Firearms at Home: Your Rights and Responsibilities

In the state of Utah, residents have the legal right to possess and carry loaded firearms, including concealed firearms, within their residences, and on their real property, even without a concealed firearm permit. This permission extends to various temporary dwellings like hotels, motels, camps, tents, trailers, and more. However, it is important to understand that it is illegal to possess a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

While there is no specific law in Utah prohibiting the consumption of alcohol while carrying a firearm, it is crucial to exercise caution and responsibility. It is unlawful to possess a dangerous weapon while under the influence. However, there are exceptions where an individual may not be charged under this provision:

  • The firearm is securely encased or not readily accessible when the person is under the influence, making it less usable compared to carrying it on the person.
  • The use or threat of force is in accordance with Section 76-2-402, which outlines the circumstances where force is justified.

It is important to be aware of and abide by these regulations to ensure compliance with the law and promote safety in firearm possession.

In Utah, individuals are allowed to carry a dangerous weapon or firearm in their own home or someone else’s home, provided they have obtained permission from the homeowner to possess the firearm within the residence. It has to be noted that while Utah law does not explicitly define real property, it encompasses a range of components. These include buildings (such as houses), structures (such as barns, garages, sheds), land, crops, mineral and water rights (such as wells, canals, ponds, dams), roads, and equipment that is permanently attached or fixed to the land. On the other hand, personal property refers to items that are not affixed or attached to the land. This category includes objects that are not nailed down, dug into, or built onto the land.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial for individuals to be aware of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to possessing dangerous weapons or firearms in different settings.

thief enters the apartment through the window


There are certain restrictions regarding firearm possession in your residence. These restrictions apply if:

  • You have signed a lease agreement or any other document with the landlord (property owner) for an apartment, room in a house, condominium, duplex, townhome, etc., explicitly stating that firearms are not permitted on the premises.
  • You have received personal communication, such as private letters, memos, emails, etc., from the owner, lessee, or lawful possessor of the private residence, or from an authorized representative, explicitly stating that firearms are prohibited. Alternatively, if signs prohibiting firearms are posted in a manner reasonably expected to catch the attention of individuals entering the private residence.

Violation of these restrictions can lead to eviction and may result in charges as an infraction if the police are notified. It is important to note that possessing a concealed firearm permit if you have one, will not be revoked as a consequence.

However, it’s crucial to understand that an owner who has legally granted possession rights to a renter or lessee cannot restrict the lawful possession of a firearm in the residence. As long as there is no personal communication or posted signs as described in 76-10-530, a landlord cannot prohibit you from having a firearm in your residence throughout your stay. It is essential to be aware of these restrictions and to adhere to them to ensure compliance with the law and maintain a harmonious living arrangement.  

Owner’s Liability Exemption: Immunity from Claims

A property owner who knowingly permits an individual with a concealed firearm permit to bring their firearm onto the owner’s property is granted legal protection. The property owner cannot be held civilly or criminally liable for any damages or harm caused by the discharge of the firearm by the permit holder while on the owner’s property. This immunity applies unless the property owner actively solicits, requests, commands, encourages, or intentionally assists the concealed firearm permit holder in discharging the firearm while on the owner’s property, as specified in 53-5a-103. This provision safeguards property owners from liability and encourages responsible firearm ownership while on their premises.


29-2-103. Innkeeper’s Rights, Liability, and Non-Discrimination.

Under this provision:

(1) Innkeepers have the authority to:

(a) Decline or withhold accommodations, facilities, or privileges offered by a lodging establishment from individuals who, in the reasonable belief of the innkeeper, are bringing in property that could pose a risk to the safety of others. This includes items such as firearms or explosives. It is crucial for innkeepers to exercise judgment and ensure the safety and well-being of all guests within their establishment. By maintaining this right, innkeepers can prioritize the security and peace of mind of their patrons, while adhering to non-discrimination principles.

29-2-102. Definitions 

In the context of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(4) “Innkeeper” refers to either the proprietor or an authorized employee of a proprietor responsible for managing a lodging establishment.

(5) “Lodging establishment” encompasses various establishments that offer temporary sleeping accommodations to the public. It includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Bed and breakfast establishments, providing a cozy and personalized experience;

(b) Boarding houses, catering to individuals seeking longer-term accommodation;

(c) Hotels, offering a wide range of amenities and services for guests;

(d) Inns, known for their charm, hospitality, and often historic significance;

(e) Lodging houses, providing simple and comfortable accommodations;

(f) Motels, designed for convenient travel stays, typically with direct room access from the outside;

(g) Resorts, offering comprehensive leisure and recreational facilities;

(h) Rooming houses, providing affordable accommodations for individuals needing temporary lodging.

