What Happened to Concealed Carry on Campus?

What exactly did the proposed law to allow concealed carry of firearms on college campuses in Arizona say and why did 6 Republican legislators vote against it and a Republican governor veto it?

Governor Brewer Signs New Firearms Laws

Here is a comprehensive list of the new firearms laws passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer along with an analysis of the ones with the greatest impact on existing Arizona laws.

Project Gunrunner - Congress Investigates BATFE

Here is the most up-to-date news of the Congressional investigation into BATFE "Project Gunrunner"...courtesy of Fox News.

House Bill Introduces National Right to Carry Act

In February 2011, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. For more details and a current status of this important law take a look at this article.

Today's Quote:

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty or Safety."

Benjamin Franklin, 1759

Recent Articles:

Firearms Ownership Issues After Divorce…

Question: I need proof that a gun was my father’s and if it was registered in his name or not. He is deceased and my ex-husband has taken it and now I have to have proof that it was my father’s gun and  should now be mine. Thank you.

Answer: Unfortunately, if you live in Arizona, there is no ‘registration’ of guns.  The only thing that would generally serve as ‘proof of ownership’ would be a bill of sale or a household inventory that also recorded the serial number of the gun.  If you have a document such as a bequest from your father’s estate transferring the firearm to you that also had a description of the gun and / or its serial number, that would show ownership as well.

In the absence of any paperwork, you have not way to prove the gun was yours.  If the gun has sentimental value to you, perhaps speaking to your ex-husband and requesting that he give it back to you would be helpful.  If he isn’t cooperative, unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done.

Sorry I don’t have better news for you.

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Prior Felony Conviction and Firearms Ownership…

February 22, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, Legal Issues, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question: I am a convicted felon who served 5 years in ADOC for failing to file income taxes. My sentence expired it 11/98. I have had no further contact with law enforcement. I am 65 years old and would like to take up pistol shooting at a range as a hobby. I want to to all this legally. What steps should I take? I live in Yavapai county.

Answer: The first step should be to look into having your conviction expunged.  There is a legal process in Arizona that allows a non-violent convicted felon to petition the court to “set aside” the conviction and expunge your record.  Since it has been more than 10 years since completing your sentence, you are well past the time threshold to be able to do this.  I’d suggest that you speak with an attorney about how to get this process started.  If you can’t afford an attorney, someone in the county attorney’s office may be able to point you in the direction of resources available in Yavapai County that could help you.

Once you file the appropriate paperwork and have the conviction set aside, your civil rights including your right to own a firearm will be restored.  Then you will legally be able to purchase a pistol to pursue your new hobby.

On a final note, I also encourage you to seek out some good firearms training once you can legally own a firearm again.  Good training from a qualified instructor will make a big difference by helping you build quality skills and teaching you how to handle a firearm safely…

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Visiting Arizona with Firearms…

February 22, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, Reciprocity Comments Off

Question:  I live in the state of Massachusetts where I hold a Class A Large Capacity License to Carry. I understand that AZ is a Shall Issue state. I am a corporate pilot who travels to Scottsdale frequently and would like to bring my firearms with me to shoot at a range. Will I run into any issues being a non resident bringing lawfully owned firearms into your state?

Answer:  You won’t have any issues bringing your firearms here.   Since you are a permit holder in Massachusetts, your permit is recognized in Arizona.  As you may know, Arizona is a very ‘gun friendly’ place.  You would be able to bring your firearms here with you even if you didn’t have a license to carry in Massachusetts…

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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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Surrender of Firearms During Law Enforcement Traffic Stop…

February 22, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, Firearms Safety, Vehicle Carry Comments Off

Question:  Yesterday I was driving through Superior AZ and I got pulled over.  I had my hands at ten and two position on the steering wheel, the window down  and the car off. When the officer got to the window, I announced I was carrying and a permit holder. He immediately reached for the gun on my left hip. I protested and said “wait why do you need to take my gun, it is loaded and I do not want you to shoot me with my own gun.” He said “it was his prerogative to take anyone’s weapon.” He pulled my weapon from my holster and asked me to come back to his car. While back at his car there were at least 4 times he pointed my own gun at me. Not like he was drawn out on me but just carelessly running the barrel across my body. My question is simple.  Am I required to surrender my weapon? I know if asked I have to present my permit. This officers had me thinking I would be shot with my own gun.

Answer: Overall, your initial response to the traffic stop was exactly correct.  I recommend that permit holders keep their hands on the wheel, roll down the window and provide the information that they are a permit holder and armed without any prompting on the part of the officer.  Typically, this will result in a more comfortable stop for both the citizen and the officer.

