The 20th edition of The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide includes
all the changes made in 1999, 2000 and 2001, including 39 new or changed
statutes (listed at the end of this update). Link to any of them online
thru our site. Grammatical and other incidental changes are generally
not noted. Page numbers below are based on the prior edition, Ed.
19. Citations are to the Arizona Revised Statutes unless noted.
2 - This is now the 20th edition, Copyright 2002 Alan
Korwin, All Rights Reserved. Our street address is now 4848 E. Cactus, #505-440. Please correct your records. All other contact information
is unchanged. ISBN is now 1-889632-07-4, $14.95 retail.
3 - Table of Contents updated to match text changes.
9 - I added this quote to the page: "It will be
of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own
choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent
that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they
are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows
what the law is to-day can guess what it will be to-morrow." -James
Madison, The Federalist Papers, #62
10 - The foreword, warnings and disclaimers have been
12 - Legislators are now trying to outlaw specific or
classes of firearms by price range, melting point, operating characteristics,
accuracy, type of safety mechanism, type of sighting mechanism, point of
origin, appearance, caliber, size and by name.
17 - At the time of printing there were more than 88,000
words of federal gun law.
21 - A new category of prohibited possessor is added:
A person on probation for a domestic violence or felony offense, parole,
community supervision, work furlough, home arrest, or other form of early
22 - Add: Employers sometimes require people to relinquish
their right to arms while at work, as a condition of employment. Authority
for removing your rights in this manner is unclear.
In 2001, the state's referral system for child care home
providers was modified to allow exclusion of providers who do not store
their firearms and ammunition separately and under a key or combination
method of ascertaining compliance or enforcing the provision was included.
23 - It's illegal to knowingly provide firearms to a
24 - Rules for armed security guards underwent a lot
of small changes, see §32-2612 et. seq. Training increased to
16 hours from 8, new registration requirements for agencies and guards.
25 - A firearm used in violation of §13-2911 at
a school may be sold, destroyed or otherwise disposed of.
26 - Arizona's restoration of gun rights laws are found
in §13-906 and §13-912.
27 - Add this cite: The federal your-child-must-have-a-note
law is 18 USC §922(x).
28 - The main state law regulating minors, §13-3111,
was declared unconstitutional by one of the state's appellate courts (Division
2, in Pima County), and a review was refused by the state Supreme Court. The
law remains on the books but appears unlikely to be enforced, and in any
case would only apply in Maricopa County. Similar basic rules for minors
were written into law in 2000, in the preemption statute (§13-3108)
but only apply in localities that choose to adopt them. The old and
probably inert law's description remains in Edition 20 (in small type) and
the statute remains printed in Appendix D, for reference. Following the small
type section are the more current conditions. These are fully described
in the later entry dealing with preemption. All the text from "For
these new rules..." on page 28 thru page 30 ending with "...those
conflicting ordinances" is now probably obsolete.
Under preemption, §13-3108, localities in Arizona
can decide to adopt standardized state rules concerning juveniles. If
they chose not to, then their minors would be free to bear arms, as long
as no criminal conduct is involved, subject only to federal controls listed
below. The state rules for minors allowed under preemption are:
A minor who is not with a parent, grandparent, guardian,
or properly authorized firearms safety instructor or hunting safety instructor
can be banned by local authorities from having a firearm on themselves,
near them, or in a vehicle, on a street or highway, or in any place open
to the public, or on private property, unless the private property is owned
or leased by the minor's parent, grandparent or guardian. Those authorities
cannot make any such rules for minors who are 14 to 17 years old who are:
• Legally hunting, at shooting events, or at marksmanship
practice at established ranges or areas where shooting is not prohibited;
• Legally transporting unloaded firearms to legally
• Legally transporting unloaded firearms between
5 a.m. and 10 p.m. to go to a shooting event or marksmanship practice
at an established range or areas where shooting is not prohibited;
• Engaged in producing crops, livestock or poultry
or related products, ratites (flightless birds such as ostrich or emu),
or storage of agricultural products.
