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:

Question about the "Parking Lot Law" in Arizona

January 21, 2010 2nd Amendment Issues, State Firearms Laws, Vehicle Carry Comments Off

Question:  Strictly going by hearsay and not actual word for word of the new law, if my employer bans guns on the property can I leave the firearm in my personal vehicle?  I also possess an
Arizona Concealed Carry permit.  Can they enforce their policy and also is there a link to that new law?  I also meant to mention
that there are fences, concrete barriers, cameras, and “loss prevention personnel” that periodically do their rounds through the parking lot.

Answer: If you read the text of the law you will see that under the circumstances that you describe, the employer may restrict the carrying of firearms on to their property.  The exact text reads:

3. The property owner, tenant, public or private employer or business entity provides a parking lot, parking garage or other area designated for parking motor vehicles, that:
(a) Is secured by a fence or other physical barrier.
(b) Limits access by a guard or other security measure.
(c) Provides temporary and secure firearm storage. The storage shall be monitored and readily accessible on entry into the premises and allow for the immediate retrieval of the firearm on exit from the premises.

In other words, if there is a fence or physical barrier and if access is limited by a guard or other security measure, they can restrict you from bringing a firearm on the property only if they “Provide temporary and secure firearm storage.  The storage shall be monitored and readily accessible on entry into the premises and allow for the immediate retrieval of the firearm on exit from the premises.”

If they don’t restrict access with a guard or they don’t provide secure storage, they cannot restrict you from leaving the firearm locked inside your vehicle.  Having a CCW is not relevant as long as you are lawfully in possession of the firearm and you are otherwise transporting it lawfully.

If you would like to review the exact text of the law, you can find it at the following link:  http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/12/00781.htm&Title=12&DocType=ARS

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Scope of the LEOSA Act regarding Concealed Carry by Law Enforcement

Question: Under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act thatsexempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from many local and State provisions regarding concealed carry, are there any there any state or local police depts that still will not honor it. I plan to drive from SC to NY and need to know.

Answer: If a person is covered by the LEOSA, then “notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof,” he or she may carry a concealed firearm in any state or political subdivision thereof. See Title 18, USC, Section 921, which defines “state” to also include the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Possessions. Thus, the LEOSA-qualified person does not generally require a state-issued CCW permit to carry a concealed firearm.

However, there are two types of state laws that are not overridden by the federal law, these being “the laws of any State that (1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or (2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.” This does not mean that LEOSA-qualified persons are prohibited from carrying concealed firearms in such areas, but only that they must obey whatever state laws apply on those two points. They are free to disregard all other state and local laws that govern the carrying of concealed firearms.

The LEOSA overrides state and local laws, but not other federal laws.  LEOSA-qualified individuals must continue to obey federal laws and agency policies that restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in certain federal buildings and lands.

Whether or not a person is covered by the LEOSA depends entirely on whether or not he or she meets the definitions in the federal law for either “qualified law enforcement officer” or “qualified retired law enforcement officer.” It does not matter whether or not a given individual is defined as a “law enforcement officer” under the law of his state; only the definition in the federal law applies.

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Purchasing a Firearm at 19…

January 21, 2010 Firearms Transfers, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question: How can I legally get a pistol if I’m 19 years old?

Answer: Under Arizona law, you can legally purchase a firearm at age 18.  Under Federal law you cannot purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer until you are 21 years old.  That means that the only way you can purchase is from a private party.  Private party transfers may occur between individuals in Arizona as long as both the buyer and seller are at least 18 years of age, the transfer is done ‘face to face’ and both parties are Arizona residents.  I do recommend that you get a bill of sale to insure there is a record of the transaction.  I also recommend that at the very least you either examine or record the drivers license information of the seller.

This is really the only way you can acquire a gun unless someone gives it to you as a gift or you inherit it from a parent or grandparent.

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What is the "Castle Doctrine" and does it apply in Arizona?

January 19, 2010 Castle Doctrine, State Firearms Laws, Use of Force Issues Comments Off

Question:  What is the “Castle Doctrine” and does it apply in Arizona?

Answer: The “Castle Doctrine” or “Defense of Habitation” laws are a legal concept that derive from English Common Law.  Under this concept, one’s place of residence is considered to be a place where a person is protected against illegal trespass and violent attack.  In most states, it provides for the legal right to use deadly force to defend one’s home and any innocent persons inside the home.  It also provides that this same deadly force can be used to defend against an illegal intrusion into the home that may lead to a violent attack.

