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Thread: Kansan here, planning hiking trip to escalante, boulder area...wanting to open carry.

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    Kansan here, planning hiking trip to escalante, boulder area...wanting to open carry.

    What are the laws? I looked at the state attorney generals website, and its not clear. I am planning a hiking trip with several friends, going to be on BLM land in the boulder/escalante area, want to carry a firearm. I AM a Kansas ccw holder, so I can legally carry concealed in utah. But frankly, I'll have a lot of hiking gear on me, and I want to have quicker access to my firearm while hiking, and I want to carry openly IF legal to do so.

    So whats the verdict? Just carry concealed? Or can I openly carry on blm land?

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    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    You permit, and all others for that matter, are good in Utah. You may carry openly or concealed, just the same.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
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    To Echo Kevin and expand just a bit:

    Without a permit from any state, you may open carry in Utah provided there is no round in the chamber (semi-automatic) and no round under the hammer or in the next cylinder (revolver). You may not carry concealed without a permit / license.

    With a permit from any state, you may carry open or concealed, fully loaded, entirely at your discretion. Utah honors all permits so your Kansas permit is good to go in Utah.

    Have a safe and pleasant visit in Utah.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpm84092 View Post
    ...no round under the hammer or in the next cylinder (revolver). ...
    Hey, I'd like to read the rule on that one. It makes no sense to me that you can't have a round under the hammer, considering there is no way to fire that round until the end, or unless you have a broken gun. I agree that what you have said is what I have heard as well, but it makes no sense! Do you have the UCA handy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Hey, I'd like to read the rule on that one. It makes no sense to me that you can't have a round under the hammer, considering there is no way to fire that round until the end, or unless you have a broken gun. I agree that what you have said is what I have heard as well, but it makes no sense! Do you have the UCA handy?
    Remember, this is for Utah. It may not be the same for other states.

    http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_10_050200.htm

    **** 76-10-502.** When weapon deemed loaded.
    **** (1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
    **** (2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
    **** (3) A muzzle loading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinders.

    Having a round under the hammer is considered being "in the firing position" because it is in line with the barrel.

    Also, older revolvers can be fired by being dropped, or hit hard enough on the hammer with one in the firing position. This is not true of newer revolvers. But I would guess that the law was placed in there because of that fact. It is possible that there is another reason it was put in there, but that is just my guess.
    Last edited by mqondo; 12-26-2011 at 12:05 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Yes, I am specifically asking for Utah.

    I would argue that a round under the uncocked hammer of a modern revolver is NOT in firing position. For that matter, look how many revolvers are DAO, including the Centennial design with an internal hammer.

    Have there been any actual police encounters which would give some precedent to actual interpretation on the streets, or are instructors just being very cautious in this regard?

    The BCI guys seemed as if they were purposely vague when it came to this, and I didn't want to push the issue in front of 100 CCW instructors since it was actually a moot point to anyone who was getting their permit, which was the whole reason for our instructor certification.
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    You would lose the argument. Anything in line with the barrel is in the firing position. Whether or not it is an old school revolver, a brand new one, or an auto loader. The only way to avoid this issue is to have a CFP which exempts you from this dumb law.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mqondo View Post
    You would lose the argument. Anything in line with the barrel is in the firing position. Whether or not it is an old school revolver, a brand new one, or an auto loader. The only way to avoid this issue is to have a CFP which exempts you from this dumb law.
    It is NOT in firing position. Are you saying that it is, or are you saying that cops say it is?

    Only one charge hole of a revolver can be in firing position at any one moment in time. That's sort of the whole principle about how they work.
    Last edited by MAC702; 12-26-2011 at 11:24 AM.
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    That's what the law states. Here it is again for you, in case you didn't read it. Go ahead and pay attention to #2 as well. What you are thinking is the firing, is the next chamber to come around, correct? Well that is incorrect, as per Utah law. 2 makes it even more clear by saying that a revolver shall ALSO be deemed loaded when the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge to be fired.

    76-10-502. When weapon deemed loaded.
    (1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
    (2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
    (3) A muzzle loading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinders.

