Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms - WWW.NRAILA.ORG
January 1, 2015
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Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms
Arizona statutes are silent on antique and
replica firearms except that firearms in a permanently inoperable
condition are not included within the definition of firearms and are
therefore exempt from the weapon laws of Arizona. All other categories
of antique or replica firearms are treated as ordinary firearms for
possession and carrying purposes.
Arizona respects the right of law abiding citizens to openly carry a handgun.
Any person 21 years of age or older, who is not prohibited possessor,
may carry a weapon openly or concealed without the need for a license.
Any person carrying without a license must acknowledge and comply with
the demands of a law enforcement officer when asked if he/she is
carrying a concealed deadly weapon, if the officer has initiated an
"investigation" such as a traffic stop.
It is unlawful to carry a firearm
concealed within the immediate control of any person in or on a means of
transportation if under 21 years of age. Firearms carried in a vehicle
shall be transported in a case, a holster or scabbard, a storage
compartment, trunk, pack, luggage, or glove compartment of a means of
No person shall, unless specifically authorized by law, enter a
public establishment or attend a public event carrying a firearm after a
reasonable request by the operator of the establishment or the sponsor
of the event to remove his firearm and place it in the custody of the
operator or sponsor. This does not apply to shooting ranges or shooting
events, hunting areas or similar locations or activities.
It is unlawful, unless specifically authorized by law, to enter an
election polling place on the day of any election carrying a firearm.
It is unlawful to possess a deadly weapon on grade or high school
grounds. This shall not apply to an unloaded firearm within a means of
transportation under the control of an adult, provided, if the adult
leaves the vehicle, it shall be locked and the unloaded firearm shall
not be visible, or for a program approved by the school.
The Department of Public Safety shall issue a permit to carry a
concealed weapon to a resident of the state at least 21 years old, a
U.S. citizen, who satisfactorily completes an approved firearms safety
program, submits fingerprints and a fee of $60 for a new license and $43
for a renewal, and who does not fall into a class of person prohibited
to possess a firearm, such as a convicted felon, adjudicated mental
incompetent, or illegal alien. The qualification checks shall be
completed within 60 days of receipt of the application, and the permit
will be issued within 15 working days after completing the checks. The
permit is valid for not more than 5 years and is renewable every 5
The Department of Public Safety shall enter into written agreements
with states that require written agreements for the purpose of
establishing mutual recognition. A person with a concealed firearm
permit who is a resident of another state, is lawfully present and not
prohibited from possessing a firearm in the state of Arizona, may carry a
concealed firearm while in this state.
A person with a concealed weapons permit may carry a concealed
handgun on the premises of a liquor licensee who is an on-sale retailer
unless the licensee posts a sign that clearly prohibits the possession
of weapons on the licensed premises.
A property owner, tenant, public or private employer or business
entity shall not establish, maintain or enforce a policy or rule that
prohibits a person from lawfully transporting or lawfully storing any
firearm that is in the person’s locked and privately owned motor vehicle
or in a locked compartment on the person’s privately owned motorcycle
and not visible from the outside of the motor vehicle or motorcycle.
Any hunter going afield may carry a handgun for self defense but shall not use the handgun for the taking of wildlife.
1A firearm is defined as any
loaded or unloaded pistol, revolver, shotgun or other weapon which will
or is designed to or may readily convert to expel a projectile by the
action of an explosive, except that it does not include a firearm in
permanently inoperable condition.
A machine gun is defined as a firearm that is
capable of shooting more than one shot automatically, without manual
reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
It is unlawful to manufacture, possess,
transport, sell, or transfer a machine gun. This does not apply to peace
officers, members of the military forces of the United States or
persons specifically licensed, authorized or permitted pursuant to an
Arizona statute or the National Firearms Act. This also does not apply
to any machine gun registered in the national firearms registry and
transfer records of the U.S. Treasury Department or classified as a
curio or relic by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The possession, transporting, selling or transferring of a machine
gun by a museum as part of its collection or an educational institution
for educational purposes or by an authorized employee of such museum or
institution is not unlawful.
Authorized manufacturers or dealers may manufacture, possess,
transport, sell, or transfer machine guns solely for or to a dealer or a
regularly constituted or appointed state or municipal police department
or police officer, or a detention facility, or the military service of
Arizona or the United States, or a museum or educational institution or a
person specifically licensed or permitted pursuant to Arizona law or
the National Firearms Act.
No political subdivision may bring a civil liability action in any Arizona court against any firearm manufacturer.
