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Thread: open carry unloaded in utah

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    open carry unloaded in utah

    I am NOT a resident but will be spending 2 weeks or so in salt lake city utah for work.. i talked to a couple people within the state department and they said open carry was legal without a permit if the chamber was empty. they also mentioned i shouldn't have much problems with police because most people are informed about the law.. I 20 so no concealed carry license yet..


    do a lot of people open carry in salt lake city? also if you have had a encounter with police how did it go??

    my main concern is time. where i live the police would abuse the authority and hold you and ask you lots of questions about why you are carrying etc... I have no problem showing my id and such. my main concern is if i am stopped that they wont be rude or abusive and the process will go rather quickly. as i am traveling on business i wont have the time to be questioned for 30 minutes.

    what places are strictly off limits for open carry besides bars? what about restraints and shopping stores etc, and motel rooms.

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    I have my Utah CFP, and I carry every day. I OC nearly everywhere that I go, because I believe that the deterrence provide by carrying openly is a good tactical option, for me. I carry everywhere that is legally allowed, and I will sometimes change to CC when needed by circumstances. I will CC into a school, or into a theater that has a posted anti-carry policy.

    I've found that most LEOs are very supportive of the exercise of 2A rights. Just a few days ago, I attended a town hall meeting sponsored by Utah Senator Lee, where there were hundreds of people in the room, along with several county Deputies. One of the deputies approached me before the meeting started, as I was standing perhaps 20 feet from the Senator. He asked me if I was LEO or just a citizen OCing and I replied that I was a citizen carrying. He replied that it was good to have people there carrying, and then he thanked me for it. It made me very happy that this deputy, and all of the others that were in attendance there that night, were understanding of the 2nd amendment, and how it can be legally exercised. Just my experience on that one day, in that one situation. Your mileage may vary.

    The exempted list of places that one can not carry, either OC or CC, is fairly short. You might check out this website for a good summary of Utah laws, at http://handgunlaw.us/states/utah.pdf.

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jseth View Post
    I am NOT a resident but will be spending 2 weeks or so in salt lake city utah for work.. i talked to a couple people within the state department and they said open carry was legal without a permit if the chamber was empty. they also mentioned i shouldn't have much problems with police because most people are informed about the law.. I 20 so no concealed carry license yet..


    do a lot of people open carry in salt lake city? also if you have had a encounter with police how did it go??

    my main concern is time. where i live the police would abuse the authority and hold you and ask you lots of questions about why you are carrying etc... I have no problem showing my id and such. my main concern is if i am stopped that they wont be rude or abusive and the process will go rather quickly. as i am traveling on business i wont have the time to be questioned for 30 minutes.

    what places are strictly off limits for open carry besides bars? what about restraints and shopping stores etc, and motel rooms.
    The "state department"? You should call the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (801-965-4445), since they are the folks who are supposed to know and can explain a somewhat different condition called "Utah Unloaded". An empty chamber in a semi-auto pistol meets the requirement of Utah Unloaded for the non-licensed. However, a revolver is where things get a bit complicated. Call the BCI to insure you get "the straight scoop".

    I spend very little time in SLC, but in my area it is rare to see an OCer. Besides myself, I have seen ONE in the last 3 years. The good news is that most businesses are not anti-OCer, but they all have the option to ask you to return your firearm to the car if you wish to shop there. All Federal buildings, military installations, LDS Churches and schools are off-limits to OCers. You WILL be detained, and may be arrested if you are OCing in those places. I've never stayed in a motel here, since I live here, so I can't address that with any authority other than to say they too have the right to refuse your patronage if they so desire.

    Utah Unloaded is a clumsy and (IMO) unnecessary requirement, but it is the law, and it is convoluted. Enjoy your visit! Pax...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    ...I spend very little time in SLC, but in my area it is rare to see an OCer. Besides myself, I have seen ONE in the last 3 years. The good news is that most businesses are not anti-OCer, but they all have the option to ask you to return your firearm to the car if you wish to shop there. All Federal buildings, military installations, LDS Churches and schools are off-limits to OCers. You WILL be detained, and may be arrested if you are OCing in those places....
    I would add a couple of clarifications there sir....

