In Arizona, most people can carry a weapon in either plain view or concealed from view. There are exceptions to who can carry, and where someone can carry, but, generally speaking, Arizona's gun laws are more lenient than in many states.
Open Carry in Arizona
Open carry refers to carrying a weapon in plain sight. Although many residents and visitors don't know it, Arizona has been an open carry state for a long time.
Open carry means, generally, that you can carry a weapon without a permit as long as it is not concealed.
Concealed Carry in Arizona
In July 2010, a new law went into effect allowing concealed carry without a permit anywhere that open carry was previously permitted. Arizona residents who are at least 21 years old and meet some other requirements can carry a concealed weapon without a permit in many cases. You still need a permit to carry a concealed weapon into a bar or restaurant or other business offering alcoholic beverages. You must also comply with signage indicating that weapons are not permitted. You can expect those restrictions at (but not limited to) public schools, federal buildings, polling places and game refuges. Also, be aware that laws on Native American lands may differ from Arizona statutes.
You must answer honestly if a police officer asks if you are carrying a weapon. Police officers may confiscate a weapon during a stop.
The concealed carry legislation also calls for stiffer penalties for crimes committed by people carrying concealed weapons.
Concealed Weapons Permit in Arizona
In Arizona, you may be able to obtain a permit to carry a weapon if you meet certain requirements and obtain the proper training. It's a good idea to get training on the safe operation of your weapon, as well as to understand the laws relating to concealed carry in Arizona.
You also still need a permit if you intend to take your weapon to another state that has a reciprocal agreement with Arizona.
How to Get a Concealed Weapons Permit
In order to obtain a concealed weapons permit, you must:
- be a resident of Arizona
- be twenty-one years of age or older
- not be under indictment for a felony offense
- not be convicted of a felony offense
- not suffer from mental illness, not mentally incompetent, and not committed to a mental institution
- not be unlawfully present in the United States
- complete a firearms safety training program
The training program is shorter than it used to be, and many more training programs qualify under the 2010 law. You can read those requirements in Arizona Revised Statutes.
Not everyone is qualified to get a concealed weapons permit, even if all the above criteria are met. You can read about those restrictions here.
Content included herein is not to be construed as legal advice. For specific questions about what you can and can't do, or where you can and can't go with a weapon in Arizona, consult your lawyer.