Key Requirements and Regulations of Utah’s Gun Purchase Law

In the state of Utah, there are strict prohibitions on purchasing, possessing, transferring, or owning firearms for individuals who fall under the category of prohibited persons as defined by the laws 76-10-503 and 18 U.S.C. 922. These laws establish the criteria that determine whether someone is legally eligible to engage in firearm-related activities. Individuals who are classified as prohibited persons based on these laws are not allowed to engage in any of the mentioned firearm-related actions. These restrictions are in place to ensure public safety and prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands. It is essential for individuals to familiarize themselves with these laws to comply with the legal requirements regarding firearm possession and use in Utah.

Handgun Regulations in Utah

In Utah, it is within the legal rights of a resident who is at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun. However, it is important to note that individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from purchasing a handgun from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer. Additionally, nonresidents of Utah are generally not allowed to purchase handguns in the state unless they meet certain criteria. 

Active-duty members of the United States Armed Forces stationed in Utah benefit from exceptions to firearm purchase regulations. In these cases, military personnel are obliged to provide both their permanent duty station address and residential address when completing question 10 on the ATF Form 4473. Additionally, they must furnish a copy of their active duty Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, confirming Utah as their current duty station. By fulfilling these requirements, nonresident military members can lawfully acquire handguns in Utah, enabling them to exercise their rights as service members while stationed in the state.

Regulations on Rifles & Shotguns in Utah

In Utah, the purchase of rifles and shotguns is subject to certain conditions and criteria that individuals must meet to ensure compliance with the law. As long as an individual is at least 18 years old, they may legally purchase a rifle or shotgun if they meet the necessary requirements. This includes being a resident of Utah or a resident of another state who adheres to the firearm regulations established in their respective home state. Such regulations may include limitations on firearm or magazine capacity. By abiding by these criteria, individuals can lawfully and responsibly engage in the purchase of rifles and shotguns, contributing to the safe and legal acquisition of these firearms.

Additionally, aliens who are legally present in the United States are eligible to purchase rifles and shotguns, except for those admitted under a nonimmigrant visa without meeting the exceptions outlined in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2). Exceptions to the nonimmigrant visa restriction include possessing a valid hunting license or permit. For further information, please refer to the FAQs provided below.

gun on the dollars

Gift Purchases of Firearms

Buying firearms as gifts requires careful consideration of specific regulations and legal requirements. While it is legal to purchase a firearm as a gift for another person, it is crucial to ensure that the buyer is the actual transferee-buyer, as indicated in question 21a of the ATF Form 4473. This means that the person who fills out the form, undergoes the background check, and takes possession of the firearm must be the same person who is receiving the gift.

It is important to note that purchasing a firearm for someone else, even if they are not a restricted individual, is illegal. This act, known as a straw purchase, is a federal felony with severe penalties, including up to ten years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000. Therefore, it is essential to follow the proper legal procedures when buying firearms as gifts, including completing the necessary paperwork and background checks.

Additionally, it is important to consider the recipient’s qualifications and eligibility to own a firearm. If the recipient is not legally allowed to own a firearm, gifting them one could result in serious legal consequences. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice to ensure that all legal requirements are met when buying firearms as gifts. By following the proper procedures and regulations, you can ensure a safe and legal gift-giving experience while upholding the integrity of gun ownership laws.

The purchase of firearms as gifts for minors requires additional considerations and precautions to ensure that all legal requirements are met. While it is legal for a parent or guardian to buy a handgun, rifle, or shotgun as a gift for a minor, there are specific circumstances under which the minor can receive and possess the firearm.

Under federal law, minors can only possess firearms with written permission from a parent or guardian, and this permission is limited to specific purposes such as employment, ranching, farming, target practice, or hunting. This requirement is outlined in 18 U.S.C. 922(x) and is also reflected in state laws, such as Utah’s 76-10-512.

It is important to note that the parent or guardian must ensure that the minor is aware of the proper handling and safety procedures when using the firearm. Additionally, it is crucial to consider the minor’s maturity level and ability to handle the firearm responsibly before giving it as a gift.

It is recommended to seek professional advice and guidance when considering purchasing firearms as gifts for minors. By following the proper legal procedures and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and legal gift-giving experience while upholding the integrity of gun ownership laws. For further information regarding minors and firearms, please refer to the relevant information provided by federal and state laws.

Requirements for Firearm Purchases

When it comes to purchasing a firearm from an FFL Dealer, there are several important requirements that individuals must fulfill as the Actual Buyer/Transferee. These requirements have been put in place to ensure the responsible and legal acquisition of firearms. By adhering to these requirements, prospective buyers can contribute to the promotion of public safety and the prevention of unauthorized firearm transactions. It is crucial to understand and meet these requirements, which include providing valid identification, completing the necessary paperwork, passing a background check, and abiding by any age restrictions or waiting periods that may apply. 

When purchasing a firearm from an FFL Dealer, there are certain requirements that the Actual Buyer/Transferee must fulfill:

  • Provide a valid form of identification with the individual’s current address. For more details, refer to the FAQs section.
  • Complete all necessary sections and sign the ATF Form 4473 at the dealer location. Do not pre-fill or print the form.
  • Pass a background check, which includes a $7.50 fee. Utah residents with a valid Utah concealed firearm permit are exempt from this fee.
  • Starting from November 14th, 2022, individuals aged 18 to 20 years old are subject to an enhanced background check process. This may result in a delayed transfer of up to 10 days. Consult the FAQs for further information.
  • There is no limit on the number of firearms that can be purchased at once. However, if two or more handguns are sold simultaneously or within five consecutive business days, the FFL dealer must report the transaction to the ATF.
  • Firearm registration is not required in Utah. While FFL Dealers retain the ATF Form 4473 indefinitely, it is not considered a registration. The ATF may access these forms for specific regulatory or law enforcement purposes, such as inspections or investigations related to individual criminal cases. The demographic information on the form is not centralized or aggregated, except in limited circumstances outlined in the provided information.
gun with bullets on the wooden  floor


Understanding Utah’s Gun Purchase Law is essential for individuals considering firearm ownership in the state. The law establishes clear requirements and restrictions to ensure responsible gun ownership and promote public safety. By familiarizing themselves with the legal obligations, background checks, identification requirements, and age restrictions, prospective gun owners can navigate the process with confidence and comply with the law. It is crucial to stay informed about any updates or amendments to the law to maintain compliance and contribute to a safe and responsible gun culture in Utah. Remember, responsible gun ownership goes hand in hand with understanding and adhering to the applicable laws and regulations.