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Handgun Carry in Arizona between the age of 18 and 21 years of age.

May 31, 2008 Firearms Training, Legal Issues No Comments

Question:   I am 19 years old and I’ve been thinking of purchasing a handgun from a private seller.  Of course, everything would be done legally. I understand I have the right to carry a gun, but will it get me into any problems if it is not registered?  Is there a way I can get it registered with out getting into trouble? Also any other advice would help a lot. 

Answer:  First, let me clarify Arizona and Federal laws on this subject.  In Arizona, it is perfectly legal for a person 18 years of age or old to own a handgun.  

However, Arizona will not allow anyone under the age of 21 to carry a concealed handgun.  You must be 21 years old before Arizona will issue you a concealed weapons permit.  

Federal law also requires that you be 21 years old to purchase a handgun from a Federally licensed gun dealer.

The only way that someone between the ages of 18 and 21 can legally purchase a handgun is from a private party.  In order for a private party sale to be legal, the transaction must be face-to-face between two residents of the same state.  I strongly recommend that any private party transaction include a bill of sale with the price, the model and serial number of the gun being transferred, the full name and address of the buyer and the full name and address of the seller.  I would also strongly advise that both buyer and seller check the other’s driver’s license to verify identity and age.

As an 18 year old, you can carry your handgun openly, as long as you are in a place where it is legal for you to carry a firearm.  I would recommend that you consult the Arizona DPS Concealed Weapons Permit page for information places where concealed or open carry is not permitted.  Another resource is the “Arizona Gun Owners Guide” by Alan Korwin.  You can find copies at most gun stores or online at http://www.tacticaldirect.com

In Arizona it is not necessary to register your firearm.  Federal gun dealers are required to record the transaction using ATF Form 4473.  They are also required do a background check, although this can usually be completed while the purchaser waits.

Private party transfer do not require either of these steps. 

My only other advice to you is to use extreme discretion where you carry you firearm and make it a point to understand the law regarding where you can legally carry and when you could legally use your firearm for self-defense.  Carry your gun in the wrong place or use it inappropriately and you can end up in serious legal trouble and if you’ve done something serious, you could even lose your right to own a firearm at all.

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