A separate education statute (§15-841) says that
possession, display or use of a firearm by a pupil is grounds for expulsion
from school at the discretion of authorities on a case-by-case basis. In
addition, a person found to be delinquent loses the right to possess a firearm
(§13-904), and cannot have one for at least ten years (§13-3113). Minors
are also affected by gun rules that must be made by public schools under §13-2911.
33 - Under §12-820.02, government officials grant
themselves immunity from liability for letting a criminal get a gun,
or preventing an innocent person from getting one, unless the officials
are malevolent or grossly negligent.
38 - For the new government reciprocity scheme to work,
the 50 states would need to complete 1,225 "deals" with each other
(49+48+47, etc.), and this would not account for cities, counties and other "sub" laws.
40 - To get the current list of Arizona DPS-approved "you've-got-rights" states
(sometimes referred to as "reciprocal" states) go to http://www.dps.state.az.us/ccw. As
of this printing, four years after the law was passed, the list is AK, AR,
KY, TX. UT (and UT just officially withdrew from the list). I dunno,
does that sound to you like the right to arms is infringed, or that reciprocity
is a clever idea?
41 - If, after reading these lists, you get the sense
that reciprocity schemes don't solve the problem and unshackle honest citizens,
well, you're not alone. Instead of a protected right to keep and
bear arms, Americans' rights have been reduced to a short list of government
approved states for licensees only, under the infringement of reciprocity
42 - The Preemption law was radically changed, requiring
six new pages of text that replaces 42-44. This highly charged political
topic has been in the news ever since, with agencies and bureaucrats trying
to squeeze out of the requirements, which prohibit them from making up
their own gun rules except in narrowly defined circumstances.
45 - Frivolous Lawsuits. In an effort to disarm
the public, various groups, including in some cases tax-funded government
officials, have initiated lawsuits against gun manufacturers, distributors
and related businesses for the non-criminal manufacture and sale of firearms. Arizona
has enacted a statute forbidding such suits by political subdivisions of
this state, saying in part:
"The citizens of this state have the right, under
the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and article 2,
section 26 of the Arizona Constitution, to keep and bear arms."
"Businesses in the United States that are engaged
in the lawful sale to the public of firearms or ammunition are not, and
should not be liable for the harm caused by those who unlawfully misuse
firearms or ammunition."
"The possibility of imposing liability on an entire
industry for harm that is the sole responsibility of others is an abuse
of the legal system, threatens the diminution of a basic constitutional
right and constitutes an unreasonable burden on the free enterprise system."
"The liability actions commenced by political subdivisions
are based on theories without foundation in the common law and American jurisprudence.
Such an expansion of liability would constitute a deprivation of the rights,
privileges and immunities guaranteed to citizens of this state under both
the Constitution of Arizona and the United States Constitution." See
(§12-714) for complete details.
49 - Delete the reference to Brady form 5300.35, this
51 - Perhaps the most dramatic change in this edition
came not from the legislature, but from the judiciary:
The rules for open carry were quite simple in Arizona,
when the laws meant what they said (described below) until the late 1990s. Then,
several activist judges literally rewrote our laws from the bench, creating "law" that
was never passed by the legislature and creating significant risks for
the average armed resident.
The new "test" for whether open carry is legal
-- not written in any law -- now seems to be, if your gun is readily accessible
for immediate use, the means of conveyance must reasonably place others on
notice you're armed. The phrases "readily accessible for immediate
use," "conveyance" and "reasonably place others on notice" are
undefined inventions of the court; "conveyance" seems to imply
holster, gun case or other device for carrying a firearm.
The enacted statute applies to adults who are not prohibited
from firearm possession. You may carry firearms, loaded or unloaded,
throughout Arizona, subject to the following restrictions. If you carry
a gun on yourself and don't have a concealed-weapon permit, the statute says
it must be at least partially visible or in a belt holster that's at least
partially visible. See §13-3102 for the letter of the law. The
statute says you may also carry a gun in a case designed for carrying weapons
or a scabbard, and the case or scabbard must be at least partially visible,
or else carried in luggage.
