Owning and carrying a firearm for hunting or personal protection is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. The pertinent phrasing is “keep” (meaning to own or have) and “bear” (meaning to carry or have on the person). To maintain public safety, Arizona and other states have established certain laws that pertain to firearms. Most relate to the second portion of our guaranteed right, “bearing” or carrying a firearm.
Basic Arizona Gun Laws
Arizona gun laws reflect the basic freedom of the US Constitution. For specific regulations and prohibitions in your part of Arizona, refer to that municipality’s specific law regarding handgun use and possession.
Arizona is a permitless carry state, meaning any person of at least 18 years of age who is otherwise not prohibited from owning or carrying a firearm may openly carry a firearm on their person without a permit. Any person at least 21 years of age who is not otherwise prohibited from owning or carrying a firearm may carry a firearm concealed on their person without a permit.
Basically, any handgun you can carry concealed on your person, in your vehicle, or openly in a safe carry configuration is legal. Arizona citizens can also carry long guns (rifles or shotguns) openly, although care must be taken not to display reckless or intimidating behavior.
Specific Prohibitions Against Carrying a Firearm in Arizona
In the interests of public safety, Arizona has established certain prohibitions regarding carrying firearms. Firearms are prohibited at all locations listed below, with or without a concealed carry permit (regulations vary for law enforcement officers):
- Businesses serving alcohol for consumption on the premises (CCW permit holders may carry if not consuming alcohol)
- Polling places on election days
- Public or private school grounds
- Commercial nuclear & hydroelectric generating stations
- Military installations
- Indian reservations
- Game preserves
- National parks (CCW holders may carry)
- Correctional facilities
- Federal buildings
- Where federal, state, or local laws prohibit weapons
Gun owners and those carrying a firearm should also be aware that private businesses may or may not post signs prohibiting weapons on their property. If the establishment is clearly posted, you may not carry on the property. However, the owner or proprietor of an establishment that does not clearly have it posted may also request that you leave the premises with your firearm. Failure to comply can result in a charge of trespassing.
Arizona law does not prohibit a person from carrying a firearm and wearing a face covering.
Obtaining a Concealed Carry Permit in Arizona
In order to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Arizona, applicants must meet the following qualifications:
- US and/or Arizona citizen
- 21 years old (or at least 19 with proof of current military service or honorable discharge)
- Not under indictment for a felony offense
- Not convicted of a felony offense (additional rules apply)
- Not suffering from mental illness and been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution
- Be legally in the United States
- Have completed a firearms safety training program pursuant to R.S. 13-3112.N
Some may ask why a concealed carry permit is necessary if Arizona permits concealed carry without it? CCW permit holders are allowed to carry a firearm in many places not allowed under the constitutional carry statute, such as businesses serving alcohol (if you are not drinking), state and national parks, in your vehicle on school property (such as waiting in the car pickup line) and other locations. Plus, a CCW permit from Arizona is recognized by at least 30 other states, allowing you to carry legally as you travel.
C2 Tactical offers Concealed Carry Permit training courses that meet the requirements above. Contact us for more information or to register for an upcoming course.