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The first scenario that you posted seems really odd to me. I'm sure that some guns you can rack the slide and then disengage the safety. I believe the Beretta PX4 you can do this. But try that with a 1911. With the safety on, there is no way to rack the slide unless you disengage the it first. I also have a Browning Buckmark .22 that is the same way.
My FNX-9 will allow you to rack the slide with the safety on, it will also decock the hammer and let you engage the safety. So, two actions, release the safety and pull the trigger. Or manually cock the hammer, release the safety, then pull the trigger. I can make a case for two or even three actions before firing, even with a round in the chamber. But there's the whole no round in the chamber thing for Utah unloaded.

Mel
 

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That instructor is wrong and you need to take the BCI survey and point out that falsehood he and his assistant are teaching. Also under my understanding a safety isn't counted as one of the actions which be what lead to the bad instruction. It's rack the slide and pull the trigger. Safeties can work their way off on some designs (Military M9 for example) and thus cannot be relied on as one of your physical actions. So it's no round in the chamber, with the first action being to rack the slide, the second action being the pulling of the trigger.
 

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DaKnife said:
Also under my understanding a safety isn't counted as one of the actions which be what lead to the bad instruction. It's rack the slide and pull the trigger. Safeties can work their way off on some designs (Military M9 for example) and thus cannot be relied on as one of your physical actions. So it's no round in the chamber, with the first action being to rack the slide, the second action being the pulling of the trigger.
You wanna go ahead and cite the State Code that defines "manual operation of any mechanism once"? :raisedbrow:

'Cause I can't seem to find it. :wink:
 

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I do not see why s safety could not be county as a mechanical action an more or less than any other action in the firearm. Yes, they can work themselves on and off, but I have also seen careless people, have a trigger pulled by a piece of clothing, and the slide pulled back while holstering. That is why the law includes the two actions, AND and empty firing chamber.

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Sphix said:
So I have a question that fits in this thread, although in a slightly different vein.

I took the CFP class this last weekend, and everything was explained to me extremely well, except for one thing: The instructor and his assistants seemed to believe that to be "Utah unloaded" a firearm must need two manual actions PLUS the trigger pull to fire. They claimed that guns with safeties were the only ones that would work for open-carry without a permit, as a draw would progress like this:

Gun drawn, with no round in the chamber but a full clip locked in.
1) Pull the slide back to chamber the round (First action).
2) Click the manual safety off (Second action).
3) Pull trigger (Fire).

Therefore, they claimed, a gun without a safety could never be "Utah unloaded" as the draw would progress like this:

Gun drawn, with no round in the chamber but a full clip locked in.
1) Pull the slide back to chamber the round (First action).
2) Pull trigger (Fire).

I get the general feeling that the instructor was misinformed about this, as I believe the second action IS the trigger pull and the way the law is written seems to support that theory.

So, my question: Under Utah law, is one of the two actions required for a gun to be Utah unloaded the trigger pull?
My CFP instructor took this same approach...except for the manual safety, claiming that "didn't count". So the class was told that Utah unloaded would require the chamber AND magazine empty, or the chamber empty and the magazine not even in the firearm. Luckily I have since learned about a great website filled with Utah-related concealed carry and general firearms information....
 

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Snurd said:
The first scenario that you posted seems really odd to me. I'm sure that some guns you can rack the slide and then disengage the safety. I believe the Beretta PX4 you can do this. But try that with a 1911. With the safety on, there is no way to rack the slide unless you disengage the it first. I also have a Browning Buckmark .22 that is the same way.
There are several firearms that allow that kind of thing. I believe you're right about the PX4s, but I know you're able to manipulate the slide on a Sig P238 with the safety engaged. It's certainly modeled after the 1911 (or, more aptly, the Colt Mustang), but the slide is not blocked by the thumb safety on the P238. It's a feature I liked on the P238 -- being able to take a round out of the chamber while the thumb safety is engaged is a good thing. However, it also led to some problems -- for example, putting my P238 in to a very tight leather holster (with the thumb safety engaged) could take the gun out of battery unless I was careful.

