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Utah has a somewhat quirky definition of what is a loaded gun. It is important to understand this clearly.
First, here's the statute that defines what, in Utah, is legally considered a loaded firearm:

U.C.A. 76-10-502. When weapon deemed loaded.
(1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
(2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
(3) A muzzle loading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinders.
Let's understand this.
  1. Any firearm is loaded if there is a live round in the firing position (e.g. under the hammer).[/*]
  2. Any handgun is also considered loaded if you can fire the gun by any single mechanical action (e.g. just pulling the trigger).[/*]
Examples of a loaded handgun:
  • Any revolver with a live round under the hammer.[/*]
  • Any autoloader with a live round chambered.[/*]
  • An uncocked, double-action revolver with no live round under the hammer, but a live round in the next chamber to rotate in.[/*]
  • A revolver with a live round under the hammer, but no live round in the next chamber to rotate in.[/*]
Examples of an unloaded handgun:
  • A double-action revolver with no live round under the hammer, and no live round in the next chamber to rotate in.[/*]
  • A single-action revolver with no live round under the hammer, but with a live round in the next chamber to rotate in.[/*]
  • An autoloader with no live round chambered, but with a fully charged magazine in the well.[/*]
Clear as mud?

There are some consequences to this. Since a person in Utah without a permit to carry a concealed weapon cannot openly carry a loaded firearm, that person can still comply with the law by openly carrying a legally unloaded firearm, such as a Glock with a full magazine, but nothing chambered. However, this same person must take care not to carry within 1000' of a school property, and must be very careful that the firearm does not become concealed.

As always, I am not a lawyer, so read and analyze the statutes for yourself.
 

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Jeff, how sure are you about item "b" under the examples of an unloaded firearm? In the hunter ed materials (I know, not necessarily legal documents), it does not differentiate between a single action and a double action revolver. When asking the DWR law enforcement officers, their response was "for a revolver to be considered legally unloaded, it must not have a live round under the hammer nor next in rotation". I even brought up that a single action revolver required two operations to fire from the uncocked position. Their response to that was "see previous statement". When I went through the CFP class the answer was the same. Everytime I have asked the question, I have received the same response. You and I both know it takes two operations to fire a single action revolver. Unless the wording of the law has changed recently, I don't think it differentiates between single and double action revolvers. Perhaps we need to get that clarified? It seems that it is somewhat self-contradicting as it stands.

There could also be a valid argument about having a live round under the hammer on many modern revolvers. With the disconnects and safeties in place today, even striking the hammer directly toward the live round would still not necessarily cause the firing pin to make contact with the primer.
 

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The problem I see with a single action revolver is this:

Suppose you hold the trigger down and flick the hammer back and let it go, it will fire. This is really only one action (moving the hammer). The correct usage would be to cock the hammer and THEN pull the trigger making it two actions. If one were to pre-pull the trigger it could be construed as a single action to make the gun fire. :?:
 

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stick_man said:
There could also be a valid argument about having a live round under the hammer on many modern revolvers. With the disconnects and safeties in place today, even striking the hammer directly toward the live round would still not necessarily cause the firing pin to make contact with the primer.
Should read might.
 

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GeneticsDave said:
The problem I see with a single action revolver is this:

Suppose you hold the trigger down and flick the hammer back and let it go, it will fire. This is really only one action (moving the hammer). The correct usage would be to cock the hammer and THEN pull the trigger making it two actions. If one were to pre-pull the trigger it could be construed as a single action to make the gun fire. :?:
I don't know... being a relative dunce about revolvers, my view might well be considered lame by most others; but it seems to me that *PRE-PULLLING* the trigger should still count as 1 action -- I really don't see why changing the order of HOW it's done should turn one of the actions into a "pre"-action that doesn't get counted. :?:
 

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bane said:
GeneticsDave said:
The problem I see with a single action revolver is this:

