Arizona Gun Laws
Just like Alaska, Arizona has massive levels of firearms acceptance of firearms as a state’s culture. Over 40% of households in Arizona hold at least one gun. The state has fewer gun regulation laws which gives its citizens the power to do the right thing without strict regulations. Firearm ownership in Arizona is a way of life; the state authorities benefit from the doubt on gun owners to operate firearms safely and with limited supervision.
Purchasing firearms in the state of Arizona is not unlike purchasing firearms in any other state. Certain rules apply in order to do so and only certain individuals are allowed to. No permit is required to purchase rifles, shotguns, or handguns in Arizona. No registration is necessary for rifles, shotguns, or handguns. The owners of rifles, shotguns, and handguns do not need to be licensed to own them.
No permit is necessary to carry a rifle or a shotgun but a permit is necessary to carry a handgun in Arizona. When purchasing firearms it is illegal to sell or give a firearm or ammunition to a minor without the written consent of his or her parent or legal guardian. Also, no Arizona State permit is necessary when purchasing a handgun, shotgun, or rifle. Selling or transferring a firearm to a prohibited possessor is illegal.
The state has about 6,900,000 residents and is located in the Southwest. It is bordered to the north by Utah, to the east by New Mexico, and to the west by California and Nevada, after crossing the Colorado River. It also shares an international boundary with Mexico. As a general rule, handguns are prohibited in Mexico.
Since no Arizona State permit is needed to possess a handgun, shotgun, or rifle, it is illegal for a prohibited possessor to possess a firearm. This includes any individual who is found, through a court order, to be a danger to him or herself or others where court-ordered treatment has not yet been terminated. A prohibited possessor can also be any person who has been convicted of a violent felony using a deadly weapon where civil rights are yet to be restored; any individual who is incarcerated; any person serving probation for a domestic violence offense or a felony; anyone who has been convicted and under parole, work furlough, community supervision, house arrest, or probation; anyone who was an adjudicated delinquent; or anyone who is an unemancipated minor. In the case of delinquency, if an individual carries or possesses a firearm within ten years after release, more severe punishments will be included upon an adult offense.
When participating in marksmanship practice, the transportation of an unloaded firearm between the hours of five in the morning and ten in the evening, or lawful hunting an individual between the ages of fourteen and seventeen is allowed to possess a firearm legally.
A concealed weapons permit can be obtained after an individual reaches the age of twenty-one. He or she must be a United State citizen, submit fingerprints, and must complete the proper safety regulations to lawfully carry a concealed weapon. All other circumstances for carrying a concealed weapon are illegal.
Arizona allows anyone who is at least 21 years old and not prohibited from owning firearms to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This is not limited to Arizona residents, meaning residents of other states may carry in Arizona even without reciprocity. In addition, anyone who is at least 18 years old and not prohibited from owning firearms may possess and open carry a handgun, but they cannot carry it concealed until they turn 21. It should be noted that a CCP is required in order to carry in a bar.
Open carry is legal in Arizona. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” apply to those who open carry. The minimum age for open carry is 18.
You must be at least 21 years old to apply for a permit to carry or to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. However, You only need to be 18 to possess or open-carry a handgun.
Arizona recognizes all other states valid permits, except Vermont, providing the following conditions are met:
“shall recognize a concealed weapon, firearm or handgun permit or license that is issued by another state or a political subdivision of another state if both: 1. The permit or license is recognized as valid in the issuing state. 2. The permit or license holder is all of the following: (a) Legally present in this state. (b) Not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm in this state.”
However, a person with a permit or license from another state may not carry in Arizona if the person is:
“under twenty-one years of age or is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, a felony offense in any jurisdiction, unless that conviction is expunged, set aside or vacated or the person’s rights have been restored and the person is currently not a prohibited possessor under state or federal law.”
Some states do not require a license to carry or have not entered into a written agreement that are not reciprocal. Anyone contemplating carrying in Arizona should follow this hyperlink to the Arizona Department of Public Safety and verify with their Reciprocal and Recognition Agreement at the time of the proposed reciprocal carry in Arizona.
Note: Arizona will only honor Idaho Enhanced Permits and will not honor the Idaho Standard Permit.