So, technically, with a P238, you can carry with out a round in the chamber and the safety on... which would then require 3 actions before firing.
 

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UnderratedF00l said:
...

So, technically, with a P238, you can carry with out a round in the chamber and the safety on... which would then require 3 actions before firing.
And just to be clear, that configuration would be considered "loaded" under Utah law since there is a round in firing position. A round in firing position is "loaded" no matter how many actions are required to actually fire that round.

If there is no round in firing position, then and only then do you get to invoke the "2 or more actions to fire a round" rule in determining whether the firearm is loaded or not for purposes of Utah law.

Charles
 

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bagpiper said:
UnderratedF00l said:
...

So, technically, with a P238, you can carry with out a round in the chamber and the safety on... which would then require 3 actions before firing.
And just to be clear, that configuration would be considered "loaded" under Utah law since there is a round in firing position. A round in firing position is "loaded" no matter how many actions are required to actually fire that round.

If there is no round in firing position, then and only then do you get to invoke the "2 or more actions to fire a round" rule in determining whether the firearm is loaded or not for purposes of Utah law.

Charles
It would not be loaded in that configuration. He said without a round in the chamber. Although he said it with a space in the word, "with out".

(Sent from iSnurd)
 

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I interpreted what he said as claiming that there was no round in the chamber because it was out of battery. Was I mistaken?

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althor said:
I interpreted what he said as claiming that there was no round in the chamber because it was out of battery. Was I mistaken?
Yeah, you were mistaken -- or, I could have typed it badly on my phone. More than likely it was the latter. :D

I'll try to explain myself a little better now that I'm on a computer -- my anecdote about the holster and the P238 being out of battery was just something that I noticed and didn't like about the safety not locking the slide in place.

So, to explain what I meant:

When the thumb safety on a Sig Sauer P238 is engaged, it does not stop the slide from being manipulated. So, to fire a P238 without a round in the chamber and the safety engaged, you would have to rack the slide (which loads a round), and then disengage the safety, followed by a trigger pull -- which is a total of three actions -- to allow the pistol to fire.

This was in response to what Snurd said: "I'm sure that some guns you can rack the slide and then disengage the safety." I just mentioned the P238 as one of those guns.

How I should have typed it (I'm blaming my phone for the bad communication!):

With a P238, you can carry without a round in the chamber and the safety on... which would then require 3 actions before firing.
 

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Snurd said:
bagpiper said:
UnderratedF00l said:
...

So, technically, with a P238, you can carry with out a round in the chamber and the safety on... which would then require 3 actions before firing.
And just to be clear, that configuration would be considered "loaded" under Utah law since there is a round in firing position. A round in firing position is "loaded" no matter how many actions are required to actually fire that round.

If there is no round in firing position, then and only then do you get to invoke the "2 or more actions to fire a round" rule in determining whether the firearm is loaded or not for purposes of Utah law.

Charles
It would not be loaded in that configuration. He said without a round in the chamber. Although he said it with a space in the word, "with out".

(Sent from iSnurd)
Yup. My mistake for misreading that. Though I would argue that once the chamber is empty (of a live round), it matters not whether the safety is on or off. In any normally functioning semi-automatic pistol, a round cannot be fired until you rack the slide and squeeze the trigger. That is more than a single mechanism. There is no need to add a third (safety) or 4th or 10th. Once you have more than 1 mechanism required, the gun is not loaded if the chamber is empty.

Charles
 

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bagpiper said:
Yup. My mistake for misreading that. Though I would argue that once the chamber is empty (of a live round), it matters not whether the safety is on or off. In any normally functioning semi-automatic pistol, a round cannot be fired until you rack the slide and squeeze the trigger. That is more than a single mechanism. There is no need to add a third (safety) or 4th or 10th. Once you have more than 1 mechanism required, the gun is not loaded if the chamber is empty.
Sure, there's no legal need to carry it that way. I always carried it (before I sold it) cocked and locked -- but it's still interesting that the pistol has that feature. As I said earlier, I did like it for one reason: clearing the firearm was that much more safe. Drop the magazine, rack the slide, and visually inspect the chamber before putting it away... all with the trigger being non-functional.
 