    Anything in line with the barrel is in the firing position, whether you think it is stupid or not.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mqondo View Post
    That's what the law states. Here it is again for you, in case you didn't read it. Go ahead and pay attention to #2 as well. What you are thinking is the firing, is the next chamber to come around, correct? Well that is incorrect, as per Utah law. 2 makes it even more clear by saying that a revolver shall ALSO be deemed loaded when the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge to be fired.

    76-10-502. When weapon deemed loaded.
    (1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
    (2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
    (3) A muzzle loading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinders.

    Anything in line with the barrel is in the firing position, whether you think it is stupid or not.
    I have to agree with MAC702. While I also have a permit, the first cylinder that will have the hammer drop on it in a revolver is the one in the firing position and that would be the first one to the left or right of the position under the hammer when the revolver is not cocked.

    Even with old SAA, you do not carry with the hammer back at full cock, as soon as you cock the hammer, or pull the trigger on a DA/SA or DAO you will rotate the cylinder to the next indexed position. In a 6 shot revolver, the one under the hammer is in position #6, not the firing position....taken to court, this would be easily proven. Expensive, but easy to prove.

    Now, could some officer arrest you? and could some DA charge you? Of course, they can arrest and charge for anyting they want, does not mean you would be convicted...actually, if the DA did his job, you would never be charged.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mqondo View Post
    That's what the law states. Here it is again for you, in case you didn't read it. Go ahead and pay attention to #2 as well. What you are thinking is the firing, is the next chamber to come around, correct? Well that is incorrect, as per Utah law. 2 makes it even more clear by saying that a revolver shall ALSO be deemed loaded when the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge to be fired.

    76-10-502. When weapon deemed loaded.
    (1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
    (2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
    (3) A muzzle loading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinders.

    Anything in line with the barrel is in the firing position, whether you think it is stupid or not.
    Actually, the law states "firing position." It does NOT state "in line with the barrel." YOU are the one stating that. Whether you are doing so because it is what you've heard from "reliable" or multiple resources is beside the point. It is NOT what the law states, and it seems like a very easy test case were it ever to go to court. I'm asking if it ever has. All one need to do is bring in a firearms dictionary or any revolver I've ever heard of.
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    Here it is from a well known local Attorney, Mitch Vilos. You can buy his book "Utah Gun Law 4th Edition here:
    http://firearmslaw.com/
    Quoted from page 43 under Plain Talk.

    "A firearm with a bullet in the chamber is loaded. Pistols and revolvers are loaded if the operation of any mechanism once would cause the gun to fire. A double-action revolver with no bullet aligned with the barrel is still considered loaded, under this definition, if pulling the trigger would cause the cylinder to rotate and fire the gun. In my not-so-humble opinion, a single-action six gun with 5 bullets in it is unloaded as long as no bullet is aligned with the barrel. This is because it would take the operation of two mechanisms to fire the gun; one operation to cock the hammer to cause the next bullet to rotate into the firing position and another to pull the trigger to fire the blessed, beautiful, and breathtaking big iron. Even if fanned so that the hammer and trigger are operated simultaneously, it obviously still requires the operation of two seperate mechanisms, the hammer AND the trigger. A semi-automatic pistol, is not considered loaded under Utah law even if it has a magazine or clip in it, if there is no bullet in the chamber."

    I will take the word of an attorney over yours.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    So you're agreeing with the guy who just said the charge hole to be fired first is okay to be loaded in a single-action, yet you maintain that a double-action revolver must have TWO empty charge holes when even your esteemed attorney source does not state that. I just want to be clear.

