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"Not Guilty" on Domestic Violence Charge – Can I Get a CCW?

February 22, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, CCW Administrative Rules Comments Off

Question: A few years ago I was charged with DV-Criminal Damage. I completed Diversion and the charge was dropped, with a “Not Guilty” plea. Will this prohibit me from purchasing firearms or obtaining a CCW?

Answer: You should not have a problem purchasing a firearm or getting a CCW as long as the charge was dropped.  You may find delays occurring during your background check since there will a record showing an initial charge that will have to be checked for the final disposition, but ultimately you should not have any issues.

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Retired Federal Law Enforcement…Do I need an AZ CCW Permit to Carry Concealed?

Question: I am a retired Supervisory (GS-14)Border Patrol Agent (21+years and in good standing). I carry my retired credentials from the Department of Homeland Security. I have a Border Patrol firearms instructor certification until 2012. I have also just obtained a license as an armed security guard for AZ. Can I carry concealed or do I need the 8 hour course?

Answer: There is bad news and good news.  The bad news is that even with your retired federal officer credentials, you must had an Arizona CCW Permit to carry concealed in Arizona.  The good new is that since you were a Border Patrol Agent for more than 10 years and retired in good standing, you can apply for a CCW permit without having to take the 8 hour training course.  You can submit a letter from your former agency stating that you were retired in good standing after 21 years and that will exempt you from the training requirement.  You must also submit an application for an Arizona CCW and a completed fingerprint card and a $60 processing fee along with your letter.

You could also apply for LEOSA status as well.  LEOSA refers to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act that exempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from many local and State provisions regarding concealed carry.  Please understand that it does not exempt you from ALL concealed carry laws, but only some.

Under Arizona Law, you can locate a LEOSA qualified instructor and demonstrate proficiency with the firearm you intend to carry in a judgmental shooting evaluation.  The instructor will provide you with an application which must be submitted to the AZ DPS Concealed Weapons Permit Unit with the following documentation:

  • The LEOSA application
  • A letter from your agency stating your credentials (active or retired)
  • A photocopy of your retired credentials issued by your former agency
  • The appropriate application fee (currently $20) in certified funds payable to the AZ DPS.

The LEOSA credentials are good for one year and must be renewed annually.  If allowed to expire the entire process must be repeated for re-certification.

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CCW Name Change and Moving to Colorado

December 29, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, CCW Administrative Rules, Out-of-State Carry Comments Off

Question: I recently got married but I also moved a couple weeks ago to Colorado. Where do I start? What forms do I fill out? Do I have to take a class again in Colorado and do it all over? If you can let me know I would appreciate it, I want to be valid. Thanks!

Answer: Congrats on your wedding!  Sorry we lost you to Colorado.  You will need to file both a change of address and a change of name with AZ DPS.  The forms that you need to fill out are available on the Arizona DPS website at:  http://www.azdps.gov/services/concealed_weapons/

If you look on the left side of the page you will see a link to “Forms”.  Click there and look for the “Name Change” form.  You can use the same on for both the name and address change.  Once you get to Colorado and get a CO driver license, you’ll need to take a CCW course there to get a Colorado permit.  If you are in the Denver area, check out the folks at Profire USA.  Their website is:  http://www.profire.us/

They are a great bunch of folks and you will get top quality training with them.  Your Arizona permit will work as long as you have an Arizona license since you won’t be considered to be an ‘official’ resident of Colorado until you get your license and registration there.

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Can I get an AZ CCW Permit with an Expunged Domestic Violence Conviction in Arizona?

Question:  I plead guilty to disorderly conduct (domestic violence) in 2005 and was given 36 months unsupervised probation. One year after my probation ended I requested the judgment be dismissed and set-aside, which the court and Judge agreed and issued a dismissal.  Can I now legally own a weapon and apply for my CCW which was surrendered in 2005?

Answer: Unfortunately, the answer is “no”.  Here is the issue.  Under the Domestic Violence Gun Ban Act passed by Congress in 1996, a person that has been convicted of a domestic violence offense cannot legally possess a firearm or ammunition.  In order to restore a person’s right to own a firearm under this law, the state court must “set-aside” or “expunged” the conviction and explicitly restore the person’s right to own a firearm.