    Per federal law, all federal building or military installations, or secure areas in airports disallow carrying of any firearms, regardless of having a Utah CFP. Per Utah state law, courthouses, secure areas in state buildings, LDS churches, or private residences where notice is given also disallow carrying of firearms. Schools are allowed if the carrier has a Utah CFP, both OC and CC. Carrying openly in schools is disallowed without the Utah CFP.

    As far as being detained and arrested, any person is subject to arrest IF they're breaking the law. An LEO may attempt to question a person for carrying a firearm if there's Reasonable Suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed. But, if you're legally carrying, there's little chance that any LEO that I've met here in Utah would move to the next level, which would be arrest due to Probable Cause that a crime is being or has been committed. If you're not committing a crime, then you probably will not be arrested.

    Regarding a business having anti-2A policies, it doesn't really matter if the corporation has a pro-2a or anti-2a business policy. If the manager of the business requests that you leave the premise for ANY reason, either real or invented or personal opinion, it would be best to leave that business immediately. If you don't leave when requested, at that point the manager could charge you with trespassing, and would have sufficient reason to call the police to charge you with trespassing. That very thing happened to my son-in-law while his family was eating at Denny's in Layton just a couple of months ago. He was OCing, and after being there for nearly an hour, the manager approached him and requested that he leave since he was carrying a firearm. Despite this corporate policy not being posted, he was still required to leave the premise, or risk being charged with trespassing. BTW, Denny's corporation does have this anti-2A policy, and there are many documented instances where Denny's managers have requested that uniformed LEOs, as well as private citizens, have been requested to leave, simply because of this corporate policy. That's why Denny's, and other anti-2A businesses, will never get my business.

    Even though some corporations have anti-2A policies, those policies do NOT have the full weight of law in Utah. However, trespassing does.

    Overall Utah is a VERY 2nd Amendment friendly state, and I'm proud and grateful to live here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    The "state department"? You should call the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (801-965-4445), since they are the folks who are supposed to know and can explain a somewhat different condition called "Utah Unloaded". An empty chamber in a semi-auto pistol meets the requirement of Utah Unloaded for the non-licensed. However, a revolver is where things get a bit complicated. Call the BCI to insure you get "the straight scoop".

    I spend very little time in SLC, but in my area it is rare to see an OCer. Besides myself, I have seen ONE in the last 3 years. The good news is that most businesses are not anti-OCer, but they all have the option to ask you to return your firearm to the car if you wish to shop there. All Federal buildings, military installations, LDS Churches and schools are off-limits to OCers. You WILL be detained, and may be arrested if you are OCing in those places. I've never stayed in a motel here, since I live here, so I can't address that with any authority other than to say they too have the right to refuse your patronage if they so desire.

    Utah Unloaded is a clumsy and (IMO) unnecessary requirement, but it is the law, and it is convoluted. Enjoy your visit! Pax...
    should have clarified, I own a semi auto. they did explain revolvers as well and that any handgun needs two actions in order to to be considered unloaded.. meaning if its semi auto racking the slide for one and two squeezing the trigger.

  6. #6
    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
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    Red face Welcome to Utah - A Firearm Friendly State

    First, Welcome to Utah. You will find it to be very 2A friendly and you will likely not have any difficulties with open carry of a firearm. However, in addition to the reminder about the Federal Buildings given above, I wish to add that you will need to be aware of your location in relation to schools. There is the matter of the Federal Gun Free School Zone, an imaginary and useless boundary that exists because of ignorant politicians and extends 1000 feet from the property lines of preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. While Utah Law Enforcement is unlikely to detain or arrest you for being in a GFSZ, there is still a risk in that it could happen. (I say imaginary and useless because criminals laugh at "gun free zones" and relish the fact that their victims are unlikely to be able to defend themselves in the "gun free zone".)

