When is Deadly Force Justified Under Utah Concealed Carry Law?
It seems that in all of the Utah concealed weapons permit classes that we teach, the topic that seems to hold the most interest is to clearly understand the circumstances in which the use of lethal force is justified under Utah CCW Law. I have found that a significant portion of my students initially misunderstand what can and can not be done legally with a Utah CCW Permit.
The law states that a person must first reasonably believe that force is necessary to defend against the imminent use of unlawful force, and deadly force can only be used to:
- prevent death, or
- serious bodily injury to himself or another, or
- to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
The 4 highlighted terms above are critical to be understood by a Utah Concealed Weapons Permit holder if they are to legally use a weapon to defend themselves or another person.
What the law clearly states is that under no circumstances can you draw your weapon unless you reasonably believe that there is an imminent threat to your life or that you will incur serious bodily injury, or to try and prevent the commission of a certain specific type of felony.
In our Utah Concealed Carry Permit classes, we teach that you need to be mentally and physically prepared to use your weapon, and can legally only draw your weapon under these 3 circumstances specified by Utah CCW Law.
To be totally accurate, there was a new law passed (House Bill 78) that deals with “legally brandishing” a firearm when necessary to deter the use of unlawful force. We also emphasize that a person should always first look for any possible way to escape to avoid having to pull his gun to defend himself, and that we should always, if time permits, dial 911 to get police assistance. We also emphasize that you may only use your weapon to stop the progression of unlawful force being used against you. Once the threat has ceased, you must stop shooting, or you may be charged with using excessive force.
Having a Utah concealed weapons permit is very serious business, and there is no room for mistakes when you do carry. Everyone should seek additional training to become proficient with our weapons, and continue to study to clearly understand Utah concealed carry permit law.
We welcome you to join us and begin taking responsibility for your own safety, and that of your loved ones, by attending one of our upcoming Utah Concealed Carry Permit classes.
Please see our Utah Concealed Carry Permit website for details, or give us a call.
Mike Munnerlyn, Instructor
Utah Concealed Carry Permit
I am currently retired from teaching. My son-in-law Rob Wilkinson, who used to teach with me, is now teaching on his own. Please call him at 801-671-6773.
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