Arizona Gun Laws: What Guns Can I Possess in Arizona?
Gun laws in Arizona are less restrictive than those in most other states in the country, and residents are permitted to carry any firearm specified by the Arizona Criminal Code, including:
- Other weapons that use an explosive to discharge a projectile
Under this definition, air-powered guns aren’t considered firearms, nor is any gun that’s been rendered permanently inoperable.
While firearm laws in Arizona provide a lot of leeway for gun owners, violating Arizona gun possession laws can come with serious consequences.
The legal team at The Law Offices of Brandon White is committed to protecting the rights of Arizona citizens as guaranteed under the Second Amendment. Our services include defending individuals charged with Arizona weapon laws violations or gun crimes and educating our clients about the gun laws in Arizona.
Is Arizona an Open Carry State?
Arizona permits the open carry of guns in many public places. Residents may own, purchase, and transport firearms without filing for a license or permit. This means there’s no concealed weapons permit in Arizona — anyone legally entitled to own a firearm may carry one.
Understanding what weapons are illegal in Arizona can help you avoid legal trouble. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand the state’s complex firearm laws.
Open Carry in Arizona
As an open carry state, Arizona permits gun owners to carry their weapons in a manner that makes them visible to others, such as in an unconcealed sling or holster.
However, open carry doesn’t allow gun owners to carry a loaded gun in their hands. Such an action may be considered reckless handling of a deadly weapon, a class 6 felony per Arizona ARS 13-2904.
Anyone over 18 can purchase, own, and openly carry a firearm, although only those who are 21 and older can buy weapons from federally licensed gun sellers. Additionally, anyone with a criminal conviction barring them from firearm ownership under federal law is forbidden from purchasing or owning a gun in Arizona.
Concealed Carry in Arizona
What are the gun laws in Arizona pertaining to concealed carry?
Concealed carry refers to carrying a gun on one’s body in a manner in such a way that it’s readily visible. Arizona gun control law permits all citizens 21 and older to carry a concealed handgun. Furthermore, Arizona residents don’t need a Concealed Carry Weapon permit (CCW) to carry a gun.
However, some people may opt to obtain a permit in case an issue arises. A CCW allows Arizona gun owners to concealed-carry their firearms in national parks or states with a CCW reciprocal agreement with Arizona. For example, a CCW permit holder in Arizona may travel to Texas and legally carry their firearm using their Arizona permit.
What Guns Can I Carry in Arizona?
Arizona residents 18 and older may legally purchase a firearm from an individual but must be at least 21 to purchase from a licensed dealer. However, any adult in Arizona can purchase a gun without needing to obtain a license or register with an agency. Only those legally forbidden from firearm ownership are excluded from this statute.
Legal Firearms in Arizona
Any firearm not specifically prohibited by Arizona law is considered legal in the state. This includes:
- Semi-automatic firearms, or guns capable of firing in rapid succession, with each shot requiring a separate pull of the trigger.
- “Assault weapons”, including shotguns or rifles with certain features like pistol grips, detachable magazines, or folding stocks.
- Semi-automatic assault weapons.
Certain functional or aesthetic features, enhancements, and post-production modifications can move a firearm from a “regular” classification to an “assault” classification.
Illegal Firearms in Arizona
Arizona places few restrictions on the types of weapons residents are legally permitted to own. Specifically, the state prohibits the possession and sale of:
- Assault weapons like machine guns in which more than one round is discharged with each pull of the trigger.
- Rifles with barrels shorter than 16 inches.
- Shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches.
- Sawed-off weapons, including modified shotguns or rifles with a barrel length of less than 26 inches.
- Suppressors or any device intended to silence or muffle the gun’s report.
Arizona law also prohibits selling, purchasing, or possessing rockets, grenades, mines, bombs, or any explosive device designed to release poison gas.
Places Where You Can Carry a Gun in Arizona
Most public spaces and businesses permit the open-carry of a firearm in Arizona unless the business specifically prohibits firearms.
Arizona residents, and those legally allowed to carry weapons traveling from other states, may open-carry handguns in nearly all public places, including:
- Bars and nightclubs
- Vehicles or public transportation
- Highway rest stops
- Parking lots
- State parks and forests.
Some businesses may forbid weapons entirely in an effort to reduce incidents of Arizona gun deaths:
- Car: Anyone 21 years old or older may have a weapon in their car without a permit and keep it anywhere they wish. People between the ages of 18-21 must keep their firearms in plain view.
- Bars and Restaurants: ARS§ 4-229(A) permits residents to concealed-carry in establishments that serve alcohol, while ARS§ 4-244(29)-(30) notes that concealed carry is allowed without a permit unless the business posts a sign prohibiting firearms.
- Hotel: Hotels have different policies regarding firearms on their premises, and Arizona laws don’t specifically address carrying firearms in hotels.
For example, some businesses that serve alcohol may limit the presence of firearms because the likelihood of Arizona gun violence is higher when alcohol is involved. Likewise, establishments that cater to children might prohibit firearms to prevent them from being harmed through gun violence in Arizona.
Arizona prohibits open or concealed carry firearms in certain locations, including:
- Prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers
- Federal buildings
- Voting polls
- Native American reservations or sovereign lands
- Nuclear or hydroelectric power plants
- Businesses that serve alcohol
Authorized law enforcement officers are often exempt from these regulations if they carry a weapon as part of their job.
Will My Permit from Another State Be Recognized in Arizona?
Many out-of-state visitors holding weapons or concealed carry permits from their home state will have their permits honored in Arizona. However, a few states don’t have reciprocity with Arizona, so check your laws and Arizona’s before packing your weapon.
Will My Arizona Permit Be Recognized in Other States?
Currently, more than 30 states recognize Arizona CCW permits within their own borders. However, there’s a chance of Arizona gun laws changing, so always check the firearms board for the state you intend to travel to.
Furthermore, the specific places you’re permitted to carry firearms vary from state to state, as do the specifics of possession and carry.
Consulting a lawyer familiar with the gun laws in the state you wish to visit can help you avoid legal complications.
Learn More about Arizona and Phoenix Gun Laws
If you’ve violated Arizona gun laws and are facing charges, The Law Offices of Brandon While can help.
We provide criminal defense and related legal services for people who have questions about their gun rights or have violated gun statutes in the state. Contact us today for a complimentary, no-obligation case review.
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