Suppose you hold the trigger down and flick the hammer back and let it go, it will fire. This is really only one action (moving the hammer). The correct usage would be to cock the hammer and THEN pull the trigger making it two actions. If one were to pre-pull the trigger it could be construed as a single action to make the gun fire. :?:
I don't know... being a relative dunce about revolvers, my view might well be considered lame by most others; but it seems to me that *PRE-PULLLING* the trigger should still count as 1 action -- I really don't see why changing the order of HOW it's done should turn one of the actions into a "pre"-action that doesn't get counted. :?:
I agree. It still seems like two mechanical actions to me, just reversed from the normal order. And you could even argue that the reversed order is somewhat "normal" as well. That's how the cowboy shooters shoot fast; they hold back the trigger and "fan" the hammer so their fingers work the hammer multiple times with one sweep.

Hmm... just occurred to me... is a fanned single-action revolver a machine gun per federal law? It fires multiple shots with one pull of the trigger. :lol2:
 

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I agree with you, but what I was trying to say is that others may not - hence the gray area surrounding single action revolvers. Most people do not carry these, so it's somewhat of a moot point, but still.

I agree that pre-pulling the trigger should count as a mechanical action, but if you've ever shot a single action revolver, it's easy to see how you can manipulate the firearm to appear that you are indeed only using one action and not two to make it fire.

Ugh... this is hurting my brain, best get a permit and not deal with these issues :wink:
 

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All, I agree with the feeling that an uncocked single action revolver requires two actions to fire. Whenever I have talked with any LEO or instructors (or others supposedly in the know), it has always been explained to me as such... If the subject revolver is setting on a table without anybody touching it, how many actions would it take to cause a discharge? My answer has always been "2". The only situation I can think of would be a modified firearm, somehow binding the trigger in the "pulled" position. Either way, if you pull the hammer back, the cylinder rotates. From the uncocked position, in most cases, the position directly under the hammer must be rotated before the gun will fire. However, some single action revolvers do not have the firing pin block (similar to the new model Blackhawks) so the hammer actually would not be blocked from contacting the firing pin in the event of a blow to the hammer. I guess that because SOME models are capable, all must be classified as such. :( I wonder how much success a person could have arguing in court that one under the hammer of their single action Blackhawk could not be fired with a only one action?
 

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stick_man said:
I wonder how much success a person could have arguing in court that one under the hammer of their single action Blackhawk could not be fired with a only one action?
It wouldn't really matter, because having a round "in firing position" also makes it loaded, per Utah law.
 

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So, I've got one of the little North American Arms .22 revolvers (e.g., http://www.naaminis.com/magnum.html) that has a nifty safety feature of having the hammer rest *between* chambers on the cylinder. You have to manually pull back the hammer, which rotates 1/2 way between chambers so that a live round is in the firing position. Then the trigger can be pressed to fire the round. That's two mechanical actions, and there is no round in "the firing position" when the hammer is resting between chambers. Can this little mouse gun be considered to be "Utah unloaded" with a fully loaded cylinder?
 

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UtahCFP said:
Then the trigger can be pressed to fire the round. That's two mechanical actions, and there is no round in "the firing position" when the hammer is resting between chambers. Can this little mouse gun be considered to be "Utah unloaded" with a fully loaded cylinder?
I always assumed that was one of the reasons NAA makes them that way. The bigger one is that it's a very inexpensive and foolproof safety, of course.
 

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I think the thing to remember is that instructors and LEO's are just giving their interpretation of the law. If it says two mechanical actions and no round in the chamber and a single action revolver takes two actions to fire when the round is in the adjacent chamber then per utah law it is unloaded. The law has never specified revolvers from semi-autos so it has been left for interpretation. You may have to fight and prove that you are following the law but that's why Clark Aposhian's and the AG's #'s are on the forum right? :D

Just like GeneticsDave said, it would be easier to get a CCP and be done with it.
 