To answer your question directly, the officer is legally permitted to take control of your firearm for the duration of the traffic stop and near every single officer will do just that.  They are permitted to do this for their own safety.  When you consider the number of police officers that are killed in traffic stops each year, you can see why this is important to them.  You might recall that Lt. Eric Shuhandler of Gilbert PD was just killed in a traffic stop at the end of January.

From the way you have described the situation that occurred during your particular traffic stop, the officer could have used more care in handling your firearm and definitely should have been more conscious of the muzzle direction.  In all of our courses, we hammer the issues of safe muzzle direction and keeping your finger off the trigger even when handling an unloaded firearm.  We do this to insure absolute safety when handling a firearm.  Sounds like the officer in question could have done a better job of safe gun handling.  For future reference, there would be nothing wrong in politely suggesting to the officer that you do not wish to be swept with the muzzle of a firearm if something like this were to occur again…

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Firearms Owner Living With a Convicted Felon

February 15, 2010 Federal Firearms Laws, Legal Issues, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question:  Can a husband legally own a firearm in their home if it is locked in a safe that the spouse doesn’t have the combination to?  The wife is a convicted felon in Colorado.

Answer: In order to receive a truly authoritative answer, you should contact a licensed attorney in Colorado and seek legal advice.  In order to try and help you out, I will give you my informed opinion.

If the firearms are stored in such a way that the convicted felon has absolutely no access, most jurisdictions agree that this is acceptable.  The question becomes more murky if there is any possibility of access at all.

Let’s say that you have the guns in a safe and the wife does not know the combination.  That should be OK.  Now let’s say that you have the combination recorded in a computerized address book and that your wife has access to the computer.  Now there is a case that could be made for what is referred to as ‘constructive possession’ on the part of the wife since she has the means to open the safe and get the guns.  From a legal standpoint, that could cause both you and your wife a problem.

You can solve the problem by either not writing down the combination or by putting the combination somewhere where the wife has absolutely no access to it…

I would also suggest that you consider looking into the process of expunging or ‘setting aside’ the conviction as soon as it might be possible to do that.  That would restore your wife’s citizenship rights and rights to own a firearm making this entire problem go away.  Most states have a process to expunge a conviction as long as the felony was not a violent one or as long as the felony was not ‘sex crime related’.

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Obtaining a CCW…Advantages and Disadvantages

February 11, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question:  My wife and I have attended a recent CCW class and now question whether or not to finish the process and obtain an AZ CCW permit.  In your opinion what are the the real advantages (other than tactical) to being issued the card. Besides being placed on another list for the anti-gun establishment to point fingers at, the class we attended seem to bring up issues of higher accountability w/o significantly higher advantages to open carry.  Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Answer: This is a really good question and one I have been asked many times by prospective students.  First, let me dispel a couple of myths.  The fact that you have been issued a CCW permit is not publicly available information.  It is only available to law enforcement, so having a CCW does not put you on a ‘target list’ for the anti-gun establishment.  Also, there is no greater or lesser accountability whether you openly carry or carry concealed.  The laws regarding the use of firearms for self defense are exactly the same.  If someone carries a firearm they do have a great deal of responsibility and accountability, much more so than someone who does not carry at all, but there is no difference in accountability between open and concealed carry.

In terms of advantages to having an Arizona CCW permit, there are several things you should consider.

First, should you purchase a firearm in the future, you will not have to go through the background check if you have a valid CCW permit.  You can simply present your permit and driver licenses and walk right out with the firearm (after paying, of course!).

A second advantage would derive from being able to carry a firearm in your vehicle without having to keep it in a case or making sure it is visible to qualify for open carry.  When transporting a firearm in a vehicle without a permit, the firearm cannot be concealed and immediately accessible.  With a permit, you don’t have to worry about it.

A third possible advantage is a little more subjective.  If you are involved in a traffic stop with a law enforcement officer and have an AZ CCW and inform the officer that you have a permit, it lets them know that you have no serious criminal background.  After all, to get the card, you have to attend a firearms safety course and have a criminal background check done .  If you have a permit, it basically tells the law enforcement officer that you are a ‘good guy’ which makes the rest of the stop go more easily for both of you.

Another advantage is the reciprocal privileges that many states offer to concealed carry permit holders.  The Arizona CCW permit is currently recognized in 30 states.  This can be a nice advantage if you travel to those states.