Unfortunately, while a process exists to do this for person’s convicted of a felony offense whose convictions have been “set aside” or “expunged”, a similar process does not exist for persons convicted of a misdemeanor crime in Arizona.  When the Arizona legislature wrote the law relating to setting aside misdemeanor convictions, the Domestic Violence Gun Ban Act did not exist.  The Arizona legislature did not anticipate the passage of a federal law that would narrowly define the process of setting aside misdemeanor convictions.  Since all other misdemeanors besides a domestic violence conviction do not result in the loss of gun ownership rights, there was no provision made in the law to restore the right to own a firearm when setting aside a misdemeanor conviction.

Therefore in Arizona and numerous other states, there is a “Catch 22″.  There is no mechanism to restore firearm rights when setting aside a misdemeanor conviction and the federal law in question requires that states explicitly restore the right to own a firearm when setting aside a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence in order for the federal law not to apply.

To summarize, a convicted felon can have their case set-aside or expunged, have their right to own a firearm restore and then can buy a gun or get an Arizona CCW permit.  However, someone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense has lost their right to own a firearm or get an AZ CCW permit forever, even if the charge has been set-aside or expunged.  Fair?  No, not at all.  But then laws are not always fair, are they?  The solution?  Contact your Arizona legislator and ask them to fix this law.

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What happens to the fingerprint cards after I apply for my AZ CCW?

September 30, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, CCW Administrative Rules Comments Off

I’ve been asked this question by a number of students recently, so I thought I’d add a post.

In talking with AZ DPS, I was told that they keep the fingerprint cards for about one week after the Arizona CCW permit is sent out in case it is needed for some reason.  After a week, the cards are shredded.  They are NOT kept on file for any reason.

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What states does Arizona have reciprocity with for concealed carry?

September 30, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, CCW Administrative Rules, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Arizona recognizes all other states valid concealed carry permits that meet the following conditions:

Arizona and any political subdivision of Arizona stall recognize a concealed weapon, firearm or handgun permit that is issued by another state or political subdivision of another state if both:

  1. The permit or license is recognized as valid in the issuing state.
  2. The permit or license holder is all of the following:   a) not a resident of this state.  b) legally present in this state.  c) not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm in this state.

For the purpose of establishing mutual permit or license recognition with other states, the Department of Public Safety shall enter into a written agreement if another state requires a written agreement.

Not withstanding the provision of this section, a person with a concealed weapons permit from any other state may not carry a concealed weapon in this state if the person is under twenty-one years of age or is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, a felony offense in any jurisdiction, unless the person’s rights have been restored and the conviction is expunged, set-aside or vacated and the applicant is not currently a prohibited possessor under state or federal law.

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AZ CCW Permit Reciprocity

Question: What exactly does this mean? When I arrive do I follow the states laws? Do I tell them I have arrrived? What exactly does this mean that other states recognize my AZCCW? Please advise. Also, where can I get the details in writing? Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions!

Answer: In terms of carrying a concealed firearm in other states using your AZ CCW permit, there are two types of arrangements between states to permit you to do this.  The first is through what is termed ‘reciprocity’ while the second is called ‘recognition’.

Reciprocity occurs when two states exchange written documentation stating that they will each honor the concealed carry permits of their respective states.  Recognition occurs when a state simply informs others that they will ‘recognize’ the validity of another state’s CCW permit if a resident of that state is a visitor.

In both cases, the permit holder must carry their firearm in compliance with the laws of the state they are visiting.  In order to avoid breaking the law, the visitor should understand the concealed carry laws of the state they are visiting.  Usually there is a summary of the relevant laws relating to concealed carry on the website of the issuing agency from each state.  In most cases the issuing agency is either the State Police or the County Sheriff.

In terms of Arizona reciprocity, the written policies are available in the Administrative Rules relating to concealed carry on the Arizona Department of Public Safety website which is:


You do not need to inform anyone of your arrival or your intention to carry a concealed firearm.

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Getting an AZ CCW Despite a Prior Felony Conviction…

September 2, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, CCW Administrative Rules, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question: I had a felony when I was 18 and have since had all rights returned to me.  I own several firearms, a silencer and a SBR that I did all the paperwork on with no issues, but someone had told me that just because the federal government passes me to own firearms AZ can deny me to have a CCW.  Is this true or can I legally get an AZ CCW.  I have never pursued it because I didnt want to waste my time and money.  Thanks in advance for any info that you can provide.

