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Arizona's Firearm Laws: An Overview


The United States Constitution’s Second Amendment states that the peoples’ right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Arizona is often applauded or criticized, depending on your point of view, for staying true to the word of the Constitution and allowing gun owners a fair amount of freedom. Compared to most other states, Arizona is incredibly lenient when it comes to gun law restrictions.

For the most part, any law-abiding citizen and resident of Arizona over the age of 21 can possess a firearm. Pistols, shotguns, and most rifles are permitted, and indeed no permit is required to purchase them. Additionally, permits to carry or concealed carry permits are also not necessary for any legal weapon type. There is not even a mandatory registration of firearms if the weapon never leaves the state.

Restrictions, Limitations & Illegalities

At a glance, it might seem like a gun owner in Arizona can do whatever they like with their weapons, but this is not the case. There are numerous legal restrictions that can constitute a misdemeanor or high level felony if they are violated.

Some of the groundwork laws and violations you should know include:

  • If you have a concealed firearm in your vehicle, you must tell any law enforcement officer who pulls you over or detains you about it. Firearms kept in storage compartments within the vehicle, or that are in plain sight, do not need to be disclosed.
  • In most circumstances, you may never bring a firearm onto school grounds. Exceptions include storing an unloaded weapon in your vehicle, which is brought onto school grounds, or bringing a gun to the school for a firearms safety course.
  • Special gun permits are required to bring a concealed firearm onto any premise that serves alcohol to patrons, including bars, restaurants, and businesses.
  • Convicted felons may possess or carry a gun, but only after their sentencing requirements have been completed.
  • Anyone who has had their right to bear arms revoked by the law may not carry a firearm at any time. Revocation may occur after conviction for certain violent crimes or weapons crimes, or if someone is deemed a danger to themselves.
  • Burst-fire weapons, sawed-off rifles and shotguns, and firearm silencers or mufflers are strictly illegal.

If you have been arrested for any sort of gun crime in Arizona, the first thing you need to do is think about how you will defend yourself. Despite the leniency in the law, penalties for violations can still be incredibly harsh, including years in prison, thousands in fines, and the loss of your right to carry a gun. Contact our Mesa criminal defense attorneys at Naegle & Crider PLC today to learn how we can stand up for your rights and push back the criminal justice system that is bearing down on you.

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