    This is also the guy that referred to a chamber as being loaded with a "bullet."
    Last edited by MAC702; 12-28-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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    LOL. You seriously don't get it after that?
    A single action revolver is not loaded per Utah law if there is nothing in the firing position. If you don't understand that being in line with the barrel is the firing position, then you should go back to grade school. It is very clear that this is the case if you read it from an attorney with over 30 years of experience. He knows more about it than you ever will, even if he calls it a bullet. And by the way, there is a bullet in the cartridge, in case you didn't know.
    A single-action revolver requires 2 actions for the next position to fire. That is why it is considered unloaded in that circumstance. Read the law, that's what it says. A newer DA/SA revolver must have the one in line with the barrel, and the next hole empty. Why? Because the one under the hammer is in the firing position. The reason the next hole must be empty is because with one action (pulling the trigger) the next position is rotated into the firing position and fired. As per Utah law, for it to be unloaded, there must be 2 or more actions for it to fire. If there are less, then it is considered loaded in Utah.
    If one without a CFP carries with one under the hammer, and is caught, there is an excellent chance they will be charged with a class B misdemeanor.
    So please don't try to get others in trouble by giving your advice when it is incorrect.
    I'm not sure why you think the next chamber to come around is the firing position. Unless there is something seriously wrong with your revolver, a round should never fire from a position other than the one inline with the barrel.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mqondo View Post
    LOL. You seriously don't get it after that?
    A single action revolver is not loaded per Utah law if there is nothing in the firing position. If you don't understand that being in line with the barrel is the firing position, then you should go back to grade school. It is very clear that this is the case if you read it from an attorney with over 30 years of experience. He knows more about it than you ever will, even if he calls it a bullet. And by the way, there is a bullet in the cartridge, in case you didn't know.
    A single-action revolver requires 2 actions for the next position to fire. That is why it is considered unloaded in that circumstance. Read the law, that's what it says. A newer DA/SA revolver must have the one in line with the barrel, and the next hole empty. Why? Because the one under the hammer is in the firing position. The reason the next hole must be empty is because with one action (pulling the trigger) the next position is rotated into the firing position and fired. As per Utah law, for it to be unloaded, there must be 2 or more actions for it to fire. If there are less, then it is considered loaded in Utah.
    If one without a CFP carries with one under the hammer, and is caught, there is an excellent chance they will be charged with a class B misdemeanor.
    So please don't try to get others in trouble by giving your advice when it is incorrect.
    I'm not sure why you think the next chamber to come around is the firing position. Unless there is something seriously wrong with your revolver, a round should never fire from a position other than the one inline with the barrel.
    Actually, this is the first time you've clearly made your point and I can FINALLY accept it, your insulting laughter and condescension to the contrary. I will still disagree, but I FINALLY understand your point of view.

    I still maintain that "in line with the barrel" does not equal "firing position" when firing requires a trigger pull. I still maintain that only one position can be firing position at any given point in time. That is is why revolvers were invented, to have multiple charge holes, taking turns being in firing position. On a Colt, firing position is to the left. On a S&W, firing position is to the right. When the hammer is cocked on either, firing position is the top, but only at that time. Apparently this is only my opinion of the phrase, but the law notably does not specify otherwise.

    If you recall, I started this with a QUESTION, not by soliciting my "advice." The crickets here beside yourself would seem to indicate it is NOT an easy, obvious answer. The fact that a lawyer's remarks (ones using poor firearms terminology at that) were still not clear about it speaks more volumes to the question than to the answer. I expect poor firearms terminology from an average lawyer, but not from one whom you've held up as a firearms expert. I didn't say the poor word choice invalidated his argument. But I did mention that it detracted from his attorney-speak, and the whole point of bringing in a lawyer is to correctly explain terminology.

    I also asked if there have EVER been any real confrontations because of the ambiguity of the law. No answer on that either.
    Last edited by MAC702; 12-28-2011 at 09:19 PM.
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    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    Mitch Vilos is not a "firearm expert", he is an expert on Utah's firearm laws. Big difference.

    Besides, since "firing position" is not defined by Utah law, you are both wrong until a judge or jury proves one of you right.
    Last edited by Kevin Jensen; 12-29-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jensen View Post
    ...you are both wrong until a judge or jury proves one of you right.
    Actually, that's sort of my point, and the reason I am asking.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    I'm a Utah Resident and CFP holder. This law is unique to Utah and the term "Utah unloaded" will give you results in a search engine.

