Utah

Utah Law

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FIREARM PROHIBITIONS

Utah Domestic Violence Firearm Purchase and Possession Prohibitions

Utah prohibits persons convicted of the commission or attempted commission of assault or aggravated assault against the following persons from intentionally or knowingly purchasing, transferring, possessing, using, or having under his or her custody a firearm or other dangerous weapon:

  1. Current or former spouse;
  2. Parent;
  3. Guardian;
  4. Individual with whom the person shares a child in common;
  5. Individual who is cohabiting or cohabited with the person as a spouse, parent, or guardian; or
  6. Individual similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the person.1

Utah prohibits persons subject to a protective order or child protective order that would qualify under federal law*from intentionally or knowingly purchasing, transferring, possessing, using, or having under his or her custody a firearm or other dangerous weapon.2

A court issuing a protective order or child protective order, including an ex parte protective order or child protective order, may prohibit the respondent from purchasing, using, or possessing a firearm or other weapon specified by the court if the court finds that “the respondent’s use or possession of a weapon may pose a serious threat of harm to the petitioner[.]”3

A court issuing a dating violence protective order may not prohibit the respondent from possessing a firearm unless:

  1. the respondent has been given notice and an opportunity to be heard; and
  2. the petition establishes:
    1. by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent has committed abuse or dating violence against the petitioner; and
    2. by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent’s use or possession of a firearm poses a serious threat of harm to [the] petitioner or the designated family or household member.4

UTAH  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIVE ORDER FIREARM REMOVAL

Civil Domestic Violence Protective Orders that Require Removal

Utah law does not require removal of firearms and ammunition from persons subject to domestic violence protective orders; however, courts issuing a protective order, dating violence protective order, or child protective order, including an ex parte protective order, or ex parte child protective order may “order any further relief that the court considers necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of the petitioner and any designated family or household member,” or minor, respectively.5

Individuals Who May Petition for a Protective Order

Any cohabitant who has been the victim of abuse or domestic violence, or who is substantially likely to be the victim of abuse or domestic violence, may petition for an ex parte protective order or protective order.6

“Cohabitant” is defined as an individual who is 16 years of age or older and who:

  1. is or was a spouse of the other party;
  2. is or was living as if a spouse of the other party;
  3. is related by blood or marriage to the other party;
  4. has or had one or more children in common with the other party;
  5. is the biological parent of the other party’s unborn child; or
  6. resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party.7

A person may seek a dating violence protective order  if the person is subjected to, or there is a substantial likelihood the person will be subjected to:

  1. abuse*by a dating partner of the person; or
  2. dating violence* by a dating partner of the person.8
  3. “Dating partner”*  is defined as:
      1. A. is an emancipated person; or 

    B. is 18 years of age or older; and

    1. is, or has been, in a dating relationship with the other party.9
  4. “Dating relationship”* is defined as “means a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature or a relationship which has romance or intimacy as a goal by one or both parties, regardless of whether the relationship involves sexual intimacy.”10

Any interested adult may file a petition for a child protective order on behalf of a child who is under the age of 18 who is being abused or who is in imminent danger of being abused.11

Penalties for Violation

The protective order should indicate which knowing violations of the protective order are criminal offenses or civil violations12. A violation of an order for “any further relief the court considers necessary to provide for the safety and welfare” of the petitioner is a civil violation;13 however, a violation of an order prohibiting the respondent from “purchasing, using, or possessing a firearm or other weapon specified by the court” is a criminal offense.14

This page was updated September 14, 2018. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.