While Utah typically has among the lowest crime rates in the nation, an FBI report released at the end of September showed a nearly 5 percent increase in violent crime in 2016—higher than the national average. Combined with the accounts below, those numbers may inspire more Utah residents to buy a firearm and learn to use it.
Early one Thursday morning, two men entered the apartment of a Salt Lake City man by unknown means and a confrontation occurred. At that point, one of the residents fired several rounds at the alleged home invaders, killing one and wounding the other. The second man was found by police outside the apartment and taken to a local hospital in serious condition. Investigators told ksl.com that they don’t believe the apartment was chosen at random, and the shooting is being investigated as a possible case of self-defense. (ksl.com, Salt Lake City, Utah, 03/31/2017)
A Cottonwood Heights, Utah, homeowner was awakened at 4 a.m. by strange noises. That’s when he spied a couple of thieves rifling through his car, so he called the police—and grabbed his gun. Cottonwood Heights Police Chief Robby Russo told KSTU-Fox 13 the homeowner, identified only as Ryan, “Walked out and saw two guys burglarizing his vehicle, confronted them with his weapon, and held them at bay. The bad guys threatened to call the police on him, and he said, ‘That’s great, I already called them’ and … they take off running.” One of the thieves was tackled by police and arrested. The accomplice escaped, but police plan to make a second arrest soon. The thieves were responsible for several burglaries in the area, and the suspects’ car was loaded with stolen items. Ryan, a concealed-carry permit holder said, “I’m happy to help, I’ll do it again: I don’t like liars or thieves.” (Fox 13 Salt Lake City, Cottonwood Heights, Utah, 03/11/2017)
A knife-wielding woman entered an Arby’s in Vernal, Utah, and attempted to rob the restaurant. At the same time, a Right-to-Carry permit holder was ordering from the drive–thru. When the person taking his order did not respond, the permit holder went inside the restaurant, where an employee alerted him to the robbery in progress. The permit holder went back to his vehicle, retrieved a gun, then confronted the robber. When the thief moved towards him with the knife, the permit holder pointed the firearm at her. Eventually the criminal was disarmed and the permit holder was able to hold the thief at gunpoint until police arrived. The robber faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and aggravated robbery. (Deseret News, Deseret, Utah, 01/26/2015)
Around 3 a.m., a homeowner was asleep at home with his family in Kearns, Utah, when he heard a suspicious noise. After arming himself, the homeowner went to investigate and discovered a criminal trying to break in through a sliding glass door. The homeowner fired once through the door, striking the criminal and causing him to flee. When police arrived on the scene they found the criminal, dead, about 50 yards from the house. (KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, Utah, 11/08/2010)
An Orem, Utah, man nearly had his ticket punched when he attempted to rob a Greyhound bus station. The man handed the clerk at the station a note demanding money. The clerk, who has a CCW permit, drew a gun and held the would-be robber at gunpoint until authorities arrived. The suspect was charged with attempted robbery and public intoxication. (The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 09/12/2003)
Her family taken hostage by her daughter's ex-boyfriend, Barbara Holt of Kearns, Utah, and her husband were threatened with death, then forced into the bathroom of their home. When the man, armed with a rifle, went into the kitchen with her daughter, Holt slipped into the bedroom and got her .22 pistol. "I was hiding in the corner and when he came out of the kitchen, I just pulled the trigger," Holt said. Her single shot hit the man in the head and stopped the attack. (The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 10/21/1991)
Lemuel Earl and his wife were awakened by suspicious noises in their store in front of their home at Mendon, Utah. Armed with a .45, Earl investigated. In front of the store, he confronted a youth who claimed to be alone. Just then, Earl saw a rifle barrel emerge from the shattered window of his store. He fired a shot that wounded one bandit and caused another to dart from the store with his hands up. Police arrested the three, and said they found a stolen car with four rifles in it. (Standard Examiner, Ogden, Utah, 10/01/1967)