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What kinds of weapons does the AZ CCW permit allow me to carry?

October 15, 2007 AZ CCW Laws, Use of Force Issues Comments Off

Question:

(1) Before I take the course, please tell what other weapons besides firearms that the AZ CCW Permit covers.
(2) Can you also please tell me what of these weapons are or are not legal to carry:

Batons
Compact Batons
Blackjacks
Knives and what limits if any, like (A) having brass knuckles built in, (B) automatic knives, (C) length limits
Brass Knuckles
Stun guns
Tasers
Pepper Sprays

It would seem like common sense that if a firearm can be carried concealed, then anything less lethal than a firearm would also be legal to carry. But I’d like to know for sure.

From my point of view, if a lesser means of force can be applied to stop an attack, then I’d rather not shoot the person. I may want to pull something like a baton before I get the gun out. I’d really appreciate it if you could help me understand this before I sign up. Thanks.

Answer:

The concealed weapons permit relates specifically to firearms or knives with a blade length of over 4 inches. If a knife has a blade length of less than 4 inches it is considered to be a pocket knife and no permit is required to carry it concealed (like in your pocket).

Regarding the other items you mentioned, specifically batons or compact batons, automatic knives, stun guns, tasers and pepper spray, they are all legal to possess and carry in Arizona without a permit. Please understand that Arizona is a more permissive state than most and all of these items are potential illegal outside of Arizona. For example, carry of automatic knives and batons in California is a felony. As far as blackjacks or brass knuckles, Arizona law is fundamentally unclear. If you were arrested for using them and/or having them in your possession, it would be possible to argue that you were in possession of a ‘deadly weapon’. They are not specifically mentioned in the Arizona criminal codes, so you would pretty much be at the mercy of whatever the trial judge decided. I would probably avoid them for that reason. Additionally, actually using them could potentially cause as much injury to you as the person you were using them against.

Regarding all of the other ‘legal’ items, you would still need to be ‘justified’ in using them, specifically you would have to show that you were being credibly threatened with serious injury, disabling injury or death to avoid being criminally prosecuted. This is something that we discuss in depth during the AZ CCW course itself.

In my own classes, I also include a discussion on alternatives to the use of lethal force, which is beyond the standard curriculum and is not discussed by most CCW instructors as they may not have the skills or training to treat this topic authoritatively. This is one of the reasons that the AZ CCW classes I teach tend to last a little longer than the required 8 hours and cost a little more. Having alternatives to the use of lethal force is very important and most students want to know what other options might be available to them.

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