How to Buy a Gun in Utah: A Guide to the State’s Background Check Procedures

Buying a gun

Figuring out how to buy a gun in Utah is relatively simple because the state doesn’t have any licensing or registration requirements. You must meet specific legal standards, however, and be a resident of the state to maintain eligibility.

You’ll also likely require a background check to ensure you’re legally permitted to buy a gun in the state. Firearm background checks are essentially a method of determining if an individual is prohibited from owning a firearm in that location. Those performed in Utah search for things such as felony convictions, drug dependency, mental health issues, and restraining orders to prevent dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms. Potential buyers who have any such concerns show up during their background checks could be denied the purchase.

This guide will inform you of how the state conducts these background checks and explain how a concealed carry permit is helpful when purchasing a firearm.

Basic Requirements When Buying a Gun in Utah

Background checks are only part of the gun-buying process in Utah, because there are some other minimum requirements all firearm owners must meet. These basic rules must be adhered to before making a gun purchase in the state: 

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Laws for Handguns

You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase a handgun from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer in Utah. Anyone 18 years and up can buy a handgun through a private sale, however. All handgun buyers must be legal residents of the state unless they are active-duty military with a permanent duty station in Utah.

Rifle and Shotgun Rules

The laws are a little more relaxed when buying rifles and shotguns, as eligible buyers only need to be 18 years old. Nonresident purchases are allowed if the buyer complies with the laws in their resident state. Legal immigrants can also buy rifles and shotguns in Utah.

Buying as a Gift

You are permitted to give a gun as a gift, but you can’t receive compensation for it. It’s illegal to buy a gun for a friend and to have that friend repay you for it, but you can gift the firearm to that friend. Parents can also give a gun to their minor children, but they can only use it for limited purposes such as employment, hunting, and target practice.

These basic guidelines show you who can legally buy a gun in Utah. The state’s background check laws go a little more in-depth, however, and create some further exceptions to these rules.

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7 Utah Background Check Procedures You Should Know

Utah’s background checks are pretty tame compared with many other states, but it’s still a good idea to learn as much about them as possible to avoid issues. The following information ensures you can prepare ahead of time so you aren’t left with a surprise when trying to purchase a firearm.

1. For Licensed Dealers Only

The most critical piece of information you should have about Utah’s background checks is that they’re only applicable when buying from an FFL dealer. This law means that you don’t have to comply with a background check when making a private purchase. The drawback of a private purchase is that you won’t have much information on the firearm and its history.

2. Concealed Carry Exemption

Utah has a concealed carry exemption for background checks. The result is concealed carry permit holders don’t have to go through with a background check, even when buying from an FFL dealer. Getting this permit can save you from the hassle when buying your next firearm.

3. The Bureau of Criminal Identification’s Role

Firearms dealers in Utah must contact the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) before making a gun sale. The BCI will then complete the background check using state and federal records and databases to ensure that the buyer is legally permitted to purchase the weapon. 

4. Photo ID Is Necessary

You’ll need a photo ID to prove who you are for the background check. This procedure helps eliminate fraud by ensuring buyers can’t use someone else’s identification to acquire a firearm. The ID must include an in-state address.

5. No Registration, License, or Limits

Utah doesn’t have any registration or licensing rules once you buy the gun. The background check is only conducted to determine if you’re legally permitted to own a firearm. The state also doesn’t limit the number of guns you can buy once you pass the background check.

6. Fee Involved

There is a fee of $7.50 for getting a background check. Keep in mind that concealed carry permit holders don’t have to pay this fee because they can skip the background check.

7. Reasons for Denial

There’s always a chance you’ll be denied the right to purchase a gun after completing your background check. Felony convictions are common reasons for denial, but undocumented immigrants and those with outstanding warrants will also receive a rejection. Others who could be denied include anyone dishonorably discharged from the military or those who renounce their American citizenship.

Most of these procedures are pretty straightforward, so eligible persons shouldn’t have much difficulty making their purchase. Knowing how to buy a gun in Utah and learning what you can do to expedite the process ensures you leave the dealer with your firearm in hand.

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Contact a Concealed Carry Expert

A concealed carry permit makes it much easier because you can skip the fees and hassle associated with Utah’s mandatory background checks on FFL sales. Concealed Coalition can provide you with the training you need to obtain your concealed carry permit in Utah through either local or online classes. 
Our team of state-approved trainers will ensure you have the skills and know-how to receive your ticket and avoid background checks. Contact us today for more information on how you can join the more than 1 million gun owners we’ve trained.

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