Arizona Concealed Carry (Revisited)

Apr 19th, 2012No Comments

I have noticed a lot of searches lately on “do I need a concealed carry permit in Arizona”, so I thought a quick post would be in order to clarify the rules on concealed carry and the training requirements for the permit.  Note that I am not an attorney and the following should not be taken as legal advice.

For those of you looking for a quick answer to the question “Do I need a CCW in Arizona?”, the short answer is “No, but there are restrictions.”  Here is the executive summary of the laws.  If you are 21 years of age or older, are a US Citizen, are not prohibited from owning a firearm by State or Federal law, and are not involved in the execution of some other crime, then you may carry a weapon concealed without a permit.  If you want a permit you must be 21 years of age or older, a US citizen, and must not be prohibited from owning a firearms by State or Federal law.  Active and former law enforcement or US Military (with an honorable or general discharge), and persons with an existing or expired concealed carry permit from any state, require no additional training to apply for the AZ CCW permit.  Others must complete a state approved hunter safety course, any NRA firearms safety or training course, or any firearms safety or training course taught by an NRA certified instructor.  Request an application from the AZ DPS Concealed Weapons Unit and submit it with your training documentation, fingerprint cards, and appropriate fees.  Previously existing carry restrictions still apply (polling locations, schools, government facilities, etc).

Arizona supports the Constitutional right to carry and has made it as simple as possible for law abiding citizens to exercise their right.  However, all rights come with responsibilities, and those of us who choose to exercise our Second Amendment rights have the responsibility to learn the laws governing the use of force and how to handle our weapons safely and effectively.  Taking a two hour safety class and shooting once every couple of years, is not, in my opinion, responsible gun ownership.  I encourage all of you to learn the laws of the State, get competent training, and practice, practice, practice!  FMI’s Concealed Carry class still includes safety, an Arizona law review, marksmanship, and at least four hours on the range, because we believe it is in the best interests of our students to be well educated.

OK, if you want a more detailed explanation of common questions (including links to the Arizona Revised Statutes), then read on…

Question:  Do you need a permit to carry concealed in Arizona?

Answer:  No, provided you meet the following criteria:

  1. You are at least 21 years old and are a US citizen
  2. You are not a Prohibited Possessor (See ARS 13-3101, paragraph 7)
  3. You are not involved in the execution of a “Serious Crime”, “Violent Crime”, or “Other Felony Offense” as defined by the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS)

Question:  What are the requirements to obtain an Arizona Concealed Weapons Permit?

Answer:  You must meet the following criteria (per ARS 13-3112, paragraph E):

  1. Be a resident of the State or a US Citizen
  2. Be 21 years of age or older
  3. Are not under indictment for or have been convicted in any jurisdiction for a felony offense (you may be able to restore your firearms rights)
  4. Do not suffer from mental illness and have not been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution.
  5. Are not in the United States illegally
  6. Demonstrate competence with a firearm and provide adequate documentation that you have satisfactorily completed a training program or demonstrated competence with a firearm in any state or political subdivision in the United States

Question:  How do I provide “adequate documentation” of competence or training? (see ARS 13-3112, paragraph E.6)

Answer:  Competency can be proven by providing a copy of:

  1. A current or expired weapons permit issued by AZ Department of Public Safety; or a current or expired weapons, firearm, or handgun permit or license from another state that has a training or testing requirement for initial issuance
  2. A certificate, card, or document, or an affidavit from the instructor or organization, showing that you have satisfactorily completed any of the prescribed firearms safety classes or courses (see next question)
  3. A DD-214 showing an honorable or general discharge under honorable conditions from the US Armed Forces.  AZ DPS may accept other documents to prove current or previous military service.  In other words, active duty personnel and veterans do not need additional training to obtain an AZ CCW.

Question:  What training courses are approved to qualify for an Arizona CCW?

Answer:  AZ DPS no longer publishes a mandatory training program for CCW certification, and no longer approves instructors or training programs.  Per ARS 13-3112, paragraph N, they will accept any of the following to demonstrate competency:

  1. Any firearms safety or training course that is available to the general public and that is approved by the Department of Public Safety [they no longer approve classes] or that uses NRA certified instructors.
  2. Any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Arizona Game and Fish Department or a similar agency of another state.
  3. Completion of any NRA firearms safety or training course
  4. Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class that is offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies or other divisions or subdivisions of law enforcement or security enforcement and that is approved by the Department of Public Safety.
  5. Completion of any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualification to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties.

Question:  Where can I get a CCW permit application and fingerprint cards?

Answer:  You can request a permit from the AZ DPS Concealed Carry Unit or from the instructor who conducted your training.  All questions concerning the AZ CCW permit may be directed to the great folks at the Concealed Carry Unit.

Question:  What laws cover justification for the use of deadly force?

Answer:  See ARS Title 13, Chapter 4 (13-401 through 13-421).  Remember, law is applied based on precedence and nuances that are not laid out in the statutes.  If you have a specific question then contact an attorney experienced in self defense cases.

Question:  Do I need to disclose the fact that I am carrying a weapon to a law enforcement officer if I am stopped or detained?

Answer:  No, however you must disclose that you are carrying if he asks you.  Additionally, he is authorized to take temporary custody of the weapon for the duration of the contact. (ARS 31-3102, paragraph A.1.b and K)

© 2012, mjshozda. All rights reserved.

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