The simple, long-standing partially visible standard
has now been reinterpreted by some courts to practically require blatant
display, and they have invented other non-statutory conditions that place
honest people bearing arms in jeopardy. Specifically, some judges may
seek to increase your risk -- not written in the law -- if you're on foot
and your gun is readily accessible for immediate use (which a gun in a holster
obviously is). Under statute, "immediately accessible" conditions
only apply to vehicles, described below.
In addition, the law does not define what a holster or
weapon case is or looks like (common sense used to apply), but in 1995
an appellate court set a precedent by saying a fanny-pack holster does not
qualify -- it doesn't look enough like a weapon case -- without saying how
much is enough. This created enormous risk for decent residents everywhere,
and the court didn't seem to mind. If you're carrying openly but someone
can't immediately tell, you may be held in violation. Yes, that's
right, it's confusing.
Authorities and lower courts have been inconsistent in
dealing with people who carry openly -- from completely ignoring a person
to court convictions -- creating a substantial degree of risk, and who
wants to be the next test case. The risk is pretty much eliminated,
however, if you have a concealed-weapon permit, or if you carry openly in
a manner so that people can't mistake that you're armed.
There is a certain pride that Arizona is an open carry
state -- it reflects our pioneer sense of freedom. Indeed, many states
have made it much harder to move a gun from point A to point B than it
is here, where people are (or certainly used to be) free to take their
firearms around pretty much as they see fit.
But as anyone who has tried it knows, strapping on a
six shooter in most metropolitan areas attracts so much attention that
it serves as a heavy deterrent. Requiring open carry actually limits the
practicality of traveling armed, in a modern society where being inconspicuous
is the civilized norm. Unless you're in costume or at a special event,
many people just won't wear a gun while out and about these days. This
is less true however in smaller towns and rural areas, where finding people
strolling around with sidearms is somehow less poignant, and certainly a
more common sight. At any rate, you do see people from time to time,
statewide, going about their affairs, openly bearing arms.
Guns in Cars
State law says you may carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded,
anywhere in a car (or other means of transportation), in a case, holster,
scabbard, pack or luggage, or if it is plainly visible (see the special
rules concerning school grounds, and the test described under Open Carry,
gun may also be out of sight in a storage compartment, trunk or the glove
compartment of the vehicle, without violating the statute. Without
a concealed-weapon permit, it's illegal to have an unholstered gun otherwise
concealed and within immediate control of any person in a car or other means
of transportation. Violation is a class 1 misdemeanor. See §13-3102
for the letter of the law.
This rule causes a great deal of confusion because a
gun may be concealed from sight in a car (in the glove box, for example)
and still comply with the statute, even without a permit. In a holster,
a gun may be concealed anywhere in a car (but not directly on yourself) and
not violate the statute. The authorities, however, have been known
to mistakenly ticket or arrest individuals, who must later learn their fate
in a court, especially for a holstered gun under the seat, making this popular
carrying spot a risky choice. An unholstered gun under the seat, or
under a hat or a newspaper is a good way to go to jail. No one ever
said that these laws make a lot of sense, or that they're enforced fairly,
just that they are the laws.
52 - Due to judicial activism, add this at the end of
the "Guns in Cars" section: As with open carry, if your gun is
readily accessible for immediate use, the means of conveyance must clearly
communicate you're armed.
