Arizona has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation. It is legal for most adults to carry a gun, without being required to have a permit for either open or concealed carry. Permits are available, however, and having a permit makes it possible to carry a gun in certain places where weapons are otherwise prohibited.
That said, there are limits on who may carry or possess a gun, the type of weapon you may own, and the manner in which you use a gun. Using a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime comes with enhanced penalties, including imprisonment, a criminal record, and steep fines.
Using a gun to commit a crime or merely possessing such a deadly weapon, can result in serious felony charges and the possibility of prison time. Arizona firearm and weapons charges are usually paired with other criminal charges such as robbery, burglary, and aggravated assault. If you are facing criminal charges involving weapons in Arizona, you may have also been on probation and confronting a probation violation because you were a prohibited possessor. Felony weapons crimes expose a person to harsh criminal penalties, including prison terms.
Who is Prohibited from Gun Ownership in Arizona?
- If you’ve been convicted of a felony or adjudicated delinquent on account of a felony and have not had your right to possess a gun restored
- If you’re incarcerated
- If you’re on probation for domestic violence
- If you’re an undocumented alien
- If you’ve been found by a court to be a danger to yourself or others
- If you’ve been adjudicated incompetent or insane
Furthermore, the law prohibits other behaviors involving guns. Misconduct Involving Weapons can be charged on an individual if they engage in any of the following:
- Carrying a gun into an establishment or public event with a liquor license, unless you have a permit
- Discharging a gun within a municipality (with certain exceptions)
- Manufacturing, selling or owning a prohibited weapon
- Selling or transferring a deadly weapon to a person who should not be in possession of it
- Removing the serial number from a gun
- Knowingly possessing a defaced deadly weapon
- Possessing or using a deadly weapon when committing a felony
- Discharging a firearm at a residence or other occupied building
- Entering a public establishment or public event while carrying a deadly weapon, without authorization
- Entering an election polling place on election day while carrying a weapon
- Possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds
- Entering a nuclear or hydroelectric generating station while in possession of a deadly weapon
- Knowingly supplying, giving, or selling a firearm to another person intending to use it to commit a crime
- Using or possessing a deadly weapon while committing an act of terrorism
- Giving or selling a firearm to a minor without parental permission
- Failing to inform a police officer of a deadly weapon in the vehicle during a stop
- Discharging a weapon related to gang activity
When on an Indian reservation, you need to check with the tribe. Indian tribes may have more restrictive gun laws than the rest of the state.
If you have been charged with any criminal offense involving weapons, it is best to immediately seek legal advice from criminal defense attorneys who will handle your case and fight for you. Case evaluation of the first step to avoid a criminal conviction.
Types of Weapons Prohibited by Arizona Law
According to Arizona criminal laws, a dangerous or deadly weapon can be defined as anything designed for lethal use. Common items such as knives and guns may be classified under this definition, but the law also includes items such as baseball bats or automobiles
Furthermore, any weapons charge that results in a serious injury to another person will have significantly increased sentencing range. Getting an experienced Arizona criminal attorney to represent you and build up the best defense for your case is the first thing you must do.
These are some of the types of deadly weapons that are prohibited in Arizona:
- A rifle with a barrel length of less than 16inches
- A shotgun with a barrel length of fewer than 18 inches
- A firearm made from a rifle or shotgun and that, as modified, has an overall length of fewer than 26 inches
- Nunchaku (“nun-chuks)
- Automatic weapons
- Bombs (including dry ice bombs or dry ice bullets), grenades, propelled rockets, explosive mines, and improvised explosive devices)
- Chemical or combination of chemicals
- A breakable container containing flammable liquid that has a flashpoint of 150 degrees.
Penalties for Weapon and Gun Charges
You may also face charges of misconduct involving a weapon if you are found to have used or possessed a deadly weapon during the commission of any felony offense. This is referred to as an aggravated offense. For example, an individual can be charged with aggravated assault if they commit an assault offense with the use of a deadly weapon. This offense is punishable as a class 4 felony.
Convicted weapon and firearm offenders in Arizona are generally assigned a presumptive term of sentencing, according to Chapters 7 and 8 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. However, these terms of imprisonment range from a minimum term to a maximum term. The sentence range can vary depending on the following:
- Any previous convictions of the offender;
- A child under the age of 18 was involved;
- Death or serious bodily injury as a result of the offense;
- Aggravating circumstances; and/or
- Mitigating circumstances.
Consequences of Weapons and Firearms Offenses
The sentencing ranges for misdemeanor and first-time felony weapons offenders are as follows:
- Class 3 Misdemeanor Offenses
Carrying a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation if the alleged offender is under the age of 21.
Jail time: up to 30 days
Fines: up to $500
- Class 1 Misdemeanor Offenses
- Carrying a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation and failing to affirmatively answer when asked by a law enforcement officer if the individual is carrying a concealed deadly weapon;
- Entering a public establishment or public event with a deadly weapon without authorization;
- Entering an election polling place on election day while carrying a weapon
- Possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds.
Jail Time: up to six months
Fines: up to $2,500.
- Class 6 Felony Offenses
- Carrying a deadly weapon in or on a means of transportation in furtherance of a serious offense, felony offense or violent crime;
- Selling or transferring a deadly weapon to a prohibited person;
- Defacing a deadly weapon;
- Possessing a defaced deadly weapon knowing the deadly weapon was defaced; and
- Unlawful discharging a firearm.
Jail Time: 18 months to three years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 27 months.
- Class 4 Felony Offenses
- Possessing a deadly weapon or prohibited weapon;
- Manufacturing, possessing, transporting, selling or transferring any prohibited weapons;
- Entering a nuclear or hydroelectric generating station with a deadly weapon without authorization; and
- Using a weapon during the commission of a felony offense.
Jail time from four years to eight years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is six years.
- Class 3 Felony Offenses
- Supplying, selling or giving possession of any firearm to another person if they have reason to know that person would use the firearm during the commission of a felony; and
- Discharging a firearm towards an occupied structure in order to assist or promote criminal street gangs or criminal syndicates.
Jail time: five years to 15 years in prison, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 7.5 years.
- Class 2 Felony Offenses
Using, possessing or exercising control over a deadly weapon in furtherance of any act of terrorism.
Jail time: seven years to 21 years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 10.5 years.
Felony offenders may also be required to pay a fine up to $150,000.
Need a criminal defense lawyer for Arizona Weapons Charges? Talk to us at Howard Snader Law for experienced legal representation!
In spite of Arizona’s generally relaxed attitude toward weapon ownership for law-abiding adults, weapon laws are taken very seriously and a violation could get you in legal trouble. If you have criminal weapons charges against you in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or the surrounding area, call the law office of criminal defense attorney Howard Snader for a free initial consultation. Howard will work hard to build an effective defense to either lower the charges to misdemeanor charges, get an acquittal, or have the case dismissed. As an Arizona Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, he has the legal experience, credentials, and commitment to upholding the constitutional rights of each of his clients.