    You can carry in any State building, except those that are courts, or are otherwise posted with metal detectors. You may carry in the open area of an airport, but not in any secure area. You may carry in a Law Enforcement Office, but not in any secure area (where even LEOs disarm.) If you have any question about what is "secure" in a law enforcement office - ask while you are still in the lobby. You may not carry anywhere on the grounds of a Federal, State, County, or local, mental health facility, prison, or jail facility.

    You may carry open or concealed, loaded or Utah unloaded in your domicile (where you sleep at night) such as a hotel room, or as a guest in another person's home or room, provided the owner / occupant gives permission. You may carry open or concealed, loaded or unloaded, in your vehicle or in another persons vehicle provided the person who owns or controls the vehicle gives permission. If you do this (without a Permit), make sure the firearm is Utah unloaded when you exit the vehicle onto a public street - and that you are not exiting the vehicle in a GFSZ. This can get tricky in large metropolitan areas with an abundance of schools. I had an open-carry friend who did not have a permit and thus had to be careful to exit his car in my driveway and not leave my property except in his car as I live in 3 overlapping GFSZ areas.

    You may carry on a train that DOES NOT CROSS STATE LINES.

    Here is a link to Utah BCI FAQ on firearms page: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/bci/FAQ.html

    The biggest difference between open carry with a permit versus open carry without a permit are:

    No Permit:

    Must stay 1000 feet away from the geographical boundaries of any school, public or private, pre-K elementary, middle, or high school and thus is not an institute of higher learning.
    Must have the firearm "Utah Unloaded". For a semiautomatic pistol, the magazine can be full, but no round in the chamber. Two mechanical actions to fire - racking the slide and pulling the trigger are the two mechanical actions.

    With a Permit

    May carry inside the GFSZ, loaded or unloaded, open or concealed, including into classrooms when classes are in session.
    May carry loaded (Condition 1) open or concealed.

    Feel free to PM me if you have other questions.

    Yellow Cat Out-
    My cats support the Second Amendment. NRA Life Member, NRA Instructor: Pistol, Rifle, & Personal Protection - NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, Utah BCI Certified Concealed Firearm Permit Instructor.
    "Permission Slips" from Utah, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. _ Verily, thou shalt not fiddle with thine firearm whilst in the bathroom stall, lest thine spouse seek condolences from thine friends.

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    Regular Member Cremator75's Avatar
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    Re: open carry unloaded in utah

    Quote Originally Posted by jpm84092 View Post

    With a Permit

    May carry inside the GFSZ, loaded or unloaded, open or concealed, including into classrooms when classes are in session.
    May carry loaded (Condition 1) open or concealed.

    Feel free to PM me if you have other questions.

    Yellow Cat Out-

    Does this include an out of state permit, namely Oregon?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpm84092 View Post
    First, Welcome to Utah. You will find it to be very 2A friendly and you will likely not have any difficulties with open carry of a firearm. However, in addition to the reminder about the Federal Buildings given above, I wish to add that you will need to be aware of your location in relation to schools. There is the matter of the Federal Gun Free School Zone, an imaginary and useless boundary that exists because of ignorant politicians and extends 1000 feet from the property lines of preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. While Utah Law Enforcement is unlikely to detain or arrest you for being in a GFSZ, there is still a risk in that it could happen. (I say imaginary and useless because criminals laugh at "gun free zones" and relish the fact that their victims are unlikely to be able to defend themselves in the "gun free zone".)

    You can carry in any State building, except those that are courts, or are otherwise posted with metal detectors. You may carry in the open area of an airport, but not in any secure area. You may carry in a Law Enforcement Office, but not in any secure area (where even LEOs disarm.) If you have any question about what is "secure" in a law enforcement office - ask while you are still in the lobby. You may not carry anywhere on the grounds of a Federal, State, County, or local, mental health facility, prison, or jail facility.