62 - You cannot enter any public establishment or attend
any public event and carry a deadly weapon after the people in charge of
the establishment or event make a reasonable request for you to give them
custody of the weapon. Failure to place the weapon in their custody
or leave is a class 1 misdemeanor. A sign at an entrance point asking
you to relinquish custody may be considered a reasonable request. A public
establishment is a structure, vehicle or craft that is owned, leased or operated
by an Arizona governmental entity. A public event is a named or sponsored
event of limited duration run by government or by a private entity with a
permit or license from the government. It does not include an unsponsored
gathering of people in public. See §13-3102 for the letter of
It's a class 2 felony to bring a gun into a correctional
facility or its grounds, or into or around a secure care facility. (It
used to be a class 5 felony for juvenile secure care facility, which is
63 - School personnel paragraph now reads: School boards,
exempt from the preemption law, must make and enforce policies banning
guns from school grounds, under §15-341, except for peace officers or persons
with a specific authorization from the school administrator. School
personnel must immediately report violations to the school administrator,
who must immediately report violations to a peace officer, per §15-515. Public
colleges and other public educational institutions must develop their own
rules, as required by §13-2911. A pupil may be expelled for more
than a year, under §15-841, for use, display or possession of a gun,
or for bringing a gun to school, at the school authority's discretion. Federal
rules also apply, described in this chapter and Chapter 7.
72 - Special exemption for CCW permittees: A valid
CCW permit exempts you from restrictions in local and state parks under preemption,
if local bureaucrats have opted to ban the right to bear arms in those parks. Open
carry appears to be legal in such cases if you have a CCW permit.
75 - Add the words "and destructive devices" after "weapons" for
83 - In the first paragraph, "public ranges" now
says "public and private ranges." The old BLM printed surface
management maps have been replaced with a high tech print-on-demand cartography
system. The section on where can you shoot adds this note: Remember
that under the preemption law, described in Chapter 1, parks and preserves
can limit simple possession of firearms by posting special signs, even
though they may not be empowered to regulate shooting per se.
85 - The Posted Areas list now includes an entry for
preemption: Local parks can be posted to allow only people with a
valid CCW permit to carry firearms.
86 - BLM now uses a maps-on-demand system system.
87 - The "Cities" entry is changed by preemption. It
is usually illegal to shoot, with criminal negligence, recklessness, knowledge
or intent, into or within the boundaries of any city in the state. Under §13-3107,
amended in 2000 and nicknamed Shannon's law, discharge within city limits
is a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 6 felony, at the prosecutor's discretion,
even for a negligent (accidental) discharge. The new exceptions include:
• Animal Attacks -- Shooting within cities is allowed
in self defense or defense of another person against an animal attack,
if a reasonable person would believe that it is immediately necessary and
reasonable to protect yourself or the other person from the animal;
• B•B Guns -- With adult supervision for
shooting air or carbon dioxide gas operated guns (be certain that property
and people are not endangered or threatened in any way);
• Blanks -- The prohibition against firing in cities
under §13-3107 does not apply if the firearm is using blanks (though
disturbing the peace or other charges could still apply);
• Remote areas -- Shooting is not prohibited in
city areas that are more than one mile from any occupied structure as defined
in §13-3101. Many cities have annexed large tracts of land that
would qualify under this exception, but it's important to note that this
definition of an "occupied" structure would include your own
empty vehicle, or pretty much any other object where a person could be,
whether occupied or not.
90 - Certain easy-access areas of the Tonto National
Forest have been closed. For the full details on this controversial
action, and a link to maps showing the closures, go to our website and
use the blue Tonto button.
"Orders 12-146-R and 12-182, 8/7/01. Prohibits discharging
a firearm or gas gun, except authorized hunting." Note: These two
orders removed all 80,000 acres of commonly used decades-old metro-Phoenix
target practice areas, E. of Carefree, N. of Scottsdale, W. of Bush Highway,
and N. of Mesa and Apache Junction, raising a firestorm of protest that
failed to prevent the blanket closures, and now requires metro-Phoenix
residents to push far further into the forest for recreational shooting.
