Even though Utah has become a Constitutional Carry/Permitless Carry state, it should not dissuade you from getting your concealed carry permit. There are 4 main reasons that you should still get a Utah concealed carry permit:
- Gun-Free School Zone Act: One of the roadblocks permitless carry, even in a constitutional carry state, is the Gun-Free School Zone Act. This federal law signed in 1990 makes it illegal to possess a firearm in a school zone. The problem presents itself when looking into the definition of “school zone” presented by federal law. Federal Law defines “school zone” as:
- In, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or
- Within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.
So under this federal law, you cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school zone, and be in possession of a firearm, unless you have a concealed carry permit issued by the state. The law applies to all public, private, and parochial elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. It does not apply to college campuses or Universities. One of the exceptions to this federal law is “if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located...” A Utah concealed carry permit would qualify you for this exception.
- Travel: Another reason the Utah concealed carry permit is one of the most valuable permits in the US is that it allows you to travel and conceal carry a firearm in other states. Honored in over 37 states, the Utah permit allows you to travel concealed throughout most of the nation. Those 37 states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
- Knowledge of the Laws: As someone who is carrying a firearm, it is highly beneficial to know how to handle it safely and to know the laws that are in place within your state to make sure that you are carrying responsibly. In our course we have an in-depth discussion about Utah firearms law, we review tactical and self-defense scenarios, have hands-on instruction of loading and unloading a firearm, discuss the qualities of the right self-defense firearm for you, and teach you how to travel with a firearm. We will make sure you leave the class feeling confident in your own knowledge and ability concerning the carrying of your firearm. It is also important to note that even though Utah is a Constitutional Carry state, that does not mean you can go about carrying a firearm while being ignorant of the laws that are in place. Whether you have a concealed carry permit or not, you are required to know the laws that are taught in Utah’s concealed carry classes.
- Purchasing a Firearm: Every time you purchase a firearm you are required to undergo a background check. These background checks can take anywhere from 10 minutes to a day or two and cost $7.50 each. With a Utah concealed carry permit the fee is waived and the whole process of the background check takes about 2-3 minutes, this saves you both time and money.
- Provisional Permit: In 2017 Utah passed HB 198 allowing for 18-20-year-olds to obtain a Provisional Utah Concealed Carry Permit. The provisional permit is the only way for those 18-20 to conceal carry in Utah.
- Interactions with Law Enforcement: With a concealed carry permit, when interacting with Law Enforcement in the case that you have been pulled over when asked for license and registration you would give the officer your driver’s license as well as your concealed carry permit. This allows the officer to know that you could possibly be concealed carrying in your vehicle and allows for more communication and safety between you and the officer. Without a concealed carry permit this interaction can be more complicated and more stressful for both you and the officer. With a permit and the knowledge obtained from your concealed carry class interaction with law enforcement can go smoothly.
In summary, with Utah becoming one of the newest constitutional carry states you technically don’t need a permit to carry concealed in certain places but you still legally need one to carry at many of the places where you go on a daily basis.