In Arizona, we do have a “Castle Doctrine”.  It applies to a person’s residence or workplace, which may be either permanent or temporary.  The doctrine would apply not only to your permanent home, but would also apply to a hotel room that you might be temporarily treating as “home”.  In Arizona, the doctrine extends to your vehicle as well, if an attempt is being made to remove you from your vehicle by force.

Some have referred to this doctrine as the “Make My Day Law”.  This reference comes from the 1983 movie “Sudden Impact” and was part of a challenge delivered to a criminal about to be apprehended by Detective Harry Callahan, a character in the movie played by Clint Eastwood.

In general, the following conditions must apply if the Castle Doctrine is to be used in claiming justifiable homicide:

  • The intruder must be attempting to or have made unlawful and forcible entry into an occupied home, business or vehicle.
  • The occupants must have a reasonable belief that the intruder is entering with the intention of committing a felony crime such as burglary.
  • The occupants must have a reasonable belief that they are in danger of serious injury or death at the hands of the intruder.
  • The occupants must be innocent of any provocation and cannot have instigated the intrusion or initiated the event by a threat of deadly force.

Some states have stronger laws supporting a Castle Doctrine, while others have weaker ones.  Arizona has a strong Castle Law and follows the conditions above in applying their law.  Additionally, in Arizona, a person is legally able to “stand their ground” in the face of an attack and is under no obligation to retreat prior to using deadly force in self defense.

Currently Idaho, Illinois, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania and South Dakota have weaker positions on the Castle Doctrine.  A few states have no Castle Doctrine.  Those states include Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico, Virginia and Washington, DC.

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Legally Carrying a Firearm on School Grounds in Arizona…

January 19, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, Vehicle Carry Comments Off

Question: I understand that is it illegal to bring a firearm on or near school grounds in Arizona. I went to the NRA website and they provide gun laws for each state. And I went to Arizona gun laws and I found this.

“It is unlawful to possess a deadly weapon on grade or high school grounds. This shall not apply to an unloaded firearm within a means of transportation under the control of an adult, provided, if the adult leaves the vehicle, it shall be locked and the unloaded firearm shall not be visible, or for a program approved by the school.”

Would this still be illegal to do? Thanks.

Answer: Legally, an adult in Arizona is permitted to have a firearm in their vehicle on school grounds if the firearm is under their direct control, the firearm is unloaded and out of sight.  This permits a legally armed parent or guardian to pick up or drop off a student at a school without any legal issues.  If they need to go into the school for any reason, the firearm must remain locked in the vehicle, unloaded and out of sight.

The only time it is legal to bring a firearm into a school would be if the firearm were being used in a program approved by the school and the person in possession of the firearm had the expressed permission of the primary administrator of the school.

In general, this same law is also applied to any college or university campus in Arizona.

I hope this clarifies how you are legally permitted to bring a firearm on school grounds.

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What is "carrying concealed"?

January 19, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, Vehicle Carry Comments Off

Question: Do you have to have a ccw to conceal a handgun on your body if it is holstered, and locked into place..is that considered having “immediate use”?
Answer: If you have a concealed firearm on your person in Arizona, you must have an AZ CCW permit to carry it legally.  Carrying a concealed firearm on your person without a Arizona CCW permit is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $2500.

It does not matter if it is holstered or not, if it concealed, it requires that you have a permit.  You may openly carry legally, but to be open carry the firearm must be “wholly or partially visible” and it must be “obvious to the casual observer that you are in possession of a firearm”.

The “immediate use” factor that you reference is only applicable when carrying in a vehicle and is used to determine if you are considered to be “transporting” a firearm or “concealing” a firearm in a vehicle.  If you have a firearm in a vehicle, and if the firearm is concealed and is “immediately accessible”, then you must have a AZ CCW permit.  If the firearm is contained within a case, and that case is inside a storage compartment (glove box, console, etc.), then the firearm are generally thought of as being “transported” and no Arizona CCW permit is required.

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New Bill Proposed That Would Permit Concealed Carry on a College Campus

On December 17th, 2009, a new piece of proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1011 was filed in the Arizona Senate.  The bill, introduced by Senators Harper, Alvarez, Verschoor, Russell Pearce and Sylvia Allen would make it legal for any Faculty member of a community college or university in Arizona to carry a concealed weapon on campus under existing state laws regarding lawful concealed carry.

The bill does not provide for concealed carry by staff or students, only faculty members.