It is unlawful to remove, alter or destroy the manufacturer’s serial number on a firearm.
Discharge of a firearm within the limits of any municipality is
unlawful except on a properly supervised range operated by a club
affiliated with any nationally recognized shooting organization, or by
an agency of the government or a public or private school, and in the
case of air or carbon dioxide gas operated guns, or underground ranges
on private or public property, such ranges may be operated with adult
supervision; in an area recommended as a hunting area by the Arizona
game and fish department, approved and posted as required by the chief
of police; for the control of nuisance wildlife by permit, or by special
permit of the chief of police of the municipality.
It is unlawful to recklessly handle, display, or discharge a firearm
with the intent to disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood, family
No person shall discharge a firearm from a motor vehicle, including
an automobile, aircraft, train or powerboat, or from a sailboat, boat
under sail or floating object towed by powerboat or sailboat.
Wildlife may be taken in defense of self or another.
No person shall knowingly discharge a firearm upon, from, across or into a road or railway.
It is unlawful to discharge a firearm while taking wildlife within a
quarter mile of an occupied farm house or other residence, cabin, lodge
or building without the permission of the owner or resident.
It is lawful to hunt with a suppressor on a firearm. There is no
limit or restriction on the magazine capacity of any authorized
It is unlawful for any person while taking wildlife or while in any
hunting area to handle or discharge any firearm while intoxicated or in a
careless or reckless manner or with wanton disregard for the safety of
human life or property.
It is unlawful to carry or possess a firearm for taking game within
or upon a game refuge except under seal or by written consent of the
game commission. This shall not prevent landowners, lessees, permittees,
their employees, or licensed trappers from carrying arms in the
performance of their lawful duties.
It is unlawful to possess, transfer, or manufacture a rifle with a
barrel under 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel under 18 inches or any
such firearm with an overall length under 26 inches. See exemptions
under “Machine Guns.”
No state permit is required to possess a shotgun,
rifle or handgun. It is unlawful for a “prohibited possessor” to
possess a firearm.1
A prohibited possessor includes a person
found to constitute a danger to himself or others pursuant to a court
order and whose court ordered treatment has not been terminated; who has
been convicted of a felony involving violence or possession and use of a
deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and whose civil rights have not
been restored; who is at the time of possession serving a term of
imprisonment in any correctional or detention facility; who at the time
of possession is serving a term of probation pursuant to a conviction
for a domestic violence offense or a felony offense, parole, community
supervision, work furlough, home arrest or release on any other basis or
who is serving a term of probation or parole; or who was previously
adjudicated delinquent and who possesses, uses or carries a firearm
within ten years from the date of adjudication or release for an offense
that if committed as an adult would constitute first or second degree
burglary, arson, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated
assault, sexual assault or any felony offense involving the use or
threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
No person, other than a peace officer or a member of the military
forces of the United States, shall knowingly possess a firearm on which
the manufacturer’s serial number has been removed, altered or destroyed.
This does not apply to possession by a museum as a part of its
collection or an educational institution for educational purposes or by
an authorized employee of such museum or institution or acquisition by
gift, devise or descent or in a fiduciary capacity as a recipient of the
property of an insolvent, incapacitated or deceased person.
An unemancipated person under 18 not accompanied by a parent,
grandparent, guardian, or a certified hunter safety instructor or
certified firearms safety instructor acting with consent of the minor’s
parent, grandparent or guardian shall not carry or possess on his
person, within his immediate control, or in or on a means of
transportation a firearm in any place open to the public or on any
street, highway, or on private property, except private property owned
or leased by the minor or the minor’s parent, grandparent, or guardian.