In my view there are some very real advantages to concealed carry versus open carry from the standpoint of privacy.  It is no one’s business but your own if you decide to have a permit and lawfully engage in concealed carry.  Open carry, while legal in Arizona, puts everyone you come in contact with on notice that you have a firearm.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, but in my view, I would rather preserve the element of surprise and avoid unwanted attention that open carry can sometimes bring.

Per your request, I have specifically avoided the discussion of any ‘tactical issues’.

Since you have completed the course, there is very little additional effort required to get the permit.  I’d suggest that you complete the process.  Nothing in the law requires you to carry concealed or carry a firearm at all for that matter, but after doing all the hard work to attend the class, it seems only natural to complete the process assuming there are not financial issues that make the $60 application fee a hardship…

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Nephew Arrested with my Pistol…Will I Be Affected?

February 11, 2010 Legal Issues, Out-of-State Carry, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question: My nephew had my 9mm pistol as I let him use the firearm to go target practice shooting while he was visiting family in CA. He got pulled over with my 9mm loaded while intoxicated and is now being charged with carring a loaded concealed firearm along with a DUI.  Will this have any affect on my CCW in Arizona since it is my gun that he had in his possession?

Answer: Fortunately for you, it will not.  While it is not always a good idea to load out firearms, as long as he was legally able to possess a firearm in Arizona, it was legal for you to loan it to him.  It was NOT very smart of him to take your firearm to California without having a complete understanding of the laws there.  Based on my understanding of California law, the weapons charge is far more serious than the DUI.  Having a loaded, concealed firearm in his possession alone carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1000.  I’m sure that they firearm was confiscated.  You may wish to contact the Police Department that arrested your nephew and see if there is a way for you to recover your firearm.  I’m guessing that you would not be in a position to recover it until after the case is tried since it would most likely be considered to be evidence.  For future reference, I would be very careful about traveling to California with a firearm in the future.

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Obligation to Render Aid to Shooting Victim…

January 27, 2010 Legal Issues, State Firearms Laws, Use of Force Issues Comments Off

Question:  I am in the Army National Guard, a combat vet, and need some help on this. I just took a job as a corrections officer and while going through the training on Pressure Point Control Tactics we were told that if we use these methods on someone in self defense we are required by law to provide aid to the person afterwards because we are trained. I have never heard anything about this in the Army and I carry a gun religiously. Does this mean I have to provide aid if I shoot someone in self defense just because I am trained professionally to use a firearm. If this is true could you please include the ARS and if not please provide proof so I can educate the rest on my class.
Thank You Very Much

Answer: There are a couple of different issues here that we need to separate and discuss.  Probably the first thing would be to help you understand the “Good Samaritan Law” in Arizona.  Under this law and in the absence of any “special relationship” with the injured party, a bystander has no duty or obligation to render assistance to an injured party,  regardless of the circumstances or the bystander’s ability to render aid or assistance.  This is further extended to say that if the bystander does render aid “gratuitously and in good faith” they cannot be held liable for civil or other damages unless they are guilty of ‘gross negligence’.  The full text of the law is provided at the end of this article.

To address your first question, as a corrections officer acting in an official capacity, are you obligated to render aid to someone under your care if they are injured or incapacitated?  The answer to this question is “Yes”.

An exception to the ‘Good Samaritan Law’ exists when there is a ‘special relationship’ which gives rise to a duty to aid or protect.  An example of that special relationship would be your role as a corrections officer.  As a corrections officer, you are required by law to take custody of another under person which may deprive them of their ‘normal opportunity for protection’.  In other words, you are responsible for the prisoners while they are in your custody and are therefore required to render aid should they be injured or become incapacitated.

In your second question, you asked if the fact that you had firearms training required you to render aid if you shot someone in self-defense.  I am assuming that you are asking this question as an armed private citizen, not as a law enforcement officer of any kind.  As a private citizen, you are under no legal obligation to render aid to a person that you had legal justification to shoot in self defense.  In a self defense shooting, I would call 911 and request assistance from law enforcement and emergency medical personnel, but would not attempt to render aid myself since to do so might put me at additional risk from my attacker.  Consider the possibility that the criminal could be feigning injury in an attempt to get you to approach so that they could attack and regain the initiative or escape.

I hope this clarified the differences in the two situations for you…

ARS 32-1471 – Health care provider and any other person; emergency aid; nonliability

Any health care provider licensed or certified to practice as such in this state or elsewhere, or a licensed ambulance attendant, driver or pilot as defined in section 41-1831, or any other person who renders emergency care at a public gathering or at the scene of an emergency occurrence gratuitously and in good faith shall not be liable for any civil or other damages as the result of any act or omission by such person rendering the emergency care, or as the result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured persons, unless such person, while rendering such emergency care, is guilty of gross negligence.