    You may carry open or concealed, loaded or Utah unloaded in your domicile (where you sleep at night) such as a hotel room, or as a guest in another person's home or room, provided the owner / occupant gives permission. You may carry open or concealed, loaded or unloaded, in your vehicle or in another persons vehicle provided the person who owns or controls the vehicle gives permission. If you do this (without a Permit), make sure the firearm is Utah unloaded when you exit the vehicle onto a public street - and that you are not exiting the vehicle in a GFSZ. This can get tricky in large metropolitan areas with an abundance of schools. I had an open-carry friend who did not have a permit and thus had to be careful to exit his car in my driveway and not leave my property except in his car as I live in 3 overlapping GFSZ areas.

    You may carry on a train that DOES NOT CROSS STATE LINES.

    Here is a link to Utah BCI FAQ on firearms page: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/bci/FAQ.html

    The biggest difference between open carry with a permit versus open carry without a permit are:

    No Permit:

    Must stay 1000 feet away from the geographical boundaries of any school, public or private, pre-K elementary, middle, or high school and thus is not an institute of higher learning.
    Must have the firearm "Utah Unloaded". For a semiautomatic pistol, the magazine can be full, but no round in the chamber. Two mechanical actions to fire - racking the slide and pulling the trigger are the two mechanical actions.

    With a Permit

    May carry inside the GFSZ, loaded or unloaded, open or concealed, including into classrooms when classes are in session.
    May carry loaded (Condition 1) open or concealed.

    Feel free to PM me if you have other questions.

    Yellow Cat Out-
    thank you for all the info. very helpful. I assume theres places that may have a posted no firearm sign and thats ok. what about places that sell alcohol for off site consumption such as walmart and convenience stores? is open carry without a permit legal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cremator75 View Post
    Does this include an out of state permit, namely Oregon?
    Utah by law recognizes ANY permit issued by ANY County or State!
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpm84092 View Post
    First, Welcome to Utah. You will find it to be very 2A friendly and you will likely not have any difficulties with open carry of a firearm. However, in addition to the reminder about the Federal Buildings given above, I wish to add that you will need to be aware of your location in relation to schools. There is the matter of the Federal Gun Free School Zone, an imaginary and useless boundary that exists because of ignorant politicians and extends 1000 feet from the property lines of preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. While Utah Law Enforcement is unlikely to detain or arrest you for being in a GFSZ, there is still a risk in that it could happen. (I say imaginary and useless because criminals laugh at "gun free zones" and relish the fact that their victims are unlikely to be able to defend themselves in the "gun free zone".)

    You can carry in any State building, except those that are courts, or are otherwise posted with metal detectors. You may carry in the open area of an airport, but not in any secure area. You may carry in a Law Enforcement Office, but not in any secure area (where even LEOs disarm.) If you have any question about what is "secure" in a law enforcement office - ask while you are still in the lobby. You may not carry anywhere on the grounds of a Federal, State, County, or local, mental health facility, prison, or jail facility.

    You may carry open or concealed, loaded or Utah unloaded in your domicile (where you sleep at night) such as a hotel room, or as a guest in another person's home or room, provided the owner / occupant gives permission. You may carry open or concealed, loaded or unloaded, in your vehicle or in another persons vehicle provided the person who owns or controls the vehicle gives permission. If you do this (without a Permit), make sure the firearm is Utah unloaded when you exit the vehicle onto a public street - and that you are not exiting the vehicle in a GFSZ. This can get tricky in large metropolitan areas with an abundance of schools. I had an open-carry friend who did not have a permit and thus had to be careful to exit his car in my driveway and not leave my property except in his car as I live in 3 overlapping GFSZ areas.

    You may carry on a train that DOES NOT CROSS STATE LINES.

