Legal in Utah

That’s me with an AK-47 plinking soda bottles with my friend DJ of Asymptotic Life near his rural home in Utah. This is completely legal in Utah, as is carrying a handgun anywhere.

Me with AK-47


  1. Duck, Bob, don’t you see the Black Helicopter in the background swooping down on you?????

  2. Most homes there appear to have lots of barky dogs as well as small to medium-sized arsenals inside. Not a good place to try a home invasion…

    And they leave their doors unlocked too!

    Guns are a way of life in rural areas and have been so for generations. That’s one of the big differences between rural and city life.

    (Yes, AK’s are quite useful for getting rid of pesky rabbits.)

  3. To be honest, the AK-47 is not the best rabbit gun ever made. I actually prefer the SKS, which has better accuracy. Some use a .22, or a small varmint rifle like a .223 or 20-250, while others use a 12-gauge.

    But lets face it: the AK is fun to shoot! And at $350, it’s one of the cheaper guns around, so why NOT have one?

    Besides, if the Religious Police or the Marxist Thought Patrols come to my door, they’d best knock…

  4. I should have put a smiley after my rabbit hunting comment. But shooting them with an AK does mean there’s nothing to clean up afterwards.

  5. Having thought about the comments, I’m curious about what an appropriate arsenal in rural Utah would look like.

    I certainly see the utility of a shotgun and a pump-action .22 or .223. If I were worried about larger critters, a 30-30 or even 30.06 (of the type my grandfather used to drop elk) would have some utility, especially in bear or puma country (assuming those aren’t protected species). I can also see some utility for a light handgun for protection from anything from snakes to other critters.

    I must confess that I don’t see the utility of an AK-47 or a .45/9 mm automatic, all of which appear to be designed simply to put as much metal in the air as possible to kill humans. IIRC, the AK-47 has a fairly low caliber round to promote easy of carrying the weapon. Useful for killing humans with a lot of lead, but the utility–short of plinking bottles for fun–escapes me. Ditto, by the way, for the flamethrower and mortar, although I do have a faint recollection from 30 years ago that Uncle Duke in the Doonesbury column used mortar fire to soften up the forest before going in to hunt deer. And I’m sure that many gun advocates believe that urban gun-control people actually believe in the converse of the 2nd amendment, namely our God-given right to arm bears.

  6. > I’m curious about what an appropriate arsenal in rural Utah would look like.

    From what I’m told, eight rifles / assualt weapons and three handguns is considered to be on the smallish side.

    > Ah, the AK-47. The People’s gun.

    Indeed, interchangeable parts made by everyone make it the weapon of choice in many parts of the world!

  7. As far as homestead utility, one should have a 12-gauge, a .22, and a high-powered rifle like a .270 or .30-06 for hunting larger animals. I also like a 30-30 because it’s useful around the homestead in case of coyotes or other predators, but it doesn’t have the range of say a 30-06 or .270.

    Self defense is a consideration here, too. Iron County has 3,300 square miles, just over 40,000 residents, and about five sheriff’s deputies. In case of emergency, the nearest deputy could be a hundred miles away. Thus self defense weapons have their place here: a short-barrelled 12-gauge pump is the favorite, followed by pistols, usually automatics in 45/9mm variety, though the .45 is generally considered less accurate.

    Utah is also big on disaster preparedness, and no disaster plan would be complete without more extensive community defense consideration. Thus you’ll find a variety of more combat-like weapons such as the AK-47 and AK-74, SKS, and AR-15. The AK-47 and SKS fire a 7.62 mm round, about .30 caliber, while the others fire a .223 caliber bullet. In terms of stopping power, the AK-47/SKS are preferable, but the range is not as good as the .223, which is generally preferred here. The AR-15 is the rifle of choice for those who can afford it.

    Then, of course, there are the “pleasure” guns– the ones bought for pure enjoyment. These vary according to each person’s taste. Personally, I have a fondness for WWI bolt-action rifles and old revolvers. I have a friend who likes semi-automatic pistols, and another who likes 19th century rifles. There is no practical use for these; even those collecting modern weapons have little need for the nth pistol. After all, how many can a person shoot at a time? But collecting stamps isn’t very practical either: it’s a hobby that provides satisfaction and, for some, a tangible link to history. And those who collect guns are not the ones likely to be using them to perpetrate in a liquor store robbery or a home invasion.

  8. BTW, archery is quite popular up here, too. A couple we know each got a deer using bow and arrow this year. So I guess Joe could say that real women use a bow and arrow, too. Of course, they also have their firearms.

    For myself, I’m not that inclined toward archery because I don’t hunt. I would if I needed to feed my family, but in that case I wouldn’t want to mess around. If you need to hunt to eat, you want to be sure.

  9. Been living here in Utah about 2 years now going to colleve. Just inherited my dads M1A he bought while in the Air Force years ago and love it. I have a question about the more modern guns like the AR 15. I dont really frequent gun shops but is that available in the state? I’d love to try one out since I’ve heard the ranges are pretty well equipped in the city limits.

  10. Yep– I can confirm that my local store has a nice selection of AR-15s. And if you can pass the federal background check, you can get a fully automatic weapon in Utah, too. I don’t know anyone who’s got one, but my local gun store sells them.

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