Q: What are the laws about guns and weapons?
A: Laws protect us when dangerous instruments are involved. This applies to driving a car as well as to possession of guns. In Arizona, the law states that kids under the age of 18 are not allowed to carry guns (ARS §13-3111(A)). This law also provides some exceptions where kids are allowed to have and use a gun under certain restricted conditions. For example, a kid can carry a gun if he or she is with a parent, grandparent, qualiﬁed hunter, safety instructor, or qualiﬁed ﬁrearms safety instructor with permission from a parent or guardian. When involved in lawful hunting or shooting events or marksmanship practice, kids between the ages of 14 and 18 are allowed to be in possession of a ﬁrearm (ARS §13-3111). Because there are many exceptions and details to this law, you should read the law or consult a gun expert or lawyer before actually possessing a ﬁrearm.
Arizona law deﬁnes a ﬁrearm as “any loaded or unloaded handgun, pistol, revolver, riﬂe, shotgun or other weapon that will or is designed to or that may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive” (ARS §133101 (4)). Prohibited weapons include ﬁreworks, bombs, grenades, and nunchaku (ARS §13-3101 (8)). In Arizona, it is against the law for a person to sell or give a ﬁrearm to a minor without the written consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian (ARS §13-3109(A)). Violation of this law is a class 6 felony.
Q: Who can own a gun or weapon?
A: Generally speaking, anything that disqualiﬁes you as a voter or a juror, such as conviction of a felony, also legally disqualiﬁes you as a gun owner. This is no coincidence – these three rights and duties are historically and philosophically related.
People prohibited from possessing a ﬁrearm also includes any person who:
- Has been found to be a danger to himself or others.
- Has been convicted of a felony and whose rights have not been restored.
- Is serving a term of probation for a conviction for domestic violence or a felony offense (ARS §13-3101 (7)).
- Is under 18 years of age and does not fall within any of the exceptions in (ARS §13-3111(B)).
Q: Who can carry a concealed weapon?
A: According to (ARS §13-3112(E)), to apply for a concealed weapons permit, you must:
- Be a resident of Arizona or a United States citizen
- Be 21 years of age.
- Satisfactorily complete a ﬁrearms safety-training program.
- Not be under indictment for, and not have been convicted of a felony unless that conviction has been expunged, set aside or vacated or the applicant’s rights have been restored and the applicant is currently not a prohibited possessor under state or federal law.
- Not suffer from mental illness.
- Not be in the United States unlawfully.
Q: What is misconduct involving a weapon?
A: According to (ARS §13-3102 (A)), misconduct involving weapons can include...
- Carrying a deadly weapon without a permit.
- Carrying a concealed deadly weapon without a permit in any means of transportation.
- Manufacturing, possessing, transporting, selling or transferring a prohibited weapon.
- Possessing a deadly weapon if you are a prohibited possessor.
- Selling or transferring a deadly weapon to a prohibited possessor.
- Discharging a ﬁrearm at an occupied structure in order to further the interests of a criminal street gang.
- Unless speciﬁcally authorized by law, entering any public establishment or attending any public event and carrying a deadly weapon after a reasonable request to remove the weapon.
- Possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds.
- Selling or giving control of a ﬁrearm to another person if you know or have reason to know that the other person would use the ﬁrearm in the commission of any felony. There are more things that meet this deﬁnition. Take a look at (ARS §13-3102 (A)) to see the whole list.
Q: How and where can I do my target practice?
A: There are restrictions about where you can do target practice, but be careful wherever you shoot a ﬁrearm.
Local city ordinances should be consulted as cities and towns have the authority to regulate ﬁrearm possession in areas developed for public recreation or family activity, such as picnic areas, swimming areas, golf courses, horseback riding facilities and boat landings (ARS §13-3108).
Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated. The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.