    Here is a link to Utah BCI FAQ on firearms page: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/bci/FAQ.html

    The biggest difference between open carry with a permit versus open carry without a permit are:

    No Permit:

    Must stay 1000 feet away from the geographical boundaries of any school, public or private, pre-K elementary, middle, or high school and thus is not an institute of higher learning.
    Must have the firearm "Utah Unloaded". For a semiautomatic pistol, the magazine can be full, but no round in the chamber. Two mechanical actions to fire - racking the slide and pulling the trigger are the two mechanical actions.

    With a Permit

    May carry inside the GFSZ, loaded or unloaded, open or concealed, including into classrooms when classes are in session.
    May carry loaded (Condition 1) open or concealed.

    Feel free to PM me if you have other questions.

    Yellow Cat Out-


    couple more questions...

    how common is open carry??

    is there any law that you can not carry into anyplace that sells alcohol or dispenses it? is it legal to open carry as a non resident into walmart conveience stores etc that sell closed bottles for off site consumption?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jseth View Post
    couple more questions...

    how common is open carry??

    is there any law that you can not carry into anyplace that sells alcohol or dispenses it? is it legal to open carry as a non resident into walmart conveience stores etc that sell closed bottles for off site consumption?
    100% legal to OC/CC while in the local drinking establishment, local stores that sell for consumption off site, or even have one or two in the local drinking establishment while carrying. Unlawful to be intoxicated while armed... level same as for driving--- .08. The local drinking establishment may not like you OC'ing while drinking or visiting and may ask you to leave the weapon someplace else but it AIN"T AGAINST THE LAW unless you refuse to leave when told too--- and then it's a trespassing charge--- nothing to do with firearms!

    Now, having covered the law... Personally, I recommend NOT Consuming alcohol while armed, but the choice is yours to make!
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    100% legal to OC/CC while in the local drinking establishment, local stores that sell for consumption off site, or even have one or two in the local drinking establishment while carrying. Unlawful to be intoxicated while armed... level same as for driving--- .08. The local drinking establishment may not like you OC'ing while drinking or visiting and may ask you to leave the weapon someplace else but it AIN"T AGAINST THE LAW unless you refuse to leave when told too--- and then it's a trespassing charge--- nothing to do with firearms!

    Now, having covered the law... Personally, I recommend NOT Consuming alcohol while armed, but the choice is yours to make!
    thanks i agree, what i was more looking for is if it would be legal to get gas and go into the gas station if they sell alcohol. your answer helped a lot thanks

    I know utah law states a motel is a temporary residence and its legal to carry.. are most hotels ok with open carry or can they refuse you if you check in open carrying??

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jseth View Post
    thanks i agree, what i was more looking for is if it would be legal to get gas and go into the gas station if they sell alcohol. your answer helped a lot thanks

    I know utah law states a motel is a temporary residence and its legal to carry.. are most hotels ok with open carry or can they refuse you if you check in open carrying??
    I've never heard of ANY motel/hotel in Utah refusing to take someones money for a night or two's worth of lodging!
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    I've never heard of ANY motel/hotel in Utah refusing to take someones money for a night or two's worth of lodging!
    thanks. actual staying 2 weeks.

  15. #15
    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
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    I have been away from this forum for a couple of weeks. Thanks, Joe Sparky for providing the Original Poster with good, timely, and accurate information. While it may be legal, providing your BAC is below 0.08%, I join Joe in recommending that you not OC and drink in public.If you want to enjoy a brewski or two, wait until you are safely within the confines of your residence (hotel room). Remember to buy twice the beer because Utah Beer has 1/2 the alcohol content you are used to.
    My cats support the Second Amendment. NRA Life Member, NRA Instructor: Pistol, Rifle, & Personal Protection - NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, Utah BCI Certified Concealed Firearm Permit Instructor.
    "Permission Slips" from Utah, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. _ Verily, thou shalt not fiddle with thine firearm whilst in the bathroom stall, lest thine spouse seek condolences from thine friends.

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