Firearms in Establishments that serve Alcohol
There are restrictions governing the carrying of firearms in establishments that hold a liquor license. Unless the business has a properly posted sign banning carrying firearms on the premises, it is generally lawful for people with a CCP to carry into the establishment. The sign must be located in a conspicuous location and be displayed right next to the liquor license in order to be valid and enforceable. It is illegal to consume alcohol while carrying a firearm. Note that You must have a valid CCP in order to carry in these establishments; constitutional carry doesn’t allow You to carry in establishments that serve alcohol, and open carry is also illegal there. The prohibition against carrying guns in establishments with liquor licenses does not apply to guests staying at hotels or motels that serve alcohol.
Arizona has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in any place You have a legal right to be, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, forcible rape, aggravated assault, or arson of an occupied building.
Restoring Gun Rights
When an individual has been convicted of a serious offense–usually an upper felony class offense or a violent offense–he or she will have his or her gun rights suspended under Arizona Law 13-604. Also under this law, an individual may have his or her Second Amendment rights restored after ten years of being discharged from probation or ten years after a release from prison. If the offense is considered a dangerous crime–usually a felony conviction for intentionally using a deadly weapon to inflict serious injury on another person–under section 13-604, Second Amendment rights will not be restored under any circumstances. If an offense includes kidnapping, sexual assault, or sexual contact with a minor under the age of fifteen, the right to possess a firearm will not be restored.
A prudent person contemplating possessing a firearm in a state other than where they live should understand the other state’s basic criminal laws. The top criminal acts relative to Arizona’s penal orientation, relating to firearms, are set forth below.
Under Arizona law, a license to carry a handgun does not permit carry in any of the following places or circumstances:
- Anywhere prohibited by Federal law
- In a polling place on an election day
- At a nuclear or hydroelectric power station
- The secured area of an airport
- At a jail or prison
- In or on school property, property being used by a school for a school function, or a school bus. Firearms may be stored in a vehicle parked in a school parking lot as long as the firearm is unloaded, not visible from outside the vehicle, and the vehicle is locked.
- At a public establishment or event after the sponsor or operator of the establishment/event asks You to remove Your weapon and place it in a temporary secure location. If the sponsor of an establishment or event asks You to remove Your firearm, they must provide You with a secure location to store it and allow You to retrieve the firearm immediately upon exiting the event.
Arizona No Guns Allowed Signs
Under Arizona law, there are two types of establishments that can sell alcohol. An off-site and an on-site retailer. Off-site retailers are places like liquor stores. These establishments sell alcohol, but it is illegal to drink on the premises. An on-site retailer is one where it is legal to drink on the premises, like a restaurant or a bar.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to retail establishments that serve alcohol and the laws regarding guns in them. Most people think that in the state of Arizona, as long as they have a permit, they are allowed to carry a gun in an establishment that serves alcohol as long as they keep it concealed and do not drink. The only time that this applies is when there is not a posted sign saying ‘no guns’.
If the establishment has the proper signage stating that guns are not allowed on the premises, it is illegal to carry a gun, open or concealed.
Requirements for The ‘No Guns’ Signage
In order for the ‘no guns’ sign of an establishment that serves alcohol to be upheld legally, it must follow specific criteria.
- The signage must be located in a place that is in plain view for the public and must be displayed next to the liquor license of the establishment.
- Within the signage, there has to be a pictorial diagram showing a gun within a red circle with a red diagonal line through it.
- The words “no firearms allowed pursuant to A.R.S. § 4-229” must appear on the signage.
- The specific format of the sign:
- The writing on the sign must be made using block letters that are capitalized and black in color.
- The paper on which the sign is printed must be white in color with a minimum weight index of 110 pounds.
- The sign must be laminated.
- The letters and the picture must take up a space that is at least 6 inches by 9 inches.
- The letters stating “no firearms allowed” must be at least three-fourths of an inch tall and all other letters must be at least one-half inch in size.
It is permissible for someone who has a concealed carry weapon permit to carry in an establishment if there is no proper signage on display stating otherwise. As always, law enforcement officers are permitted to carry no matter what signage is on display.
The thing to remember is that if there is proper signage in the establishment it is illegal for any firearm to be carried inside.
Defenses to A.R.S. § 4-229
If you are in trouble with the law for violating A.R.S. § 4-229, there are some defenses that can be used.
- You were not notified of the signage.
- The sign was not displayed or had fallen down at the time of the violation.
- You were not a resident of the state of Arizona at the time of the violation.
- The sign was posted in the establishment less than 30 days prior to the violation.
These defenses do not make you exempt from the violation and you could still be arrested and charged with the violation.