These definitions serve to clarify the scope of the term “lodging establishment” and encompass a diverse range of establishments that cater to the temporary accommodation needs of the public.

a gun,pistol magazine and bullets on the table

53-5a-103. Discharge of Firearm on Private Property

Within the context of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Firearm possessor” refers to an individual who has the lawful right to possess a firearm.

(2) “Property occupant” includes:

  • (a) Private property owners;
  • (b) Individuals with the right to occupy private property based on an agreement.

(2) Unless specified in Subsection (3), a property occupant who knowingly permits a firearm possessor to lawfully bring a firearm onto their property shall not be held civilly or criminally liable for any harm or damages caused by the firearm’s discharge by the firearm possessor while on the occupant’s property.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the property occupant actively solicits, requests, commands, encourages or intentionally assists the firearm possessor in discharging the firearm on the occupant’s property for a purpose unrelated to the lawful defense of an individual on the property.

(4) This section does not alter the obligations a tenant owes to a landlord as defined in the lease agreement between the tenant and landlord.

The purpose of this section is to clarify the responsibilities and liabilities of property occupants in relation to firearm possession on private property. It safeguards property occupants from unwarranted civil and criminal liability while ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to prevent misuse or harm caused by firearms on the property.

76-10-501. Definitions 

Within the context of this part, the following definition applies:

(17) “Residence” refers to a structure or building that is considered an enhancement or improvement to real property and is used or occupied as either a primary or secondary place of dwelling.

The term “residence” encompasses a wide range of real property structures that serve as living spaces, whether they are used as the primary abode or as a secondary dwelling. It includes houses, apartments, condominiums, townhouses, or any other type of dwelling that individuals use as their home. The definition clarifies the scope of what constitutes a “residence” under this part, highlighting its importance in the context of the law.

76-10-511. Authorized Possession of Loaded Firearm at Residence or on Real Property 

Subject to the provisions outlined in Section 76-10-503, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922(g), and other relevant regulations within this part, individuals are granted the authority to possess a loaded firearm as follows:

(1) Within the confines of their designated place of residence, including temporary residences or camps.

(2) On their personal real property.

It is important to note that Section 76-10-503 and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922(g) establishes the classification of “restricted persons” who are subject to limitations and are not entitled to exercise the aforementioned possession rights.

By specifying the authorized locations for loaded firearm possession, this provision upholds individuals’ rights to keep and bear arms within the boundaries of their residence and personal real property. However, it also emphasizes the existence of exceptions and restrictions for individuals classified as “restricted persons” as defined in Section 76-10-503 and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922(g).

76-10-528. Prohibition of Carrying a Dangerous Weapon Under the Influence 

(1) It is deemed a class B misdemeanor for any individual to carry a dangerous weapon while under the influence of:

  • (a) alcohol, as determined by the person’s blood or breath alcohol concentration in accordance with Subsections 41-6a-502(1)(a) through (c); or
  • (b) a controlled substance as defined in Section 58-37-2.

(2) Exceptions to this section include the following circumstances:

  • (a) An individual carrying a securely encased dangerous weapon, as defined within the parameters of this part, or a weapon, not within such immediate reach that it can be readily retrieved and utilized as if carried on the person;
  • (b) An individual who employs or threatens to employ force in compliance with Section 76-2-402;
  • (c) An individual carrying a dangerous weapon within their residence or another person’s residence with the consent of the lawful possessor;
  • (d) An individual under the influence of cannabis or a cannabis product, as per the definitions provided in Section 26B-4-201, if their usage adheres to the regulations outlined in Title 26B, Chapter 4, Part 2, Cannabinoid Research and Medical Cannabis;

(e) An individual who:

(i) Possesses a valid prescription for a controlled substance;

(ii) Takes the controlled substance as prescribed, as described in Subsection (2)(e)(i); and

(iii) After consuming the controlled substance, is either:

(A) Not a threat to themselves or others; or

(B) Capable of safely handling a dangerous weapon.

This section serves to deter the carrying of dangerous weapons while under the influence, promoting responsible conduct and ensuring the safety of individuals in accordance with the defined exceptions and guidelines.

