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Oct 25, 2022

What is the Penalty for Possession of a Firearm in Arizona?

In recent years, Arizona laws have changed so that possession of cannabis is legal except.

What is the Penalty for Possession of a Firearm in Arizona?

In recent years, Arizona laws have changed so that possession of cannabis is legal except when it is not, but this confusing standard has applied to possession of firearms for decades. The general rule is that adults who are legal residents of Arizona have the right to own and carry firearms unless the law considers them prohibited possessors; there are many different reasons why Arizona law may consider you a prohibited possessor and ban you from owning firearms.  

Furthermore, the laws vary from one part of Arizona to another; some counties and municipalities have more lenient gun laws than state law, and some tribal lands have more restrictive gun laws than Arizona state law. Even if you bought your gun legally, you can get criminal charges if you bring your gun somewhere that it is not allowed or if you have since become ineligible for gun ownership. If you are being accused of illegal possession of a firearm, contact an Arizona criminal law attorney.

Overview of Arizona Gun Laws

Compared to some other states, Arizona gun laws are quite lenient. You do not need a background check, state permit, or license to buy a firearm, and you do not need to register your weapon. Since 2010, both open carry and concealed carry of handguns are legal.

According to Arizona law, it is against the law to bring a firearm to any of the following locations:

  • Schools, universities, and childcare centers
  • Restaurants, bars, and any other establishments that serve food or drinks
  • County jails and state prisons
  • Hydroelectric power plants and nuclear power plants
  • Polling places on election day
  • Any private property where the owner has displayed a sign notifying visitors that firearms are prohibited (such as a bowling alley with a “gun free zone” sign on the door or a private residence with a “no guns allowed” sign in the front yard)

Furthermore, federal law prohibits the carrying of weapons in courthouses, federal buildings, and the secure areas of airports.

What is a Prohibited Possessor?

The default assumption is that all adults in Arizona have the right to own guns, but under certain circumstances, the state may take that right away. The reasons usually have to do with the person’s life history or immigration status. The following are some reasons that Arizona law might consider you a prohibited possessor:

  • You fit the definition of being a danger to yourself or others pursuant to Arizona Statute 36-540 and have not had your firearm possession rights restored
  • You have been convicted of a felony
  • A court has found you incompetent to stand trial
  • A court has found you not guilty by reason of insanity in a criminal case
  • You are incarcerated, on probation or parole, or under community supervision, GPS monitoring, or house arrest
  • You are a foreign national present in the United States with a nonimmigrant visa (such as a student visa, visitor visa, or seasonal worker visa) or without a visa (such as a tourist or undocumented immigrant)

If the court has taken away your right to own firearms because of a criminal conviction or because it considers you dangerous, it is possible to get your rights reinstated. You may not, however, legally possess a weapon again until a judge issues a court order reinstating your gun rights.

Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Firearm in Arizona

These are some common crimes related to the illegal possession of a firearm in Arizona:

  • Providing a firearm to a person with a known connection to a gang or crime syndicate is a class 3 felony, punishable by up to seven and a half years in prison
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited possessor is a class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in prison
  • Possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime is a class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in prison
  • Possession of a firearm on school grounds is a class 6 felony punishable by up to one and a half years in prison
  • Providing a firearm to a prohibited possessor is a class 6 felony punishable by up to one and a half  years in prison

If you get accused of illegal possession of a weapon, you have the right to representation by a lawyer, and you are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Contact Singular Law Group About Weapons Charges

A criminal defense attorney can help you if you are facing charges for illegal possession of a firearm.  Contact Singular Law Group PLLC in Tempe, Arizona, to set up a consultation.

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