This means loaded (ready to use) rifles, subguns, additional handguns, and shotguns are illegal to possess in a vehicle without a permit.
No Concealed Carry In State or Federal Buildings

Whether you have a permit or not, typically restricted areas are still restricted.

This includes State and Federal buildings and other prohibited areas. Neither permitless carry legislation nor a Concealed Firearms Permit give civilians permission to carry in State or Federal prohibited areas.
Permitless Carry Applies to Utah Only

If you want to carry concealed outside of Utah, you probably need a permit.

While Utah Concealed Firearms Permits are recognized for concealed carry in 37 other states, the fact that one is a Utah resident with newly granted permitless carry privileges in Utah, does not expand permitless carry options beyond Utah’s borders. All concealed carry practices in other states are subject to the laws of those states, on which Utah laws have no bearing.
Background Check Fees Apply

If you don't want to pay background check fees when purchasing firearms in Utah, you'll need a permit.

While a valid Utah concealed firearms permit does exempt individuals from paying an additional background check fee when purchasing a firearm from a gun store, those who do not have a permit are still subject to paying $7.50 and passing a background check before a purchase may be finalized.