Make no mistake about it: your Second Amendment affords you the right to bear arms.
We here at Chuck Franklin Law protect those who desire the right to bear arms. But, while Arizona laws on guns are much more lenient compared to other states, those who fail to follow the law may end up facing harsh penalties. Knowing Arizona’s gun rights is crucial for any gunowner.
Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding gun laws in Arizona. Note: this article is not legal advice, but general information.
Question 1: Am I Required To Register My Firearm In Arizona?
No, Arizona does not require citizens its to register gun ownership. Arizona is considered an “open carry” state, meaning that, as long as you are at least 18, and not a prohibited possessor, you can carry a gun that shows a part of the gun, or its holster.
Counties, cities and towns are prohibited from requiring firearm licensing or registration. A.R.S. 13-3108. As long as you are 18 years old, you can legally buy and possess a gun in Arizona without registration. If you are under 18, you may possess a gun under parental, guardian or grandparent supervision.
Question 2: Do I Need To Pass A Background Check To Buy A Gun?
Not if you are buying from a private party in Arizona. Neither background checks, nor the register or sale or transfer of a firearms needs to be reported to the State. Local municipalities, cities and county governments are prohibited from enacting rules or taxes relating to the possession, sale, transfer or licensing of firearms.
But, if a private party knows that a potential buyer is a prohibited possessor, the seller may face charges of weapons misconduct.
However, if you are purchasing a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer, the dealer is required to perform a background check.
Question 3: Is Arizona A Stand Your Ground State?
Arizona state laws effectively allow people to stand their ground. If you’re not engaged in an unlawful act and you’re in a place you have a right to be, you don’t have to retreat when someone threatens or assaults you. Nevertheless, you can only use proportional and reasonable force when immediately necessary to protect against potentially deadly force.
Question 4: What Is A Prohibited Possessor?
A prohibited possessor is someone who is either a convicted felon, and has lost their constitutional right to own a firearm as a result of their conviction. Additionally, undocumented immigrants, or those who have been deemed to be a danger to themselves are considered prohibited possessor.
In other instances, if you were convicted, or pled guilty to a misdemeanor that included the use of force, you may be a prohibited possessor.
If you are deemed a prohibited possessor, you cannot carry/own a gun in Arizona. A.R.S. 13-3102. Possessing a gun as a prohibited possessor can lead to felony charges.
Question 5: Where Can’t I Carry A Concealed Firearm In Arizona?
Arizona law prohibits carrying firearms in certain areas:
- Businesses serving alcohol for consumption on the premises;
- Polling places on election day;
- K-12 school grounds;
- Commercial nuclear and hydroelectric generating stations;
- Military installations;
- Indian reservations;
- Game preserves;
- Correctional facilities;
- Federal buildings;
- Public college or university grounds.
Question 6: What is Brandishing?
When a person recklessly handles, displays or discharges a weapon. Putting your hand on a firearm while it is concealed in your pocket, or sweeping your jacket to expose your firearm are forms of brandishing. Under Arizona law, it is illegal to brandish a weapon in these manners. A.R.S. 13-2904 and 13-421.
Question 7: Are “No Weapons Allowed” Signs enforced In Arizona?
Yes—when a person is asked by an event or a establishment to remove his or her weapon, then that person has committed misconduct involving weapons under A.R.S. 13-3102.01. If a person with a gun is asked to remove the gun and place it into the establishment’s custody, the person should comply and allow the weapon to be temporarily secured while the person is at the establishment or event.
A misconduct involving weapons charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A.R.S. 13-3102.
Question 8: What Types Of Guns Are Prohibited Under Arizona Law?
There are only a handful of types of guns that are prohibited under Arizona law. The law disallows the sale and possession of the following:
- Automatic weapons, such as machine guns, are prohibited.
- Short-barrel rifles: a rifle with a barrel that is less than 16 inches long;
- Short-barreled shotguns: any shotguns with a barrel that is less than 18 inches long;
- Sawed-off weapons: any rifle or shotgun that has been modified to less than 26 inches.