92 - Shooting Ranges: The definition of a shooting
range has been changed and now includes a facility operated by:
• A club affiliated with the National Rifle Association,
The Amateur Trapshooting Association, The National Skeet Association,
or any other nationally recognized shooting organization;
• Any agency of the federal government;
• An agency of this state, or a county or city
government that will have the range within its boundaries;
• Any public or private school;
• With adult supervision for shooting in underground
ranges on private or public property;
• With adult supervision for shooting air or carbon
dioxide gas operated guns.
94 - State Parks add: Firearms may be carried in the
parks, but under §13-3108 parks under one square mile and developed
areas in any parks may be posted to ban the right to bear arms, except for
persons with CCW permits. If a Park Ranger requests that you remove
your weapons in an area not posted, you would have to place the weapon in
the Ranger's custody, under §13-3102. Also, a new section:
Shooting Range Protection
A special fund is set up under §17-273 to be used
by the Arizona Dept. of Game and Fish on shooting ranges open to the
public and run by government or non-profit groups for:
• shooting range engineering and studies; • noise abatement; • safety enhancement; • shooting range design; • new range sites and construction; • range relocations; and • other projects needed to operate and maintain
ranges under good practices and management.
The Dept. may also accept private grants, gifts and contributions
to carry out these goals. The Game and Fish Director and State Land
Commissioner are directed to work together to identify state trust land
suitable for new or relocated ranges.
102 - On the cover of this book is the question, "When
can you shoot to kill?" The unasked part of the question is, "...and
expect to be justified in the eyes of the law." You are justified
when the authorities or a jury determine, after the fact, that your actions
were justified. You never know beforehand.
104 - Note that court cases that may have an effect are
105 - A previously undetected and radical change in the
law was enacted without the knowledge of anyone I've been able to find.
Previously, if you brought up "justification" in self defense, the state had
to prove that your actions were not justified. But now, in a 180
Burden of Proof
"It is up to you to prove that your actions were
A defendant must prove any affirmative defense made under
the justification laws by a preponderance of the evidence. (The presumptions
made under the crime prevention statute, §13-411, and under the intoxication
statute, §13-503, are not affected by this law.) See §13-205
for the letter of the law, and read the new precautionary note below.
108 - The confusing "necessity defense" has
a new condition: The necessity defense is unavailable for an offense involving
homicide or serious physical injury.
Self Defense During An Animal Attack
"You can defend against a dangerous animal attack."
Added by Shannon's law in 2000, §13-3107 allows
shooting within cities in self defense or defense of another person against
an animal attack, if a reasonable person would believe that it is immediately
necessary and reasonable to protect yourself or the other person from the
animal. This right to defend against an animal attack is also protected
under the preemption law, §13-3108.
"Sometimes guilty people go free, and sometimes
innocent people do not."
Many factors make reliance on justification laws quite
risky. Yes, the laws support the use of physical or deadly physical
force in life-threatening emergencies, and yes, your right to self defense
is an invaluable and fundamental right. People are indeed often acquitted
under justification, but remember that justice is not always served, and
people often wonder afterwards if a guilty party walked. Remember that
you are only justified if the authorities or a jury agree, after the fact,
that you were justified. You get to sweat it out the whole time the
case is pursued, which can take years. Changes to the law can complicate
your defense, such as when the burden of proof law was changed.
Previously, if a person brought up the issue of justification,
the prosecution had to prove the acts were not justified. In a stunning
reversal, the law was changed to make the person charged prove they were
justified by a preponderance of the evidence, an enormous blow to the protections
Arizonans once enjoyed. Remember that a prosecutor's role is to work
hard to convict, regardless of your guilt or innocence. The pursuit
of high conviction rates may lead to what some would consider dirty lawyer
tricks, with your future on the line. There's an old saying that has some
merit here, "Better a criminal goes free than a lien on your home." It
is admittedly a very tough and risky choice.
109 - Aggravated assault now may range from class 2 to
class 6 felony depending on circumstances.
110 - "Peace and quiet" should be "peace
111 - The warning-shot paragraph is fine tuned.
