Guns / Firearms
Gun Crimes in Salt Lake City
Violating rules and laws in the Utah Code pertaining to firearms and weapons can result in serious consequences and punishments. Some individuals who are prosecuted may not have realized they were committing an illegal offense, including those who carried a firearm or dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol even though they had a permit, or those who carried a firearm into certain churches.
A dangerous weapon under the Utah Code is very broad, and is any item that when used can cause death or serious bodily injury, but not an explosive or chemical. Common gun and weapon offenses in Salt Lake City include:
- Carrying a Loaded Firearm in a Vehicle or Street
- Carrying a Concealed Dangerous Weapon
- Possession of a Dangerous Weapon
- Felony Discharge of a Firearm
- Providing Weapons to Minors
- Alteration of a Weapon
Salt Lake City Gun Charge Lawyer
Darren Levitt of Levitt Legal can help you avoid severe penalties and consequences for your gun or weapons charge in Salt Lake City, Utah. Darren Levitt is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of Utah criminal defense, including gun, firearm and weapon violations. Contact the law office of Levitt Legal at (801) 455-1743 for a consultation about your weapons charge today.
Salt Lake City Firearm and Weapon Information Center
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Categories of Persons Restricted from Firearm Possession
Some people who have committed certain offenses in the past are restricted from possessing, purchasing, transferring and owning dangerous weapons, including firearms under Utah Code § 76-10-503. The following is a list of restricted persons:
- Category I Restricted Person – These are people who have been convicted of a violent felony, are on probation or parole for any felony, are on parole from a secure facility, or have been adjudicated delinquent within the last 10 years. If this category offender intentionally or knowingly purchases, transfers, possesses, uses or has in their custody a firearm, they are guilty of a second degree felony. Any other dangerous weapon is a third degree felony.
- Category II Restricted Person – This category applies to those who have been convicted of or are under indictment for a felony, have been adjudicated delinquent within the last seven years, are unlawful users of controlled substances, have been found not guilty due to insanity for a felony, have been found mentally incompetent to stand trial, have been adjudicated as mentally defective, is an illegal alien, have been dishonorably discharged, or have renounced United States citizenship. If this category offender purchases, uses, transfers, possesses, or has in their control a firearm, they are guilty of a third degree felony. Any other dangerous weapon is a class A misdemeanor.
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Firearm and Weapon Offenses in Utah
- Carrying a Concealed Dangerous Weapon – Utah Code § 76-10-504:
A person who unlawfully carries a concealed dangerous weapon, including an unloaded firearm, in public can be found guilty of a class B misdemeanor. If a person carries a concealed dangerous weapon that is a loaded firearm, they can be charged with a class A misdemeanor, carrying a sawed-off shotgun is a second degree felony, and if the weapon is used in a violent felony, an offender can be charged with a second degree felony.
- Carrying a Loaded Firearm – Utah Code § 76-10-505:
This offense occurs when a person carries a loaded firearm in a vehicle, unless the vehicle is in the person’s lawful possession, on a public street, or in a posted prohibited area. This offense is punishable as a class B misdemeanor.
- Possession of a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Commit Assault – Utah Code § 76-10-507:
Any person who has a dangerous weapon on their person with the intent to commit assault against another person can be convicted of a class A misdemeanor.
- Providing Weapons to Minors – Utah Code § 76-10-509.5 and § 76-10-509.9:
A person can be convicted of this class B misdemeanor offense if they provide a handgun to a minor that is prohibited. If the weapon is a sawed-off shotgun, the offender can be convicted of a third degree felony. A person who sells a firearm to a minor under 18 that is not accompanied by a parent or guardian can be convicted of a third degree felony.
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Penalties for Firearm and Weapon Charges in Utah
The basic minimum penalties for many gun and weapon charges are listed below; however, these penalties may increase depending on whether a minimum statutory penalty is required for the offense, if the offender has previous convictions and the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense.
- Class B Misdemeanors – These offenses can incur imprisonment up to six months and/or fines not more than $1,000.