- Silencers, or items that muffles a firearm shot is prohibited.
Semi-automatic guns, including most handguns, rifles, and shotguns are not prohibited.
Question 9: What Are The Rules When Carrying A Gun In A Car?
Firearms must be transported in a case, holster, storage compartment, trunk or glove compartment of the vehicle.
If the gun is in a holster, then it can be concealed anywhere in the car. For residents under 21, it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm within the immediate control of anyone in the vehicle.
Question 10: If I Get Stopped By An Officer, Do I Need To Inform The Officer Of My Gun In The Vehicle After Being Stopped?
There is no duty to inform an officer that you’re carrying a concealed weapon. Only when asked does that duty kick in.
Under A.R.S. 13-3102, any person carrying a concealed firearm must acknowledge and comply with the demands of a law enforcement officer when asked if he/she is carrying a concealed deadly weapon, if the officer has initiated an “investigation” such as a traffic stop.
If a person fails to “accurately answer the officer”, it is considered a crime in Arizona. A.R.S. 13-3102(A)(1)(b). While other states like Virginia and Wisconsin require public gun owner to affirmatively disclose the presence of firearms, and give the permit when needed, Arizona only requires such disclosure if specifically asked by an officer.
Question 11: If The Officer Asks For My Firearm During The Stop, Must I Comply With The Officer’s Request?
Yes, if the officer asks for the weapon. During the stop, the law enforcement officer may take temporary custody of the firearm for the duration of that contact for officer safety purposes.
Question 12: Is It Legal To Carry A Firearm In Arizona State And Local Parks Or National Forests?
Carrying a firearm inside any Arizona State Park is building is restricted per A.R.S. 13-3102.
However, carrying a firearm outdoors in a State Park is permissible, but, a Park Ranger may make a reasonable request to remove a firearm if he or she believes that the person carrying the firearm poses a danger or threat to others lawfully present.
A.R.S. 13-3108 prohibits cities and counties from banning firearms in parks. Therefore, depending on your age, you may carry open or concealed in local parks. All other prohibitions against discharging firearms apply. While visiting National Forests in Arizona, you may carry a firearm in compliance with state laws. However, in addition to state laws, you must comply with Federal Regulations pertaining to the use of a firearm on National Forest System lands. A firearm may not be discharged in the following National Forest areas:
- Within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; or
- Across or on a Forest Development road or an adjacent body of water, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge; or
- Into or within any cave. [36 CFR 261.10 (d)] Some forest or districts have additional restrictions on discharging a firearm. You are advised to check with the authorities in the areas you will be visiting.
Question 13: Can I Wear A Facemask While Carrying A Concealed Weapon?
Yes—Arizona has no know mask restriction that prohibits wearing a mask while also carrying a firearms. Still, masks may be considered an aggravating circumstance if charged with another crime. A.R.S. 13-701(D)(26).
Question 14: Can I Own A Taser Or Stun Gun In Arizona?
Yes—stun guns and taser are both legal to purchase and possess without a permit. All is needed is a government issued ID for purchase. A.R.S. 13-3117.
Question 15: Do I Need To Notify The State If I Am Moving To Arizona With Guns?
No—Arizona does not have gun registration requirements in Arizona. You can always apply for an Arizona concealed Weapons Permit, but you do not necessary need to since Arizona is an Open Cary state.
All gunowners need to be informed, and stay safe. In this day in age, everyone needs to know what the gun laws are in Arizona, whether they own a gun or not. If you have questions, or you or your loved one faces gun charges, call me at (480) 545 – 0700.
- CAN I BUY A GUN AS A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD HOLDER?
- CAN I CROSS STATE LINES WITH A GUN?
- ARIZONA GUN LAW BASICS
- CAN A COP STOP YOU FOR CARRYING A GUN?
- USING DEADLY FORCE AGAINST HOME INTRUDERS
Serving Arizonans since 1987.