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Admittedly, I haven't read every post in this thread, but I have read enough of them to know there is a lot of confusion on this matter. As a certified Utah CFP instructor, as I know many on this forum are, and PACSCO certified instructor for Armed Private Security Officers, I called BCI and discussed this issue with them (BCI administers the Utah CFP program). Here are the results of that discussion:

First, the "When a firearm is deemed loaded" statute was obviously written with semi-auto handguns in mind. A semi-auto handgun with no round in the chamber complies with both rules 1 and 2 of the statute.

Second, when it comes to revolvers, there is a lot of confusion, misunderstanding, and misinformation floating around. I was taught, when I received my CFP instruction, that a revolver must have two empty cylinders to comply with this statute. This bothered me immensely, as I have a five-shot revolver that, under that interpretation would only be legal with three rounds in it. By definition, a revolver can have no round in firing position at any time. One cannot possibly fire the round under the hammer under any circumstances if the handgun is functioning properly. It is impossible. Therefore the round under the hammer is not in "firing position" and a double-action revolver complies with rule #1 with all cylinders loaded with live rounds.

However, a double-action revolver fully loaded violates rule #2, because one trigger press will fire a round. Therefore, to comply with rule #2, the chamber that will rotate into firing position when the hammer is cocked, must be empty on a double-action revolver. By the definitions given in the statute, a double-action revolver is "statutorily unloaded" with one empty chamber, which is the next chamber in line to go under the hammer.

Third, a single-action revolver has no chambers that are in firing position at any time, as was stated above. Additionally, a single-action revolver cannot be fired by operation of any one mechanical feature one time. The hammer must be cocked, which also rotates the cylinder, and the trigger must be pressed. Therefore, a fully loaded single-action revolver complies with both rules of the statute as written.

Having said that, if the revolver is a replica of an antique revolver or an antique itself, it may have the firing pin located directly on the hammer. With this configuration it is dangerous to carry a round under the hammer, as a shock to the hammer can fire the round. Even the old cowboys had sense enough to carry an empty chamber under the hammer.

The above is a faithful representation of the results of the discussion with BCI on these issues. They agreed with my reading of the law.

Now for reality, I have heard numerous law enforcement officials and CFP instructors indicate that revolvers, regardless of single-action or double-action must have two empty cylinders to comply with the statute. While they cannot add to or detract from the law as written and their interpretation of the law is irrelevant, it is not unlikely that one carrying a revolver loaded as indicated above and having that handgun inspected, might be cited or arrested for carrying a loaded handgun in violation of the Open Carry statute. However, if that arrest were challenged, it would be overturned in court.

The law is written for handguns that function as the manufacturer intends. Arguments that a handgun could be fired if this were to happen or if that were done are irrelevant.

Additionally, some people didn't seem to be aware that the "Open Carry" laws specifically state that they pertain to open carry "on city streets." It is legal to carry open outside city limits without regard to the "statutorily unloaded" requirements. Additionally, it is legal in the State of Utah to carry a concealed handgun without a permit while hunting game outside city limts (a nod to the hunter in the middle of January with a heavy coat on, which covers his belted handgun).

Tony Henrie
Bedrock Protection Agency
 

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tthenrie said:
First, the "When a firearm is deemed loaded" statute was obviously written with semi-auto handguns in mind. A semi-auto handgun with no round in the chamber complies with both rules 1 and 2 of the statute.
Actually, most old timers believe the statue was clearly written with an old single-action revolver in mind. If the law were written with a semi-auto in mind, the ban on having a round in firing position (ie in the chamber) would have been sufficient. The "more than a single action to fire" requirement is redundant with a semi-auto; it applies only to a revolver.

tthenrie said:
Second, when it comes to revolvers, there is a lot of confusion, misunderstanding, and misinformation floating around.
Yes there is. And while BCI is generally great to work with, their employees are also subject to confusion.

