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Posted on March 16, 2022 in Weapons Charges

Arizona Gun Laws Overview

Arizona gun laws protect the rights of gun owners throughout the state. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. Even though federal and state laws recognize the right to own firearms, they do not protect people who misuse guns or break weapons laws in Arizona.

Therefore, gun advocates and firearm owners need to understand Arizona gun laws and how they impact their rights as gun owners. Below are a few of the most important Arizona laws that gun owners need to know.

Open Carry Laws

Arizona is an open carry state, meaning you can visibly carry a gun in public. There is no background check or permit requirement when purchasing a firearm from a private seller. 

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase and openly carry a gun. However, a minor aged 14 to 17 may carry a gun for hunting, target practice, or agricultural purposes under the supervision of a parent, grandparent, or safety instructor. 

Concealed Guns in Arizona

As with open carry, individuals in Arizona do not need to obtain a license or permit to carry a concealed weapon or gun. However, you must be at least 21 years old to carry a concealed gun. 

You may want to obtain your Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) if you intend to carry a concealed weapon. The CWP may be necessary if you cross state lines or enter an establishment that serves alcohol.

Make sure you check the laws in other states to determine if your CWP allows you to carry a concealed weapon. You are responsible for knowing and following the gun laws in any state where you carry a gun. 

Duty to Notify a Police Officer of a Weapon

Some states impose a duty to inform, meaning you must disclose that you have a weapon when contacted by a law enforcement officer. In Arizona, you only have a duty to notify a police officer that you have a gun if the officer asks. The requirement applies to guns on your person or in your vehicle. If you fail to accurately answer when asked, the police officer can charge you with a misdemeanor for failing to disclose a firearm. An officer may also take temporary custody of a gun during the encounter. 

If a police officer pulls you over, it is best to put your hands on the steering wheel, dashboard, or seat in front of you. Wait for the police officer and answer the officer’s questions regarding the presence of firearms in the vehicle. If the officer requests possession of the gun, hand it over. The last thing you want to do is escalate the situation. 

Who Can Purchase a Gun in Arizona?

Arizona gun laws do not require background checks or permits to purchase a gun in a private sale. You must be at least 18 years old to purchase a firearm from a private seller. You do not need to register a gun you bought from an individual. 

However, federally-licensed gun shops must run a background check on you before you can purchase a firearm. There is an exception for individuals with valid state permits. For those with a CWP, the owner may not be required to complete a background check before selling the firearm. You must be at least 21 years old to purchase from a federally-licensed gun shop.

Individuals Who Cannot Own or Carry a Firearm in Arizona

Arizona gun laws set forth a list of individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm, including individuals who:

  • Have been judged incompetent in a court
  • Have been deemed a danger to themselves or others
  • Have a persistent or acute disability or grave disability by court order
  • Are serving community supervision or on work furlough, parole, probation, or home arrest
  • Are incarcerated in a correctional or detention facility 
  • Have been convicted of a felony and whose gun rights are not restored
  • Are on probation for a felony offense or domestic violence
  • Are nonimmigrant aliens traveling with or without documentation (with exceptions for certain diplomats, those who possess a hunting license, and those participating in a competitive shooting contest)
  • Are undocumented individuals

If a court or the law prohibits you from carrying a gun and you choose to ignore the law, you could face serious convictions for a weapons violation. You can refuse a search by a police officer who does not have a warrant in most cases. However, the officer may claim he has probable cause for a warrantless search.

In that case, you should contact an Arizona gun rights attorney to discuss your case and potential defenses to the gun charges.

Places You Cannot Carry a Gun in Arizona

Arizona gun laws make it illegal to carry guns or firearms in certain locations. Some locations where it is illegal to carry a firearm include:

  • Correctional facilities
  • National parks 
  • Federal buildings
  • School grounds
  • Polling places on election day
  • Indian reservations 
  • Airports 
  • Game preserves 
  • Businesses serving alcoholic beverages on site (unless you have a CWP)

The rules might seem complicated, but they are designed to protect the general public from accidental shots fired and mass shootings. 

Contact the Criminal Defense Lawyers at Orent Law Offices In Phoenix To Get Legal Assistance Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evaluation, so get the help you deserve today.

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