The logical questions to ask might include:

1.  Since many community college and university faculty members are liberal in their political view and in many cases do not support further expansion of gun rights, would the law really make any difference.

2.  Why have university and community college staff been excluded from the law?  If faculty is permitted to concealed carry, then why not staff members?

3.  Why exclude students that would otherwise be permitted to carry a concealed firearm?  In order to receive a concealed carry permit in Arizona, a person must be at least 21 years of age.  Community colleges in particular tend to cater to large numbers of adults that wish to continue their formal education.  In many cases, there are more adults attending community colleges than persons between the ages of 18 and 21.

While this bill is certainly a step in the right direction, it seems to arbitrarily and unreasonably limit the scope of who should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm on a community college or university campus.  Let’s hope that we see some expansion of the persons included in the legislation as it works its way through the legislative process.

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Elderly Homeowners, Attempted Burglary and the Castle Doctrine…

Question: My mother is over 65 and in ill health and has been tormented by numerous attempts by someone to either (peep) in her windows; tamper with the windows, etc.  She is thinking of purchasing a firearm for protection since my father, who is 73 and still works, travels away from the home 4 days a week.  I am afraid that if she does get a firearm and someone tries to break into her home she will be so terrified as to shoot and ask questions later.  Please advise.

Answer: It’s a sad commentary, but in many cases the elderly are targeted by criminals since they are generally one of the more weak and potentially helpless members of our community.  A former student of mine just told me about an incident where there was an attempted home invasion at his father’s house.  You mother should certainly take some steps to protect herself.  One thing she may want to consider is purchasing a burglar alarm that she can activate with a panic button remote that she can keep on her person when she is at home.

If she is intent on purchasing a gun, I’d recommend that she get some training with it and consider attending an Arizona Concealed Weapons Permit course, not so that she can carry concealed, but rather so that she has a better understanding of the laws that govern the use of deadly force and when it can justifiably be used.  We see a lot of older men and women in our courses for this reason.

If she did purchase a gun for her own protection, should someone break into her home she would be justified in using the firearm in self defense if the burglar entered her home illegally and she was in reasonable fear of serious injury, sexual assault or being killed.  As far as shooting first and asking questions later, as long as the criminal was inside her home, she would be on pretty firm legal ground.  If they were still outside, there is an argument that could be made that there was no ‘credible’ threat until the criminal entered her home and she was therefore not justified in using lethal force.  One of the reasons for taking the class is to understand under what circumstances she can legally defend herself.

Overall, I’d suggest the burglar alarm route first, but would have no problem with the firearm as long as she had proper training.

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Out of State Residents with Arizona CCW Permits

January 12, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, Out-of-State Carry, Reciprocity Comments Off

Question:  I am a Snowbird with an IL driver license and Arizona ID.  If I carry my Arizona ID with my Arizona CCW am I permitted to carry in states that recognize the Arizona CCW Permit?

Answer: As long as the state recognizes a ‘non-resident’ permit, then you can carry a firearm using your Arizona CCW permit when visiting those states.  However, some states do not recognize ‘non-resident’ permits.  Those states include:  Colorado, Florida, Kansas, New Hampshire, South Carolina and West Virginia.

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Job Suspension Because of Lawful Concealed Carry

January 3, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, Restaurant Carry Comments Off

Question: I was suspended from my job for carrying a concealed weapon even though I possess a CCW permit.  I work in a restaurant/bar and it is not posted anywhere on the premises that firearms are not permitted.  Am I in the wrong?

Answer: Unfortunately, you probably did carry both in violation of the company’s policy and as a result were also in violation of the law.  Arizona provides any private property owner (including businesses) the right to prohibit the carrying of any firearm on their private property.  While most places post a sign, the law does not require it.  In addition, if there is no posted sign, a proper representative of the company or property owner can simply tell you that they don’t permit firearms and you are required to remove your firearm and not return with it.

Many companies also have a ‘no firearms’ policy at the workplace which is completely lawful.  Those companies that do have a ‘no firearms’ policy are generally not very hospitable towards employees that violate their policies, hence your suspension.  As an additional note, if you carry in an establishment that does not permit concealed carry, you are actually committing a class 3 misdemeanor which can be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500.

While I don’t agree with companies that use these policies to deprive their employees of their constitutional rights and create ‘gun-free crime zones’ for criminals, they are within their legal rights to do so and also within their rights to suspend you for violating their corporate policy.

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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 [...]