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stick_man said:
All, I agree with the feeling that an uncocked single action revolver requires two actions to fire. Whenever I have talked with any LEO or instructors (or others supposedly in the know), it has always been explained to me as such... If the subject revolver is setting on a table without anybody touching it, how many actions would it take to cause a discharge? My answer has always been "2". The only situation I can think of would be a modified firearm, somehow binding the trigger in the "pulled" position. Either way, if you pull the hammer back, the cylinder rotates. From the uncocked position, in most cases, the position directly under the hammer must be rotated before the gun will fire. However, some single action revolvers do not have the firing pin block (similar to the new model Blackhawks) so the hammer actually would not be blocked from contacting the firing pin in the event of a blow to the hammer. I guess that because SOME models are capable, all must be classified as such. :( I wonder how much success a person could have arguing in court that one under the hammer of their single action Blackhawk could not be fired with a only one action?
I agree with daleyplanet in that you are asking LEO's and unnamed anonymous forum posters (for the most part) for legal advice. Not to mention asking about something that is a gray area. Ask a Lawyer and you'll get a better answer than all the LEO's and instructors and posters combined. If you find a lawyer that says a Single Action Revolver can have a full cylinder, ask if they will represent you if ever charged. Or just go based on your interpretation and be prepared to back it up and stand your ground.

I respectfully disagree with the sentiment "Just get a permit." I absolutely hate the idea that I have to ask and be granted permission from the government to carry a gun. I chose to get a permit because of the impracticality of carrying a firearm while out and about due to the school zone restrictions. If we ever reverse the 1000 foot buffer around school zones, I'll probably let my permit expire. There is nothing wrong with harping a point until you understand it, especially when it potentially involves your life and liberties.
 

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GeneticsDave said:
The problem I see with a single action revolver is this:

Suppose you hold the trigger down and flick the hammer back and let it go, it will fire. This is really only one action (moving the hammer). The correct usage would be to cock the hammer and THEN pull the trigger making it two actions. If one were to pre-pull the trigger it could be construed as a single action to make the gun fire. :?:
I would still see this as two actions. Action 1 would be pulling the trigger, action 2 would be flicking the hammer back.

I always felt this was fairly clear. Having a live round in the path of the firing pin is fairly self explanitory, and two manual actitons is two manual actions. Perhaps there are some people who might not understand "manual actions," but you'll never word a law where 100% of people understand it.

As far as single and dual actions, it doesn't really matter much what the DWR says about it, the law is clear. If you have a single action you would still need two mmanual actions to fire, the first requires the hammer drawn back to cycle the cylinder, the second being the trigger pull to release the hammer, allowing you to carry with one in the next chamber. A dual action would cycle the cylinder with the trigger pull, one manual action, therefore the next chamber would need to be empty in order to require the second trigger pull (giving you your second manual action) to cycle again and drop the hammer. Part of this is acceppting that humans are capable of performing more than one action simultaneously.

Personally I've always felt that this was clear enough, I've never really felt it needed clarification, though I personally would have used the term "mechanical action," but even then there would be possible confusion over whether we were talling about internal mechnics or the external 'interface'...
 

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For me, I think two actions is also 1.safety (flip down the switch) then pull the 2.trigger. But that counts as a cartridge in firing position. The quoted law also says
" the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired."
So to me, that doesn't say two actions, but the same action more than once.
 

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The law has 2 distinct parts.... More than one action to fire AND no round in the firing position for a Semi-auto. For a revolver no round under the hammer and no round in the next space in rotation!
 

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JoeSparky said:
The law has 2 distinct parts.... More than one action to fire AND no round in the firing position for a Semi-auto. For a revolver no round under the hammer and no round in the next space in rotation!
No round in the next position if a double-action revolver. Single action (starting from hammer down over empty chamber) requires two actions to fire the round in the next chamber to rotate in.
 

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Unless I misunderstood all of the above mud...yeah, it would mean you could only have 3 rounds loaded unless you have your carry permit.

Mel
 

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Stang777 said:
I am confused, does this mean that in a DAO revolver (one with no hammer) that holds 5 rounds, that to be Utah unloaded, it can only be loaded with three bullets?
Yep.
 
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