The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide




Arizona Constitutional Provision 16

Welcome to the State Gun Laws 17

A Word About Federal Law 17

The Dreaded “§” Section Symbol 18

Reasons for Arizona’s Gun Laws 19

What Is A Firearm? 19

Who Can Bear Arms in Arizona? 20

The Federal Prohibited Possessor List 21

Domestic Violence Cases 22

Security Guards 23

Loss of Rights 24

Surrender of Weapons 24

Forfeiture of Weapons 24

Restoration of Rights 25

Possession of Firearms by Minors 26

Federal Regulation of Juveniles 28

How Do You Obtain Firearms? 30

NICS National Background Check 30

In-State Purchase 31

Out-of-State Purchase 32

Gun Shows 33

Transport and Shipping 33

Interstate Travel 34

Common or Contract Carriers 36

Reciprocity in General 36

Arizona Reciprocity 38

National Reciprocity Lists 39

Preemption 40

Minors and Preemption 42

Parks and Preserves 42

Preemption and Gun Lockers 44

No-Guns-Allowed Signs 45

Frivolous Lawsuits 46


Governor's Emergency Power Limits

Protection of Firearms in Official Custody



Open Carry 51

Guns in Cars 53

Concealed Weapons 54

Concealed-Weapon Permit 54

CCW Application 55

Application Background Checks 56

Application Denials 56

Duration and Renewals 57

Suspension and Revocation 57

Residency 57

Mandatory Concealed-Weapon Training 58

Minimum Course Requirements 59

Instructor Qualifications 60

Prohibited Places 62

School Grounds 63

Federal Facilities 63

Places with a Liquor License 64

Checking Guns at Entrances

Reveal and Relinquish



Prohibited Weapons 74

Defaced Weapons 74

Federal Weapon Bans 75

“Illegal” Guns 75

Affected Weapons 76

Other Illegal Deadly Weapons 77

Machine Guns 78

Curios, Relics and Antiques 79

Stun "Guns"