Answer: Since you have had your civil rights restored including your rights to own a firearm, you have no issue getting an Arizona CCW.  Arizona used to unconditionally deny convicted felons a CCW permit.  The law changed in 2008 permitting those with a prior felony conviction whose right had been restored to get an Arizona CCW if they meet all the other qualifications.  If you’d like to sign up for a class, we give a really good one.

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I lost my AZ CCW. How do I get a replacement?

September 2, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, CCW Administrative Rules Comments Off

Question: I would like to know what can I do to get a replacement AZ CCW card.  I lost my wallet.  How much does it cost and how long to receive it.  Thank you.

Answer:  Visit the DPS website at the following link to find a down-loadable form to get your permit replaced.  The cost is $10.  You must submit the funds in the form of a certified check or money order payable to AZ DPS.  Allow two weeks for them to get a replacement back to you.


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Armed Security Guard Requirements in Arizona

Question: In Arizona, is there a statute that requires security officers who carry firearms to have firearms training?  Also, is there a statute that requires armed bouncers at a bar to have specialized training.  I’m not aware of any, but I’m wondering if you are.

Answer: Yes, in Arizona there is a statute that requires an armed security guard working for a licensed security company to have an Armed Guard card in their possession while working.  An Armed Guard card may be applied for after the completion of the 16 hour DPS approved Armed Security Guard course.  You will also need to submit an application, fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety and undergo a criminal background check.  Assuming a positive outcome on the background check, you will receive your card from DPS.  You must also be sponsored by a licensed security company.  You cannot simply take the class and get a card.

As far as being a bouncer employed by a bar, you are not required by law to have a license or training.  However, you must comply with Arizona law regarding concealed carry and possessing a firearm in a bar, if you choose to carry a firearm.  This would mean that you need to have written permission of the establishment owner to have a firearm in your possession, you cannot under any circumstances consume alcohol or use any illegal drugs while in possession of a firearm and you must possess a valid Arizona CCW permit if  you are carrying concealed.

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Featured Content:

We are back after quite a long break…

May 16, 2013

Hello to all of our readers! After a long hiatus, we will be updating the site again.  Look for lots of new content to be added over the coming weeks.  We will also be updating older posts to reflect the current Arizona CCW laws. Thanks for your patience. Doug Little, Owner and Director of Training [...]

What did the “Campus Concealed Carry” bill really say and why did the Governor veto it?

May 5, 2011

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Governor Brewer Signs Multiple New Firearms Laws in Arizona.

May 5, 2011

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U.S. House of Representatives Considering National Right to Carry Reciprocity Bill…

May 4, 2011

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Problems with Interstate Firearms Transfers

July 20, 2010

Question:  I have bought a gun from an individual through Gunsamerica.( Gunsamerica is the broker).  I, the buyer live in Tennessee. The seller lives in Ohio.  I sent him a copy of the a local dealer’s FLL and a check for the gun. The local dealer requested a copy of the seller’s drivers license.   The [...]

Best Caliber Handgun for Self-Defense

July 20, 2010

Question:  I am wondering what would be the most effective handgun to carry in an apocalyptic, doomsday type scenario. I’ve read the .45 has the best knockdown power, the .357 has the best metal penetrating ability, and the 9mm would be the most common ammunition around.  I’m fairly sure that each of the above calibers [...]

Felony Conviction and Federal Home Protection Act

July 20, 2010

Question:  I am a felon and had to do a prison sentence.  My house was broke into twice while I was in bed asleep and both times I fled the home for my safety.  The police are telling me there is no true way to protect myself inside my home and that felons cannot possess [...]

Arizona Constitutional Carry About to Become Law…

April 15, 2010

A bill that would eliminate the requirement for Arizona residents to have a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon in Arizona has passed both houses of the Arizona Legislature and is awaiting Governor Jan Brewer’s signature before it becomes law.  If signed by the governor, the new law would take effect 90 days [...]

Open Carry in a Vehicle in Arizona

March 25, 2010

Question:  I am coming from out of state and was wondering if it was legal for me to open carry in the state even though I don’t have an Arizona CCW permit.  My other question is can I open carry in a car or does the handgun have to be cased and loaded? Answer:  You [...]

Felony Conviction and Firearms Possession…

March 8, 2010

Question:  I was convicted of a felony in 1998.  Can I legally possess a firearm? Answer: Since you didn’t tell me where you lived, I will have to assume that you are in Arizona.  Unless you have had your felony conviction set aside, you cannot legally possess a firearm.  Since it has been a very [...]