    I understand and agree with your points, however it is very well understood in Utah that "Utah unloaded" is nothing under the hammer AND being in a position where a single pull of the trigger won't fire the weapon. Carry that way if you want to be safe. If you want to carry a six-shooter with 5 bullets and without a permit, that's your choice but in my opinion nearly everyone (including judges and jury) will consider that a loaded weapon.

    That said, it's a pretty gun-friendly state and I have yet to hear of an LEO checking an OC'er to make sure that there wasn't one in the chamber. I'm sure it's happened, but I haven't heard of it.

    Here's my take.......The firing pin is what determines the "firing position". In other words, the rotation of the cylinder moves the next round into the firing position. So while the mechanism of the gun prevents that bullet from being fired, it's still sitting in the firing position. In other words, when a bullet is fired, where was the cartridge one millisecond before the bullet left the gun is the firing position. And it just so happens that your last round occupies the exact same position in the revolver. After all, the bullet will only fire when it's in line with the barrel, NOT when it's one off.
    Last edited by hibby76; 12-31-2011 at 06:39 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    You are probably correct in the technicalities of the law. It was the ambiguity of the law that made me ask the question, especially with the very pro-gun-owner attitude I've seen in Utah. I appreciate you not treating me like a dumbass while giving your opinion. The UCA should have defined "firing position" for THEIR purposes, especially since we all know the top charge hole is the last to fire, and no intent of the legislature would have wanted that one to be required to be empty. I'd be amazed if anyone has been charged in this instance. Fortunately, all my UT students are getting the permission slip which makes the whole point moot.
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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, this is not an "either-or" condition between UCA 76-10-502(1) and (2). Subparagraph (2) begins: "Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded... " which makes it an additional condition - "and" - under which a firearm is considered loaded. I had to work really hard to get myself to believe that, but I can see the remote possibility of an exposed hammer pistol/revolver without a transfer bar, and a round under the hammer, firing if dropped. However, I can't see that as any sort problem with concealed hammer or hammerless revolvers. I am in complete agreement with our knowledgeable visitor from NV, MAC702 - "The UCA should have defined "firing position" for THEIR purposes, especially since we all know the top charge hole is the last to fire, and no intent of the legislature would have wanted that one to be required to be empty." IMNSHO, our legislature needs to take a good, hard look at the ambiguous and confusing wording. I don't know that what we are seeing was actually their intent, but it reads as it reads. Pax...
    Last edited by Gil223; 02-02-2012 at 03:55 PM. Reason: removed typo
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    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
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    Hey, I do not always agree with UT Law, but as a BCI Certified Firearms Permit Instructor, I teach the stuff the way the UT legislature wrote it. My crystal ball is in the repair shop, but I have often wondered and pondered why the UT legislature wrote the law the way they did.

    I got an insight once I purchased and started teaching with a single action "cowboy" revolver. I had always wondered about the expression "going off half-cocked" until I learned about and began teaching the half-cock position of a single action revolver. If the mechanism fails or is jarred, the hammer will fall on and fire any live round directly under the hammer. (The half-cock position does not rotate the cylinders.)

    Now, add to that the fact that UT CFP applicants have received (minimal) safety training in the handling of firearms, and that, unless they are a prohibited person (felon), citizens of UT can legally open carry in UT with an unknown amount of (if any) training in the safe handling of firearms, and one may attempt to discern the legislative intent. My guess is that the UT Legislature wanted to insure the right to bear arms, but also wanted to make regulations that would make that right more "idiot proof". The law does serve to steer law abiding citizens toward the permit process if they want to make sure their personal defense firearms are "ready to go" on the spot. This insures that they also have (minimal) firearms safety training.

    Thus, the legislature's infamous "two actions to fire" thing. A single action revolver, in the half-cock position or not cocked position, in order to fire, with no live round under the firing pin, would require two actions to fire. Thus, if the first action was an "accident" (remember, persons without a permit are "untrained under UT Law"), the need for a second action would mitigate the mistake.

    I am not a Lawyer in UT or any other State and these are my "best guess" as to why UT Unloaded is the way it is.
    Last edited by jpm84092; 02-15-2012 at 07:29 PM. Reason: typo
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