General Restrictions 84

Illegal Trajectory 84

The Quarter-Mile Rule 84

From Vehicles 84

Shooting at Structures 85

Posted Areas 85

The Land of Arizona 86

Bureau of Land Management Land 86

Cities 87

County Land 88

Indian Country 88

Local Parks and Preserves 89

National Forests 90

Tonto Forest Restrictions List 91

National Park Service Land 92

Private Land 92

State and Federal Military Land 92

State Land 93

State Parks 94

Shooting Ranges 95

Shooting Range Protection 95

Preemption and Political Subdivisions



Use of Deadly Physical Force 100

Burden of Proof 102

Maintaining Order 102

Self-Defense 103

Defense of a Third Person 103

Defense of Premises 103

Law Enforcement 104

Crime Prevention 104

Public Duty 105

Domestic Violence 105

Use of Reasonable and Necessary Means 105

Necessity Defense 105

Self Defense During an Animal Attack 106

Precautionary Note 106

Related Laws 107

Aggravated Assault 107

Endangerment 107

Threatening or Intimidating 107

Disorderly Conduct 108

Hindering Prosecution 108

Criminal Nuisance 108

Reporting Gunshot Wounds 108

Aiding a Peace Officer 108

Firing a Warning Shot 109

Bullet-Proof Vests and Body Armor 109

Keeping Control of Your Firearm 109

Responsibility 110

Aiming a Laser at a Peace Officer 110

Hoax Bombs 110

Forensics Firearms Identification System 110

Possession of Military Equipment 111

Diversion Programs 111

DNA Testing 111

Terrorism 111



Hunting regulations 115

Hunting Penalties 119

Hunter’s Pledge 120



The Main Federal Gun Laws in Effect Today 123

How Federal Law is Structured (Chart) 124

Federal Firearms Transportation Guarantee 125

The Brady Law 126

Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act 130

Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety Act 131

Antiterrorism Act 132

Gun-Free School Zones Act 133

Misdemeanor Gun Ban for Domestic Violence 134

Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1999 136

New Federal Gun Laws Just Keep Coming 137

Infringement Creep 138

Growth in Federal Gun Laws (Chart) 139

Spring-Assisted Knives



The Gun Owner’s Commandments of Safety 145

How Well Do You Know Your Gun? 148

Concealed-Weapon Training 149

Areas of Study 149

Practice Test Questions 151

Judgmental Shooting 156

Situational Analysis 157

Recommended Reading 161



A—Glossary of Terms 163

B—Crime and Punishment Chart 168

C—The Proper Authorities 170

D—The Arizona Gun Laws 175

About the Author 217

Other Books From Bloomfield Press 219



What Does It All Mean? 47

What Do You Need to Get a Firearm? 48

When Can You Conceal a Firearm? 66

How Can You Carry a Gun? 68

Where Are Guns Forbidden? 70

What’s Wrong with This Picture? (Weapons) 80

What’s Wrong with This Picture? (Shooting) 97

There’s Nothing Wrong with This Picture 98

Do You Have to Drag a Crook Inside? 112

Can You Point a Gun at Someone? 114

The Noble Uses of Firearms 140

Don’t Shoot at Cactus! 162



This book is really the result of all the help I received, great and small, from the good people who shared their thoughts and resources with me. Thank you.

Landis Aden, Legislative Liaison,
Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association
Terry Allison, President,
Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association
Ben Avery, Arizona Republic columnist,
Co-author of Arizona’s gun laws
Mark Barnett, Community Relations Officer, Scottsdale Police
Bob Cecil, Protection and Compliance Manager,
Arizona State Land Department
Bob Corbin, Attorney General, State of Arizona
Nelson E. Ford, Owner, The Gunsmith, Inc.
Howard Gillmore, Assistant Director/Field Services,
Parks and Recreation
Lt. Colonel Michael Haran, Staff Judge Advocate,
Arizona Army National Guard
Wayne J. Higgins, Criminal Investigator,
Bureau of Indian Affairs, Phoenix
Don Jansen, Director, Arizona Legislative Council
Mark Jecker, Public Information Officer,
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Wes Keys, Information Coordinator,
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Tony Machukay, Executive Director,
Arizona Commission on Indian Affairs
Marty Mandall, Owner, Mandall Shooting Supplies, Inc.
Jordan Meschkow, Registered Patent Attorney
Richard B. Oxford, Director, Contract and Records Division, Arizona State Land Department
Mary Peterson, NRA Representative
Ron Peterson, Inspector,
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Phoenix Branch
Ruth Peterson, Secretary to the Forest Supervisor,
U.S. Forestry Service
Bob Reyes, Park Operations Specialist, National Park Service
Robert J. Spillman, Attorney at Law
Paul Stearns, Police Officer, Scottsdale Police Department
Deborah Stevens, Public Affairs Specialist,
Bureau of Land Management
Russell Vanden Wolf, Inspector,
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Phoenix Branch
Ken Wagner, Chief of Operations Section, Arizona State Parks
Pete Weinel, Assistant Recreation/Wilderness Staff,
U.S. Forest Service

This list would be incomplete without the friends who have been supportive, informative, and whose time and thoughts made a real difference: Harvey and Eileen Barish, Linda Brott, Steve Cascone, Crosby!, Candice DeBarr, Adam Mohney, Gregg Myers, Bill Plummer, Curt Prickett, Dan and Mary Sharayko, Pete Slater, Mary Westheimer and Howard White. The National Rifle Association Institute allowed the use of material in their pamphlet, “Your State Firearms Laws.”

For the first edition of this book, March 1989:
Illustrations by Gregg Myers
Book design by Ralph Richardson
Edited by Howard White
Proofread by Candice DeBarr
Typesetting by Mesa Graphics, Inc.
Digital disk transfers by Code Busters

For the re-plated eleventh edition of this book, June 1994:
Document scans and OCR by Directional Data, Inc.
Proofread by Toni Joyce
Typesetting, editing and updated design by the author
Legislative and update assistance by Landis Aden,
Michael P. Anthony, John Gilbert, Gwen Henson, Jim Norton, Edward J. Owen, Ted Parod and Richard Twitchell

Revised and Expanded 18th Edition, Sept. 1997
New editions are released periodically (24th edition as of Oct. 2009)
The 25th edition, last one with a blue cover, and state flag, 2012, with inserts to 2014
Overhauled BROWN Leatherette Edition in 2015

The people who have contributed to this book since it first appeared in 1989 are too numerous to mention. You know who you are. Thank you.


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