Stang777 wrote:Thank you for explaining it to me so well.
I am sorry, I probably made it more difficult by not making it clear that I was talking about a hammer-less DAO revolver. I thought all DAO revolvers were hammer-less, I thought that is what made them DAO.
Yeah, I don't see how a revolver could be DAO
, unless it is hammerless.
Nevertheless, while quychang may be right about the theory behind the law, it's the actual words that matter, and the words say that a gun is loaded if there's a cartridge "in firing position". The law doesn't define what that means, but everyone (including the BCI) seems to have decided that it means "in the position a cartridge is when it is fired", i.e. lined up with the barrel. Nothing about whether or not there's a usable hammer.
So: Round under the hammer means the gun is loaded.
Separately, the law says that if the gun can be fired with a single mechanical action, it is loaded. For a DA or DAO revolver, that means a cartridge in the next chamber to rotate into firing position, since the cylinder rotates while the hammer is lifting (keep in mind that "hammerless" revolvers really do have a hammer, it's just cut down and shrouded).
So: Round in the next chamber in the cylinder means the gun is loaded.
Add it all up, and if either of those chambers contains a live round, your gun is legally loaded in Utah, which means you can only load three chambers if you want to be legally unloaded, per Utah's definition.
Also keep in mind that Utah's definition is Utah's
definition. When it comes to federal laws, unloaded means unloaded -- no ammunition in the gun.
Interestingly, I have a SAO revolver which is utah-unloaded
even when all five chambers are loaded. Why?
First part: Is there a round in firing position? No, because the safety on the gun is set by rotating the cylinder so the hammer is lowered into a notch between chambers. No round is lined up with the barrel. So according to that part of Utah's definition, the gun is not loaded.
Second part: Will a single mechanical action fire the gun? No, because it's SAO. Two actions are required: pulling the hammer back, which will also rotate a chamber into firing position, and pressing the trigger to drop the hammer onto the cartridge primer.
So, all five chambers loaded with live ammo, but still Utah-unloaded. Note that this pistol is a very tiny .22, not something I'd recommend as a carry gun. I just mentioned it to illustrate how to apply the definition to a different situation. A traditional single-action revolver does keep a chamber in line with the barrel and uses the half-cock hammer position to make it safe. So with one of those, you would still have to leave the chamber under the hammer empty.
Just for completeness, also consider a semi-auto. If there's a round in the chamber, it's loaded. If no round is in the chamber but the magazine is loaded, it will require at least two mechanical actions to load it: rack the slide then operate the trigger. So for a semi-auto you just have to ensure the chamber is empty.
Four boxes protect our liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Use in that order.
Utah CFP Instructor; NRA Certified Instructor for Pistol, Rifle and Self-Defense in the Home; NRA RSO.
I am not a lawyer!