76-10-530. Prohibition of Trespass with a Firearm in Private Residences

(1) It is strictly prohibited for any individual, including those holding a valid concealed firearm license under Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7, Concealed Firearm Act, to knowingly and intentionally:

(a) Transport a firearm into:

(ii) A private residence; or

(b) Enter or remain in possession of a firearm within:

(ii) A private residence, after notice has been duly provided as outlined in Subsection (2).

(2) Notice of firearm prohibition may be provided through:

(a) Personal communication directed to the individual by:

(ii) The owner, lessee, or person lawfully possessing the private residence; or

(iii) A person duly authorized to act on behalf of the individuals or entities mentioned in Subsections (2)(a)(i) and (ii);

(b) Posting of signs reasonably expected to attract the attention of individuals entering the house of worship or private residence.

(5) This section does not grant an owner, who has legally granted possession rights to a renter or lessee, the authority to prohibit the lawful possession of a firearm by the renter or lessee within the residence.

(6) Violation of this section shall result in an infraction.

Under this law, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in a house of worship or someone’s private residence if any form of notice has been given to indicate that firearms are prohibited. Such notice can include the presence of signs explicitly stating that firearms are not allowed or the listing of the house of worship on the BCI website, which includes:

Wasatch Presbyterian Church

All Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) churches.

This provision emphasizes the importance of respecting firearm restrictions within private residences and places of worship, promoting a safe and compliant environment for all individuals involved.

76-3-105. Classification of Infractions

(1) Infractions are not categorized under specific classifications.

(2) Any offense that qualifies as an infraction within this code is explicitly identified as such. Additionally, any offense defined outside this code that does not carry a designation of felony or misdemeanor and lacks a specified penalty is considered an infraction.

76-3-205. Consequences of Infraction Conviction

(1) A person who is found guilty of an infraction may not be sentenced to imprisonment, but may face one or more of the following penalties:

  • (a) Imposition of a fine, which may be satisfied through compensatory service;
  • (b) Forfeiture of certain assets or property;
  • (c) Disqualification from specific privileges or activities;
  • (d) Any combination of the above.

(2) Compensatory service shall be evaluated in accordance with the guidelines outlined in Section 76-3-301.7.

(3) In cases where no specific penalty is prescribed for the infraction, the person may be fined as if convicted of a class C misdemeanor.

76-3-301. Imposition of Fines on Individuals.

(1) Upon conviction of an offense, an individual may be ordered to pay a fine, with the maximum amount not exceeding:

(e) $750 for a conviction of a class C misdemeanor or an infraction.

53-5-704. Responsibilities of the Bureau – Concealed Firearm Permit – Certification for Concealed Firearm Instructors – Issuance Requirements – Violations – Denial, Suspension, or Revocation – Appeal Process.

(3)(b) The Bureau is prohibited from denying, suspending, or revoking a concealed firearm permit based solely on a single conviction for an infraction violation of Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 5, pertaining to Weapons.

78B-3-110. Immunity from Civil Action for Damages Resulting from Commission of a Crime

(1) A person shall not be able to seek compensation from the victim of a crime for personal injury or property damage under the following circumstances:

  • (a) The person entered the property of the victim or the victim’s family with criminal intent, and the injury or damage was inflicted by the victim or occurred while the person was on the victim’s property;
  • (b) The person committed a crime against the victim or the victim’s family, and the damage or injury occurred during the commission of that crime.

(2) The provisions in Subsection (1) shall not apply if the person can provide clear and convincing evidence that their actions did not constitute a crime.

(3) Subsection (1) applies to any next-of-kin, heirs, or personal representatives of the person if the person becomes disabled or is killed.

(4) Subsections (1) and (2) shall not apply if the person committing or attempting to commit the crime has unmistakably retreated from the criminal activity.

(5) “Unmistakably retreated” means that the person committing the criminal act has completely, clearly, and immediately ceased all hostile, threatening, violent, or criminal behavior or activity.


The state of Utah allows individuals to possess firearms in their apartments, subject to certain regulations and considerations. While state law permits gun ownership and possession, it is important to note that apartments may have their own specific rules and policies regarding firearms.

Utah residents should familiarize themselves with state laws regarding firearm ownership, concealed carry permits, and self-defense statutes. Additionally, tenants should review their lease agreements and communicate with their landlords or property management to understand any restrictions or guidelines regarding firearms within the apartment complex.