Arizona’s Constitutional Carry Law
Recently in Arizona there was a Senate bill which passed relatively quietly and with little opposition. It was SB 1270, and it widely increased the rights of Arizonans to carry weapons as they please in the Grand Canyon state. Prior to this bill, weapons could be carried openly by anyone over the age of 18, however they could not be concealed or carried into a restaurant (or any establishment serving alcohol) without a permit issued by the Department of Public Safety. The situation has changed significantly now.
Based on the new law, anyone over the age of 21 can legally conceal a weapon and carry it in public without a permit. Removing the burden of a permit from the average citizen, in some eyes, is a positive thing which enables people to enjoy the freedoms which are listed in the Bill of Rights. To others, the idea of anyone being able to put on a gun and conceal it is horrifying. Either way, as the law stands in December 2010, it is a point.
That point is as soon as the gun owner tries to enter private property. Any store or person is allowed to block weapons from being carried into their establishment. Failure to comply could result in a criminal trespassing misdemeanor. If the store allows the carrying of weapons (silence is consent) then everyone is in the right. In addition to several exceptions such as school and federal buildings, restaurants which serve alcohol are off limits to those who carry weapons unless they have a concealed weapons permits.
In addition, federal law still states that no one without a permit may carry a weapon concealed within 1,000 feet of a school. In urban areas, it is nearly impossible to come within 1,000 feet of a school. Therefore, many carrying concealed under the constitutional carry bill will still be technically in violation under the federal law.
Obtaining a permit is relatively easy. Training must be taken from any NRA and DPS certified instructor, or certain types of training like military service may be substituted. The appropriate paperwork as well as $60 is sent in with a fingerprint card to DPS, and usually within a few weeks a permit is issued. Arizona is a “shall issue” state, so any citizen without negative markers (criminal record, mental illness, etc) must be issued one.
There are still several complexities and rules within the weapons laws of Arizona which would take a book to explain. Make sure if you are going to carry a weapon you are well versed in these laws so you do not find yourself in trouble with the law when you least suspect it.