Last year I made a couple of posts on this topic in another thread. They can be read at:
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=20783

You'll note that I start by quoting the actual statute and then dissecting that statute according to the plain language therein. No guarantee that a cop, BCI employee, or even judge doesn't disagree with my reading. But I've yet to have anyone be able to show me where my understanding is incorrect when the statute is immediately in front of us.

tthenrie said:
Additionally, some people didn't seem to be aware that the "Open Carry" laws specifically state that they pertain to open carry "on city streets." It is legal to carry open outside city limits without regard to the "statutorily unloaded" requirements. Additionally, it is legal in the State of Utah to carry a concealed handgun without a permit while hunting game outside city limts (a nod to the hunter in the middle of January with a heavy coat on, which covers his belted handgun).
76-10-504 does not say anything about city streets. The actual statute generally prohibits concealed carry except on your own property. From the code:

(1) Except as provided in Section 76-10-503 and in Subsections (2), (3), and (4), a person who carries a concealed firearm, as defined in Section 76-10-501, including an unloaded firearm on his or her person or one that is readily accessible for immediate use which is not securely encased, as defined in this part, in or on a place other than the person's residence, property, a vehicle in the person's lawful possession, or a vehicle, with the consent of the individual who is lawfully in possession of the vehicle, or business under the person's control is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
You may be thinking of 76-10-505 regarding the carrying of a loaded firearm. This code states:

(1) Unless otherwise authorized by law, a person may not carry a loaded firearm:
(a) in or on a vehicle, unless:
(i) the vehicle is in the person's lawful possession; or
(ii) the person is carrying the loaded firearm in a vehicle with the consent of the person lawfully in possession of the vehicle;
(b) on a public street; or
(c) in a posted prohibited area.
.....
No where that I can find is "city street" called out. The prohibitions are always on "public streets" or on "highways" which appear to be effectively synonymous. A rural stretch of I-15 or US-89 or even a dirt road open to the public are all treated the same as State Street and 400 S in SLC when it comes to the legal requirements for carrying loaded or concealed.

76-10-504 does include the provision to allow permit free carry while hunting "protected or unprotected wildlife " so long as the hunting isn't inside city limits in contradiction of city ordinance, nor upon the "highways of the state".

Highway is defined at 41-6A-101 as "(26) "Highway" means the entire width between property lines of every way or place of any nature when any part of it is open to the use of the public as a matter of right for vehicular travel. "

So every public dirt road in the State that is open to public vehicle travel is a highway. There are two ways to read the hunting allowance. One is that I can carry concealed without a permit so long as I am hunting and the actual taking of game doesn't happen in the city or on a road. The other, more restrictive reading is that I can't conceal, even when hunting, within a city or upon any road. I do not know the intent of the statute, nor can I determine with sufficient confidence what the wording means to feel comfortable relying on this statute unless I was in the backwoods, away from all roads.

Bottom line, as you can see, when explaining law, there is great value in actually quoting (and linking to) the law in question so as to avoid making mistakes.

All the best.

Charles
 

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Here is a copy of my post from a prior thread regarding when a gun is loaded or not, under Utah State law.

I welcome any corrections or errors that anyone can find. However, I accept as errors only what a judge of a court of record in Utah has ruled, an official opinion by our AG or by a prosecutor, or what someone can explain to me logically using the actual code. Opinions from BCI, police officers, or certified instructors are interesting, perhaps even useful to consider in terms of what is likely to result in a citation, but they are not factual proclamations of the law.