- Class A Misdemeanors – This degree of offense can result in imprisonment not more than one year and/or fines not exceeding $2,500.
- Third Degree Felonies – This type of felony can result in up to five years imprisonment and/or fines not in excess of $5,000.
- Second Degree Felonies – A conviction for this felony can lead to imprisonment up to 15 years and/or fines up to $10,000.
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New Utah Concealed Weapon Administrative Rules
New administrative rules were released in 2010 that clarified existing Utah statutes regarding concealed weapon laws.
One such rule is that if ex-offender does not meet the qualifications to apply for a concealed handgun license because they were convicted of a crime, they may still be eligible if the crime they were convicted of was not a registerable sex offense, and the specified time period below has elapsed since they were released from incarceration.
- Class A Misdemeanor – Five years
- Class B Misdemeanor – Four Years
- Any Other Misdemeanor – Three years
Additionally, offenses involving moral turpitude that prevent an ex-offender from being permitted to carry a concealed weapon include offenses done:
- Knowingly contrary to justice, honesty or good morals;
- With an element of falsification or fraud; or
- With an element of harm or injury directed to another person.
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Defenses to Firearm and Weapons Charges in Utah
There may be defenses your attorney will determine are applicable to your case if you have been charged with a weapon or firearm offense in Salt Lake City. After your criminal defense attorney hears the details of your particular case, they will determine if mitigating factors and defenses apply to your situation that may reduce or dismiss your charge. Common firearm and weapons defenses in Utah are:
- Carrying a Concealed Dangerous Weapon – A defense to this charge is if the offender has a lawful concealed firearm permit, lawfully has the firearm in their home or place of business, or lawfully in their vehicle. Lawfully in a person’s vehicle means the person is at least 18 years old, has lawful possession of the vehicle and the firearm is not a shotgun or rifle.
- Lack of Intent – Many firearm offenses, including Possession of a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Commit Assault, have an element of intent. If the offender did not have the statutorily required intent, then they may be able to use this defense. Intent is a subjective element, and very hard for the prosecution to meet the burden of proving this element.
- Exempt Person – Certain people are exempt from the laws pertaining to carrying concealed dangerous weapons, including U.S. Marshals engaged in their official duties, federal officials required to carry firearms in the course of duty, law enforcement officials. And common carriers who regularly transport firearms as merchandise.
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Salt Lake City Resources for Firearm and Weapons Charges
National Rifle Association – This national organization, also known as the NRA, is dedicated to educating civilians about firearms throughout the nation, and is the nation’s leading advocate for citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – This national law enforcement agency seeks to protect United States citizens and local communities from criminal organizations, violent crimes, the illegal use of alcohol and tobacco items, acts of terrorism and the illegal use and trafficking of firearms.
Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification – This state bureau is a branch of the Utah Department of Public Safety and provides information on concealed firearms, including how to obtain a permit and certified firearm instructors. The Bureau of Criminal Identification is located at:
Bureau of Criminal Identification
3888 W. 5400 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84118
Phone: (801) 965-4445
Unified Police – Greater Salt Lake – The Unified Police Department (UPD) provides special investigative services, information on civil court procedures, information on the gangs in the county, and special operation services to the citizens of Salt Lake County.
Greater Salt Lake Unified Police
3365 S. 900 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84119
Phone: (801) 743-5919
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Levitt Legal, PLLC | Salt Lake City Weapon Charge Defense Attorney
Contact Darren Levitt of Levitt Legal to discuss the facts of your particular firearm or weapon charge in Salt Lake City, Utah. Darren Levitt will make every effort to find applicable defenses or mitigating factors that will reduce your charges or even have them dismissed. Contact the law office of Levitt Legal at (801) 455-1743 for a consultation about your firearm or weapon offense in Salt Lake County and the surrounding counties, including Box Elder, Tooele, Utah, Cache, Weber, Summit, Davis and Wasatch Counties in Utah.