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Defensive Handgun Selection – Glock, 1911 or H&K, Which One to Buy?

January 23, 2010 Equipment Reviews, Firearm and Caliber Advice Comments Off

Question:  I’m looking to purchase a new semi-automatic pistol.  In your CCW class, you mentioned how happy you were with your H&K.  I would appreciate your thoughts on the .45 USP Compact.  I would be using it primarily as a defensive, home protection weapon, with occasional range practice.  I have extensive experience with the Colt 1911 .45, and have also enjoyed the simplicity of the Glock, but have heard many good things about H&K’s. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Answer: I’m a pretty big fan of the H&K.  I carried both the Glock and the 1911 for a long time.  I carried a Glock 23 and Glock 26 for a couple of years.  I continue to be impressed by the Glock’s simplicity of operation, utter reliability and consistency of trigger pull.  The lack of an external safety except on the trigger dramatically simplifies the operation of the pistol and the training curve for the pistol is not steep at all.  On the downside, the grip was a little bit fat for me and I felt the trigger pull was a little heavy, so I decided to give the 1911 a try.

My Kimber TLE-II is very accurate and has been very reliable.  I feel that I was fortunate since many 1911 style pistols can be finicky about the ammo you need to use in them.  Some of the more expensive 1911s seem to have feed issues related to very close tolerances.  I did not experience that with my gun.   I liked the single action trigger of the 1911 but the weight of the gun was too much for daily concealed carry.  In addition, the reduced ammo capacity made carrying an extra magazine mandatory, adding further to the weight/bulk equation.  Finally, the effective operation of the pistol in a combat situation requires significant practice.  You must practice to insure that you get a firm firing grip to disengage the grip safety and you must train your muscle memory to disengage the thumb safety during the draw stroke.  Not a problem if you practice with your pistol, but if you don’t practice, disengaging the safety won’t come naturally and if you forget the safety during the draw, the consequences could be disastrous in a gunfight.

In the H&K I found a nice balance between the things I liked about both the Glock and the 1911.  My H&K fits my hand well, is relatively lightweight due to the polymer frame, had a reasonable ammo capacity, a thumb safety and can be fired in single or double action.  The first shot is double action which is nice due to the added margin of safety if I have to draw and prepare to fire in a violent encounter.  After the first shot, the H&K shoots in single action mode which allows for very fast, accurate follow up shots.  Finally, in nearly 4 years of shooting it, my H&K has probably malfunctioned a handful of times.  Please bear in mind how much shooting I do.  I must also confess that I am a little less than religious about cleaning it.  I would consider the gun “completely reliable”.  After shooting a 1911 for so long, disengaging the thumb safety on the H&K during the draw-stroke was a non-issue for me, but still will require some practice for a person new to the firearm so that they incorporate clicking the safety ‘off’ during the presentation of the pistol, just as it is in the 1911.

For me, for the reasons above, the H&K USP Compact has been and continues to be my choice for a personal firearm.  The only thing I might consider instead is the new H&K P30 that I saw at the Shot Show this week.  It is the ‘new and improved’ version of the USP Compact and has some nice features in terms of relocating the decocker to the back of the slide and adding what I think is an improved thumb safety that is more positive to release and that is ambidextrous.  The P30 also has a standard Picatinny rail vs. the proprietary rail on the USP, making it compatible with more weapon lights.  If I had the extra cash right now, the P30′s siren song might be nearly irresistible…

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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

Senate Bill 1467 was a very simply bill.  It would have simply amended the existing ARS statute 13-2911 with a single substantive paragraph.  The paragraph would have preserved the rights of the governing board of an educational institution to adopt rules to preserve public order on that institutions property which would govern the conduct of [...]

Governor Brewer Signs Multiple New Firearms Laws in Arizona.

May 5, 2011

Governor Jan Brewer signed a total of six new firearms related laws in the days following the end of the current session of the Arizona Legislature.  While some of the most controversial laws, specifically the Firearms Omnibus Bill and Campus Concealed Carry bills were vetoed by Governor Brewer, below you can find a synopsis of [...]

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

May 4, 2011

Urge Your Representative To Cosponsor H.R. 822, The National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act Of 2011 Friday, April 08, 2011 Congressmen Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) have introduced vital legislation that will enable millions of permit holders to exercise their right to self-defense while traveling outside their home states. There are now only [...]

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 [...]