Poll: Majority of Utahns Think the State’s Gun Laws are About Right

Most Utahns say the state’s gun control laws are about right – neither too strict nor too lax – and no major changes are needed, a new UtahPolicy poll shows.

In the wake of nine African-Americans being murdered by a young gunman in a South Carolina church, pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds that 56 percent of Utahns say our state gun laws “are about right.”

A fourth – 24 percent – said there should be more control of guns in Utah.

Fifteen percent said the current gun control laws are too strict, and they should be loosened.

And 4 percent didn’t have an opinion.



Utah gun laws generally reflect those of other western states.

Those purchasing a gun from a licensed dealer must have an immediate background check, with restrictions on who can buy placed of criminals and such.

Guns can be banned from churches (by the church leaders), from jails, courts, airports and other controlled access areas.

Qualified adults can get a concealed-carry permit, which allows them to carry their handguns under jackets, in purses and so on.

And Utah has an open carry law that allows an adult to carry a gun in open as long as there isn’t a live round in the chamber – known as “unloaded.”

In recent years, GOP Gov. Gary Herbert has threatened to veto bills that greatly relaxed current gun laws – saying Utah has a high rating from the National Rifle Association, and the state gun laws are proper as is.

And he’s backed up by a super-majority of Utah Republicans.

Jones finds that 71 percent of Republicans say state gun laws are about right and need no major changes.

Six percent of Republicans want stricter gun laws.

Eighteen percent say gun laws are too strict and need to be relaxed, and 5 percent of Republicans didn’t know.

Democrats are on the opposite side:

— Only 24 percent say state gun laws are about right; 71 percent believe gun control should be stricter; while only 3 percent of Democrats say gun laws are too strict and should be loosened.

Political independents are more down the middle – 51 percent say gun laws are about right; 31 percent say they are too lose and should be tightened; 13 percent say they are too strict and should be relaxed.

The Utah Legislature is controlled by conservative Republicans.

Jones finds that among those who defined themselves as “very conservative,” 60 percent said the gun laws are about right; 4 percent said they are too lax, and more gun control is needed; while 31 percent said the gun laws are too strict and need to be loosened.

Jones polled 610 registered voters from July 14-21; with a margin of error of 3.97 percent.