112 - Bullet-Proof Vests and Body Armor
"A crime committed while wearing a bullet-proof
vest carries greater penalties."
There is no law against owning or wearing "bullet-proof
vests" (or as the trade refers to them, bullet-resistant vests or ballistic
vests), and in fact, they are basically defensive tools owned by many citizens. However,
committing a felony while wearing body armor (now defined by §13-3116)
is itself a class 4 felony, and is considered an aggravating circumstance
(§13-702) that may be used in court to increase the penalty for a conviction.
Aiming a Laser at a Peace Officer
"It's illegal to shine lasers or bright lights at
Introduced in 2000, intentionally or knowingly shining
a laser at another person if you know or reasonably should know that the
person is a peace officer is a class 1 misdemeanor (§13-1213). Laser
is broadly described to include any visible light beam used for aiming,
targeting or pointing out features.
"You can't go around scaring people with phony bombs."
It is a class 1 misdemeanor to intentionally terrify,
intimidate, threaten or harass anyone with a simulated explosive device
or sending such a device is considered prima facie evidence of illegal
intent if the device does not have conspicuous written notice attached that
it is inert and only serves as a curio, relic, display or for similar purpose.
Forensics Firearms Identification System
"DPS is officially running a database on firearm
The Dept. of Public Safety was authorized in 2000, under §13-3115,
to establish and run an identification system to provide investigative
information on criminal street gangs and the unlawful use of firearms.
119 - Numerous sections of Tonto National Forest are
now closed to outdoor marksmanship. (Used to say: Two small areas
of Tonto are closed to all shooting except hunting.)
125 - Small verbiage changes made on the federal law
127 - One more federal law went on the books as we went
to print: Omnibus Consolidated & Emergency Supplemental Appropriations
Act, 1999 (numerous requirements detailed later in this chapter).
129 - Description of Brady law cleaned up and brought
current (now that this "handgun" law federalizes all rifle and
shotgun sales), thru pg. 133.
139 - 6,000 students were caught and reported in 1997
for bringing weapons to school (prior text mistakenly says guns).
141 - Omnibus Consolidated & Emergency Supplemental
Appropriations Act, 1999. This 4,000-page budget bill was secretly
drafted in committee, rushed to the floor of Congress, voted on two days
later, and enacted in October 1998 without any of your representatives actually
reading it. It increased federal gun law by almost 6%, with provisions
for NICS funding, gun-law enforcement funding, gun safety devices sold at
retail, public gun safety training funding, restrictions on aliens, NICS
record-keeping and taxing prohibitions, shotguns and certain antiques redefined,
undetectable gun law reenactment, relief for importers, a pawn shop NICS
glitch fix, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency disbanded with duties
moved to the State Dept., and a special ban on using the U.S. global arms
control and disarmament agenda against the public. Detailed analysis
is available on our website, http://www.gunlaws.com.
145 - The federal gun-law growth chart now goes to 2000.
169 - We have introduced a line of classic "political" books
for being more effective, like "Getting To Yes" by Fisher and Ury, "Confrontational
Politics" by Richardson, and even "Parliament of Whores" by
P.J. O'Rourke -- for the real dirt on our politicians. Check it out
on our website anytime.
173 - Municipality is defined for the preemption law: Any
city or town and any property fully enclosed within the city or town.
177 - Telephone area codes are updated for 602, 520,
480, 623 and 928.
181 - Appendix D (The Statutes). Now updated to
include laws effective as of Jan. 1, 2002. The following 39 laws
were changed or are newly added:
218 - Back Matter has been updated to reflect our new
books and the changing times.
END OF UPDATE
"We publish the gun laws."
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
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Alan Korwin is the author of seven best-selling books
on gun law, including the unabridged guide "Gun Laws of America -- Every
Federal Gun Law on the Books, with Plain English Summaries," and state
gun guides for AZ, CA, FL, TX, VA. This paper is part of an ongoing
series, click Position Papers on our home page, or write or call for copies.