This prohibition does not apply to a person between 14 and 17 engaged in
lawful hunting, marksmanship practice, transportation of an unloaded
firearm for the purpose of hunting or, between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM,
transportation of an unloaded firearm for the purpose of marksmanship at
a range or other area where the discharge of firearms is not
A political subdivision may not enact any
ordinance, rule or tax affecting the ownership, transportation,
possession, purchase, transfer or use of firearms or ammunition. In
addition, a political subdivision of this state shall not require or
maintain a record, list or database containing the personally
identifying information of the person who buys, sells, leaves for repair
or consignment or leaves for temporary storage, any weapon owned by
ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 13-3108. Firearms regulated by state; state preemption; violation; classification
A. Except as provided in subsection C of this section, a political
subdivision of this state shall not enact any ordinance, rule or tax
relating to the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer or
use of firearms or ammunition or any firearm or ammunition components in
B. A political subdivision of this state shall not require the
licensing or registration of firearms or ammunition or any firearm or
ammunition components or prohibit the ownership, purchase, sale or
transfer of firearms or ammunition or any firearm or ammunition
C. A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE SHALL NOT REQUIRE OR
MAINTAIN A RECORD IN ANY FORM, WHETHER PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY, INCLUDING
A LIST, LOG OR DATABASE, OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF A PERSON WHO PURCHASES OR
EXCHANGES A WEAPON, WHO LEAVES A WEAPON FOR REPAIR OR SALE ON
CONSIGNMENT OR WHO LEAVES A WEAPON IN TEMPORARY STORAGE AT ANY PUBLIC
ESTABLISHMENT OR PUBLIC EVENT.
2. ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF A PERSON WHO SELLS OR TRANSFERS A
FIREARM, UNLESS THE PERSON IS A FEDERALLY LICENSED FIREARMS DEALER.
3. THE DESCRIPTION, INCLUDING THE SERIAL NUMBER, OF A WEAPON THAT
IS PURCHASED, SOLD, TRANSFERRED, EXCHANGED, LEFT FOR REPAIR OR SALE ON
CONSIGNMENT OR LEFT IN TEMPORARY STORAGE AT ANY PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENT OR
D. This section does not prohibit a political subdivision of this
state from enacting and enforcing any ordinance or rule pursuant to
state law, to implement or enforce state law or relating to any of the
1. Imposing any privilege or use tax on the retail sale, lease or
rental of, or the gross proceeds or gross income from the sale, lease or
rental of, firearms or ammunition or any firearm or ammunition
components at a rate that applies generally to other items of tangible
2. Prohibiting a minor who is unaccompanied by a parent,
grandparent or guardian or a certified hunter safety instructor or
certified firearms safety instructor acting with the consent of the
minor's parent, grandparent or guardian from knowingly possessing or
carrying on the minor's person, within the minor's immediate control or
in or on a means of transportation a firearm in any place that is open
to the public or on any street or highway or on any private property
except private property that is owned or leased by the minor or the
minor's parent, grandparent or guardian. Any ordinance or rule that is
adopted pursuant to this paragraph shall not apply to a minor who is
fourteen, fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age and who is engaged
in any of the following:
(a) Lawful hunting or shooting events or marksmanship practice at
established ranges or other areas where the discharge of a firearm is
(b) Lawful transportation of an unloaded firearm for the purpose of lawful hunting.
(c) Lawful transportation of an unloaded firearm between the hours
of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. for the purpose of shooting events or
marksmanship practice at established ranges or other areas where the
discharge of a firearm is not prohibited.
(d) Any activity that is related to the production of crops,
livestock, poultry, livestock products, poultry products or ratites or
storage of agricultural commodities.
3. The use of land and structures, including a business relating
to firearms or ammunition or their components or a shooting range in the
same manner as other commercial businesses. Notwithstanding any other
law, this paragraph does not authorize a political subdivision to
regulate the sale or transfer of firearms on property it owns, leases,
operates or controls in a manner that is different than or inconsistent
with state law. For the purposes of this paragraph, a use permit or
other contract that provides for the use of property owned, leased,
operated or controlled by a political subdivision shall not be
considered a sale, conveyance or disposition of property.
4. Regulating employees or independent contractors of the
political subdivision who are acting within the course and scope of
their employment or contract.
5. Limiting firearms possession in parks or preserves of one
square mile or less in area to persons who possess a concealed weapons
permit issued pursuant to section 13 3112. The political subdivision
shall post reasonable notice at each park or preserve. The notice shall
state the following: "Carrying a firearm in this park is limited to
persons who possess a permit issued pursuant to section 13 3112, ARIZONA
REVISED STATUTES." In parks or preserves that are more than one square
mile in area, a political subdivision may designate developed or
improved areas in which the political subdivision may limit firearms
possession to persons who possess a concealed weapons permit issued
pursuant to section 13 3112. The political subdivision shall post
reasonable notice at each designated developed or improved area. The
notice shall state the following: "Carrying a firearm in this developed
or improved area is limited to persons with a permit issued pursuant to
section 13 3112, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES." For the purposes of this
paragraph, "developed or improved area" means an area of property
developed for public recreation or family activity, including picnic
areas, concessions, playgrounds, amphitheaters, racquet courts, swimming
areas, golf courses, zoos, horseback riding facilities and boat landing
and docking facilities. Developed or improved area does not include
campgrounds, trails, paths or roadways except trails, paths and roadways
directly associated with and adjacent to designated developed or
improved areas. Any notice that is required by this paragraph shall be
conspicuously posted at all public entrances and at intervals of one
fourth mile or less where the park, preserve or developed or improved
area has an open perimeter. Any limitation imposed by a political
subdivision pursuant to this paragraph shall not apply to a person:
(a) Engaged in a permitted firearms or hunter safety course
conducted in a park by a certified hunter safety instructor or certified
firearms safety instructor.