Let's start with the code, which is at 76-10-502. Ignoring black powder firearms, here is the relevant portion:

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)...
Ok. Usual caveats. I'm not a lawyer, I don't go to jail if any of this is wrong and you act on it, etc. My best understanding and application of this code is as follows:

So, under (1) if a round is "in the firing position" the firearm is loaded. A round under the hammer is in firing position, even if that round cannot be fired via the normal means. Even though cocking the gun would rotate the cylinder and cause this round not to fire, at the moment, the round is in firing position. The gun is loaded.

Now, look at (2). Where does a round need to be to be fired through "the manual operation of any mechanism once"? Put another way, can ANY round be fired through the manual operation of any mechanism once?

DA Uncocked: If the gun is a DA and uncocked, then pulling the trigger will rotate the cylinder one chamber, cock the hammer, and then drop the hammer on the cylinder that just rotated into position. This will cause a round to fire if the round is in the next up chamber.
DA Cocked: If the gun is a DA and is cocked, then pulling the trigger will cause the hammer to fall onto the chamber under hammer. The next chamber will not fired by pulling the trigger once.

SA Uncocked: If the gun is an SA, but uncocked, then pulling the trigger has no effect. No round will be fired.
SA Cocked: If the gun is an SA and it is cocked, then pulling the trigger causes the hammer to fall on the chamber already under the hammer causing it to fire. But this case is covered by (1, no round in firing position).

Simply put then, an SA revolver must have one chamber empty to be "Utah unloaded": The chamber under the hammer.
A DA needs either one or two chambers empty to be "Utah unloaded": If cocked, just the chamber under the hammer. If not cocked, both the chamber under the hammer and the next chamber up.

There is an exception. Some revolvers like the NAA mini-revolvers, have a notch between chambers into which the hammer can be parked. In this position, there is no round in firing position since the cylinder is halfway between two chambers. So we are covered under (1) for not being loaded. Assuming the revolving is a SA (as the NAA mini-revolvers are), pulling the trigger with the hammer down in this parked position has no effect. So there is no single mechanism that will cause any other round to fire and we are covered under (2) as well. Such a gun can be carried with all chambers loaded and still be considered "Utah Unloaded" as long as the hammer is resting in the safety slot between chambers.

Again, I'm not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, and so on and so forth.

Charles
 

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I tend to agree with bagpiper here. You have to interpret the law in the strictest sense for the Utah loaded statute. Unless you are willing to become the test case.

You could be right, and have a Judge that agrees with you, but you can't know that for certain. Technically, the round is in the firing position even though it cannot be fired.
 

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Doctor Jenks said:
I tend to agree with bagpiper here. You have to interpret the law in the strictest sense for the Utah loaded statute. Unless you are willing to become the test case.

You could be right, and have a Judge that agrees with you, but you can't know that for certain. Technically, the round is in the firing position even though it cannot be fired.
And if we consider likely intent the statute becomes even more clear. If the intent of requiring a gun carried in public to be "unloaded" is for public safety, and if the law was directed at revolvers without transfer bars or other drop safe mechanism, it becomes clear that a round under the hammer is exactly what the law was intended to prevent. A live round under the hammer of a non-drop-safe single action is at risk of becoming an ND if the revolver is dropped.

Banning a live round under the hammer creates a measure of safety.

Requiring that it take more than two actions to fire a round, then adds one more measure of safety so that a double action revolver, without an external safety, cannot be accidentally fired by an inadvertent pull of the trigger.

All of this seems a bit silly in light of a drop-safe 1911 carried cocked-and-locked. But when viewed in terms of non-drop-safe revolvers it makes a certain amount of sense. Ironically, it also makes a bit of sense in terms of modern semi-autos such as Glocks that lack external safeties. These guns are drop-safe, but still subject to NDs if something snags the trigger while a live round is in the pipe.

To be clear, I do not support laws preventing citizens from carrying a fully loaded gun. Nor do I believe we should be required to obtain a permit before we can legally do so.

But in attempting to understand the rationale behind a law, the intended application of that law may become more clear.

Charles
 
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