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Utah Gun Laws: How Do State Laws Apply on American Indian Reservations?

By    |   Friday, 09 Jan 2015 06:53 PM

It is highly encouraged to contact tribal authorities in Utah before carrying firearms on or through their reservation; preferably get something in writing that your permit/license is valid on their reservation, in additon to Utah gun laws.

For the most part, tribal courts have civil jurisdiction over Indians and non-Indians who either reside on or do business on federal Indian reservations. In addition, they have criminal jurisdiction over violations of tribal laws committed by tribal members.

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If you are carrying a firearm with a permit or license that is valid in the state where the reservation is located, your permit/license may not be valid on the reservation, according to Handgunlaws.us. The firearm will most likely be taken, and you will be told to go to Tribal Court to get it back.

Tribes have all of the powers of self-government except those that were relinquished under treaty with the United States, those that Congress abolished, and those that “federal courts have ruled are subject to existing federal law or are inconsistent with overriding national policies.” Consequently, tribes have the right to form their own governments; to make and enforce laws; to tax; to establish and determine membership; to license and regulate activities within their jurisdiction; to zone; and to exclude persons from tribal lands.

In most cases, tribal police work closely with local law enforcement surrounding the reservation; therefore, if you break a state firearms law, they will most likely hold you and contact the local authorities. It’s always a good idea to keep it unloaded and safely stowed in your trunk or a locked box in the back of your vehicle.

In Utah, the rules of the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation state the following:

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According to handgunlaws.us, a person will be found guilty of weapons offense if:
  • addicted to any narcotic drug, or having been declared mentally incompetent, he owns or has in his possession or under his custody or control a dangerous weapon
  • intoxicated or under the influence of alcoholic beverages or other intoxicating substance, drug, or medicine, he has possesses a dangerous weapon
  • carries a loaded firearm in a vehicle on a public road without lawful authority to do so
  • he has on his person a dangerous weapon with intent to unlawfully assault another
  • discharges any kind of firearm from a motor vehicle without lawful authority to do so
  • he discharges a firearm from, upon or across any public highway without lawful authority to do so
  • under the age of 16 years old, he possesses a firearm without the consent of his parent or guardian
In addition, a person is guilty of aggravated weapons offense if:
  • he carries a dangerous weapon concealed on his person
  • he threatens to use or exhibits a dangerous weapon in a dangerous and threatening manner, or uses a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel
  • he possesses a shotgun or rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length or an altered or modified shotgun or rifle less than 26 inches overall length
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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It is highly encouraged to contact tribal authorities in Utah before carrying firearms on or through their reservation; preferably get something in writing that your permit/license is valid on their reservation, in additon to Utah gun laws.
utah, gun, laws, apply, indian, reservations
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2015-53-09
Friday, 09 Jan 2015 06:53 PM
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