(b) At a properly supervised range, as defined in section 13 3107,
at a permitted shooting event, at a permitted firearms show or in a
permitted hunting area.
(c) Legally transporting, carrying, storing or possessing a firearm in a vehicle.
(d) Going directly to or from an area where the person is lawfully
engaged in hunting, marksmanship practice or recreational shooting.
(e) Traversing a trailhead area in order to gain access to areas where the possession of firearms is not limited.
(f) Using trails, paths or roadways to go directly to or from an
area where the possession of firearms is not limited and where no
reasonable alternate means of access is available.
6. Limiting or prohibiting the discharge of firearms in parks and preserves except:
(a) As allowed pursuant to chapter 4 of this title.
(b) On a properly supervised range as defined in section 13 3107.
(c) In an area recommended as a hunting area by the Arizona game
and fish department and approved and posted as required by the political
subdivision's chief law enforcement officer. Any such area may be
closed when deemed unsafe by the political subdivision's chief law
enforcement officer or the director of the Arizona game and fish
(d) To control nuisance wildlife by permit from the Arizona game
and fish department or the United States fish and wildlife service.
(e) By special permit of the chief law enforcement officer of the political subdivision.
(f) As required by an animal control officer in performing duties
specified in section 9 499.04 and title 11, chapter 7, article 6.
(g) In self defense or defense of another person against an animal
attack if a reasonable person would believe that deadly physical force
against the animal is immediately necessary and reasonable under the
circumstances to protect oneself or the other person.
F. A violation of any ordinance established pursuant to
subsection C, paragraph 6 of this section is a class 2 misdemeanor
unless the political subdivision designates a lesser classification by
It is unlawful to sell or give to a minor,
without written consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, a
firearm or ammunition.
No state permit is required to purchase a shotgun, rifle, or handgun.
It is unlawful to sell or transfer a firearm to a “prohibited
possessor.” (See definition under Possession.) A concealed handgun
permit will exempt a gun purchaser from the NICS check.
Shooting ranges are generally protected under state law against nuisance lawsuits alleging noise pollution.
ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 17-601. Definition of outdoor shooting range
In this article, unless the context otherwise requires, “outdoor
shooting range” or “range” means a permanently located and improved area
that is designed and operated for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols,
silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder or any other similar sport
shooting in an outdoor environment. Outdoor shooting range does not
include any area for the exclusive use of archery or air guns or a
totally enclosed facility that is designed to offer a totally controlled
shooting environment that includes impenetrable walls, floor and
ceiling, adequate ventilation, lighting systems and acoustical treatment
for sound attenuation suitable for the range's approved use.
§ 17-602. State outdoor shooting range noise standards; preemption; measurement; definitions
A. The legislature finds that outdoor shooting range noise standards
are a matter of statewide concern. City, town, county and any other
state noise standards are preempted as applied to outdoor shooting
B. Each outdoor shooting range in this state shall measure the noise
emitted from the range pursuant to subsection E at least once. In
addition, the range shall measure the noise it emits if the range
expands the area designed and operated for the use of firearms or
explosives by more than twenty per cent in size than at the time of its
initial noise measurement or if the range introduces the use of a type
of firearm or explosive device that will increase noise production. The
range shall pay for the measurement and shall keep the results of the
measurement at the range at all times. Any person may review the noise
measurement during the range's business hours. Ranges that are located
at least one mile from areas that are zoned for residences, schools,
hotels, motels, hospitals or churches are exempt from this subsection.
C. Any person, at the person's expense, may measure the noise emitted from an outdoor shooting range pursuant to subsection E.
