In just the past couple of years, tasers have become increasingly popular for civilian self-defense. It seems an average people like you and me are finally waking up to the unique capabilities of these self-defense tools.
flag of Utah
But, one thing is in the way of more widespread adoption, and that’s the fact that Tasers still aren’t illegal everywhere, and the fact that each state has its own laws governing them.
This can make acquisition, to say nothing of actively carrying it, tricky. How about Utah? Are tasers legal in Utah?
Yes, tasers are completely legal for civilian possession and self-defense use in Utah, but only if you aren’t a prohibited person, meaning no felonies or other crimes on your record.
Utah generally has excellent laws concerning self-defense and tasers in particular, and really doesn’t regulate these devices in any egregious way.
As long as you aren’t carrying one for an illegal purpose, or you don’t have a criminal background, it’s easy to get and carry a Taser for self-defense with no permit required. Read on and I’ll tell you a lot more about Utah’s taser laws.
How are Tasers Classified in Utah?
Tasers are not specifically defined in Utah, but they do meet the definition of a “dangerous weapon,” which means any firearm or any other object that in its manner of use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
Despite some assertions to the contrary, tasers are rightly called dangerous weapons because they are more than capable of inflicting great bodily injury or, sometimes, death.
This means that the use of a taser in a self-defense situation is very serious business. Read Utah’s definition for yourself in 76-10-501.
As used in this part:
(a) “Dangerous weapon” means:
(i) a firearm; or
(ii) an object that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
(b) The following factors are used in determining whether any object, other than a firearm, is a dangerous weapon:
(i) the location and circumstances in which the object was used or possessed;
(ii) the primary purpose for which the object was made;
(iii) the character of the wound, if any, produced by the object’s unlawful use;
(iv) the manner in which the object was unlawfully used;
(v) whether the manner in which the object is used or possessed constitutes a potential imminent threat to public safety; and
(vi) the lawful purposes for which the object may be used.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Utah?
Yes, stun guns are completely legal in Utah. This sounds redundant, but let me clarify: tasers and stun guns are properly distinct devices.
A taser is a type of electroshock weapon that fires a pair of dart-like probes which are connected to the launcher by wires. Once the target is struck, electricity flows through the wires and shocks the target.
Stun guns are simpler, consisting of a few electrodes on the front of the body, and when switched on they must be touched to the target in order to shock them.
These devices both work on it similar principles, obviously, but are considered distinct weapons although some states do not make this distinction in their statutory definitions.
To further complicate matters, some states will define both devices using one term or the other, so pay attention if you’re looking up the laws of other states!
Can You Carry a Taser Openly in Utah?
Yes, you can open carry a taser or a stun gun in Utah legally as long as you are a legal possessor and carrying it only for a legal purpose. Note that it is illegal to carry any dangerous weapon for any unlawful purpose or with intent to commit a criminal offense. See 76-10-507.
76-10-507. Possession of deadly weapon with criminal intent.
Every person having upon his person any dangerous weapon with intent to use it to commit a criminal offense is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in Utah?
Yes. Likewise, concealed carry of a taser or a stun gun is completely legal in Utah, with no concealed weapons permit required, as long as:
✅ the device is legal,
✅ you are a legal possessor.
✅ and you’re only carrying it for lawful self-defense purposes with no intention of committing a crime.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in Utah?
Generally, you’ll have to be at least 18 in order to purchase a taser or stun gun in Utah, but you don’t necessarily have to be 18 in order to possess one legally for self-defense purposes.
Utah concealed weapons permit requirements mandate that you be at least 21 years old in order to obtain one, but these permits are not necessary in order to possess and carry a taser or stun gun.
Legal precedent in Utah has generally found that tasers and stun guns are indeed dangerous weapons under the statutory definition, but it’s unclear if this place is an age limitation on open carry or concealed carry of these devices.
What Do You Need to Do to Buy a Taser in Utah?
You’ll need to be at least 18 years old in order to purchase a taser or stun gun in Utah as described above, but more than that, you’ll have to have a clean background.
Utah has extensive restrictions on the possession of dangerous weapons by certain people, referred to as Category 1 and Category 2 Restricted Persons.
Generally, anyone who has been convicted of a felony, especially a violent felony, is currently on probation, is an illegal alien, a fugitive from justice, or other disqualifying factors or character flaws is prohibited from possessing either a stun gun or a taser.
A partial list of the disqualifying factors from 76-10-503 is below. Make sure you open up and read the entire statute for yourself if you have a few black marks or red flags in your background: criminal possession of a taser or stun gun if you are a prohibited person is a crime!
76-10-503. Restrictions on possession, purchase, transfer, and ownership of dangerous weapons by certain persons — Exceptions.
(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) A Category I restricted person is a person who:
(i) has been convicted of any violent felony as defined in Section 76-3-203.5;
(ii) is on probation or parole for any felony;
(iii) is on parole from secure care, as defined in Section 80-1-102;
(iv) within the last 10 years has been adjudicated under Section 80-6-701 for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a violent felony as defined in Section 76-3-203.5;
(v) is an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
(vi) is on probation for a conviction of possessing:
(A) a substance classified in Section 58-37-4 as a Schedule I or II controlled substance;
(B) a controlled substance analog; or
(C) a substance listed in Section 58-37-4.2.
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership in Utah?
No. No training or instruction of any kind is required to purchase, own, or carry a taser in the state of Utah.
Where Can You Carry a Taser in Utah?
You can carry a taser anywhere in Utah where dangerous weapons are permitted under the circumstances so long as you are a legal possessor.
As a rule of thumb, this means you cannot carry your taser into the secured area of any airport or other sensitive facility, into any courtroom, into a courthouse, or into any government building or office.
Also, the carry of tasers or stun guns into schools is forbidden under most circumstances.
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Utah?
The only time it is ever permissible to use a Taser on another person in Utah is if you find yourself a legitimate self-defense situation.
Because tasers are considered dangerous weapons, meaning they can inflict death or great bodily injury, you should only ever use them against someone else when you are threatened with death or great bodily injury in kind.
Using your taser on someone for any other purpose, be it as a prank, to settle an argument or against some offense or assault that doesn’t warrant such a use of force, you’ll be charged with a serious crime.
Tasers aren’t toys, so you should treat them like you would any other weapon!