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Traveling from California to Arizona with a Handgun…

Question: I will be traveling to Arizona from California, and was thinking of bringing my S&W M&P 40.  I am an experienced hand gun owner, and know California Hand Gun law pretty well. Once I cross into AZ, I can load it, holster it and put it in a glove compartment or center storage, correct ?  I don’t have a CCW AZ yet.  Can a California resident open carry in AZ ?

My other question is it worth it, to bring it, under the circumstances?. ( I know that’s a loaded question !!) I will not carry it open in AZ, I do not want that kind of attention,
in general and again I would lock it up in the hotel in a hotel safe

When my wife and I stop for the bathroom, can I keep it on the seat next to me?  I want to keep an eye on my girl.  What is we break down, then can I open carry or just keep it within sight or reach on the car seat?  I just don’t want more stress then needed going in to another state, but don’t want to regret not taking it.  Advice?  Thanks!

Answer: Yes, once you cross into Arizona from California, you are subject to Arizona law.  Arizona permits you to have a holstered or cased firearm in the storage compartment of a vehicle (loaded or unloaded).  The key is that the firearm may not be ‘immediately accessible’ to the occupants of the vehicle unless they have an Arizona CCW permit.  Since the handgun would be in a case or holster and then secondarily in a glove box or storage console, you would be fine.  Since you are subject to Arizona law while visiting, you can legally engage in open carry as long as it is in a location where open carry is permitted by Arizona law.  A word to the wise, don’t carry into any establishment that serves alcohol.  That is a big no-no here.

Is it worth it to bring it?  How much is your life worth?  Seriously, I carry a firearm everywhere as long as I am legally permitted to do so.  You never know when you will need it, so in my opinion, when you don’t have it you are completely unprotected.  As far as your bathroom stops, you can legally have your firearm immediately accessible as long as it is in plain view on the seat or anywhere else in the vehicle as long as it is plainly visible to the casual observer.

Personally, I encourage people to keep their firearm handy.  You truly never know when a criminal attack may happen.  Another key is to maintain a high level of awareness of what is happening around you.  If you are alert to your environment and aware of developing situations around you, a lot of times you can spot potential trouble before it happens and take steps to mitigate or avoid the situation altogether.

Enjoy your visit to Arizona and please do exercise your Second Amendment rights here.

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