D. The noise emitted from an outdoor shooting range shall not exceed an Leq(h) of sixty-four dBA.
E. In measuring the noise emitted from an outdoor shooting range:
1. If a range performs the measurement of noise pursuant to
subsection B, sound pressure measurements shall be taken twenty feet
from the nearest occupied residence, school, hotel, motel, hospital or
church, or from the nearest proposed location of a residence, school,
hotel, motel, hospital or church if the property is zoned for such a
structure but is currently unimproved. If a person performs the
measurement of noise pursuant to subsection C, sound pressure
measurements shall be taken twenty feet from the person's residence,
school, hotel, motel, hospital or church, or twenty feet from the
proposed location of the person's residence, school, hotel, motel,
hospital or church if the property is zoned for such a structure but is
2. Sound pressure measurements shall be made in a location directly
between the range and the nearest existing or proposed residence,
school, hotel, motel, hospital or church. If there are natural or
artificial obstructions that prevent an accurate noise measurement, the
measurement may be taken within an additional twenty feet radius from
the initial measurement location.
3. Sound pressure measurements shall be made on the A-weighted fast
response mode scale. Measurements shall be taken during the noisiest
hour of peak use during the operation of the range. Measurements shall
be taken according to American national standards institute's standard
methods ANSI S1.2-1962 (R1976) American national standard method for
physical measurement of sound and ANSI S1.2-1971 (R1976) American
national standard method for measuring sound pressure levels.
Measurements shall be taken using a type 1 sound meter meeting the
requirements of ANSI S1.4L-1971. Any part of the measurements conducted
on a range shall comply with the range safety rules.
F. Outdoor shooting ranges in operation on July 1, 2002 shall comply
with the provisions of this section before July 1, 2003. Ranges not in
operation on July 1, 2002 shall comply with the provisions of this
section when they begin operation.
G. Subsection B does not apply to an outdoor shooting range that is
built for military or armed nuclear security guard training and that is
not open to the general public.
H. For the purposes of this section:
1. “A-weighted” means a frequency weighting network used to account for changes in sensitivity as a function of frequency.
2. “DBA” means A-weighted decibels, taking into account human response to sound energy in different frequency bands.
3. “Decibel” means the unit of measure for sound pressure denoting
the ratio between two quantities that are proportional to power. The
number of decibels is ten times the base ten logarithm of this ratio.
4. “Leq(h)” means the equivalent energy level that is the steady
state level that contains the same amount of sound energy as a time
varying sound level for a sixty minute time period.
§ 17-603. Preexisting outdoor shooting ranges; noise buffering or attenuation
A. If an outdoor shooting range was constructed before July 1, 2002
in compliance with existing applicable county or municipal ordinances
and zoning requirements and if property located within one mile of the
exterior property boundary of the range is rezoned after July 1, 2002
for residential use or any other use that includes a school, hotel,
motel, hospital or church, the zoning authority must provide for noise
buffers or attenuation devices that are either:
1. Within the new development as a condition for developing the property or as supplied by the zoning authority.
2. Supplied or funded by the zoning authority for location in the range.
B. Property owners, developers, zoning authorities and ranges may
negotiate and provide for noise buffers or attenuation devices located
on or off the range.
C. Any noise buffering or attenuation under this section must comply with the state noise standards prescribed by § 17-602.
§ 17-604. Nighttime outdoor shooting range operations
A. Outdoor shooting ranges that are located in areas that are zoned
for residential use or any other use that includes a school, hotel,
motel, hospital or church shall not operate from 10:00 p.m. through 7:00
B. This section does not apply to any outdoor shooting range while it
is providing law enforcement, military or armed nuclear security guard
training. These ranges must provide adequate public notice including
posting in four public locations within one mile of the exterior
boundaries of the range each calendar quarter of the schedule of when
the range will operate from 10:00 p.m. through 7:00 a.m. and the purpose
for those nighttime operations. Nighttime operations under this
subsection must comply with the nighttime noise standards prescribed by § 17-602.
§ 17-605. Noise pollution; nuisance; defense; costs
A. It is an affirmative defense to any civil liability or claim for
equitable relief arising from any allegation regarding noise or noise
pollution that results from owning, operating or using an outdoor
shooting range if the entity or individual owning, operating or using
the range complies with this article.
B. In any action where a defense has been raised pursuant to
subsection A, the court shall award the prevailing party its costs and
all expenses, including the party's costs incurred in measuring noise
emitted from the range and reasonable attorney fees.
SOURCES: Ariz. Rev. Statutes
§§12-714, 13-405, 13-2904, 13-3101, 13-3102, 13-3105, 13-31-07, 13-3108,
13-3109, 31-3112, 17-301,17-301.1, 17-305, 17-312.