In Arizona, anyone age 21 or over is permitted to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. This is a change from a former Arizona law that required permits for concealed weapons.
Despite the current law, Arizona still offers concealed weapon permits, which may be useful in a few situations. For example, a permit is required to carry a firearm into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol. (Arizona Statutes § 4-229.) Obtaining a permit also makes it possible to carry a concealed weapon into another state that recognizes Arizona’s permit.
Though Arizona doesn’t require a permit to carry a gun in the state, that doesn’t mean that you can carry any kind of gun whenever or wherever you like.
To learn more about the restrictions on carrying firearms in Arizona, see Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Arizona.
Read on to learn the details of Arizona’s handgun permit process.
Who Can Obtain a Gun Permit in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) must issue you a concealed weapons permit if you are:
- an Arizona resident or U.S. Citizen
- age 21 or older
- not under indictment for or convicted of a felony, unless that felony has been expunged or set aside and you are not a “prohibited possessor” under state law (see Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Arizona)
- not suffering from mental illness, adjudicated mentally incompetent, or committed to a mental institution, and
- not unlawfully present in the United States.
To qualify, you must also demonstrate competence with a firearm.
(Arizona Statutes § 13-3112(E).)
You may demonstrate competency with a firearm by:
- completing a firearms safety or training course that is approved by the DPS or that uses instructors who are certified by the National Rifle Association (NRA)
- completing a hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Arizona Game and Fish Department or another state’s similar agency
- completing an NRA firearms safety or training course
- completing a law enforcement firearms safety or training course offered for security guards, investigators, or other law enforcement or security positions approved by the DPS
- providing evidence of current military service or proof of honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions from the United States armed forces, or
- providing a valid current or expired concealed weapon, firearm, or handgun permit or license issued by another state or a political subdivision of another state that requires training before issuance.
(Arizona Statutes § 13-3112(N).)
How to Obtain a Gun Permit in Arizona
To obtain an Arizona concealed weapons permit, you must complete and submit an application -- including fingerprint cards -- to the Department of Public Safety. The current fee for a new permit is $60. You can find complete procedures and instructions for obtaining an application by visiting the Arizona Department of Public Safety website.
When to Renew Your Arizona Gun Permit
You must renew your permit every five years. Before granting your renewal, the Department of Public Safety will conduct a criminal history records check. You do not have to submit a fingerprint card with your renewal application. (Arizona Statutes § 13-3112(K).)
States In Which Your Arizona Permit Is Valid
You can find a list of the states that recognize Arizona concealed weapons permits by visiting the Arizona Department of Public Safety website. The DPS recommends that, before traveling to another state, you contact that state directly to confirm that you can use your Arizona permit carry a concealed weapon in the state.
When Your Permit Can Be Suspended or Revoked
The DPS will suspend or revoke your permit if you become ineligible according to the rules above. The DPS must notify you in writing within fifteen working days after the revocation or suspension of your permit, and must state the reasons for revoking or suspending your permit. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3112(M).)
Penalties for Illegally Possessing a Gun
Depending on the specific offense, violating a gun law in Arizona could constitute anything from a misdemeanor to a serious felony offense. You can learn the specifics by carefully reading sections 13-3102 of the Arizona Statutes.
Getting Legal Help
If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Arizona, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit or carry violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.