Private Sales in Arizona

Arizona has no law requiring a background check on the purchaser of a firearm when the seller is not a licensed dealer, although no person may knowingly sell or transfer a deadly weapon to a prohibited possessor.1 All sales are also subject to Arizona’s age restrictions. Arizona has no other laws regulating the manner in which guns are sold.

Furthermore, in 2016, the legislature passed a law that prohibits the state or any political subdivision from enacting or implementing any additional fee, tax, assessment, lien, or other encumbrance on the transfer of a firearm between two private, unlicensed parties who are not prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law.2

See our Private Sales Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(A)(5).
  2. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 44-7852.

Open Carrying in Arizona

Arizona does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public.1 In addition, in 2009, Arizona enacted a law explicitly authorizing the “defensive display of a firearm,” in certain situations.2

See our Open Carrying Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(B)(3) (exempting visible weapons from Arizona’s meager restrictions on the carrying of firearms in public).
  2. 2009 Ariz. ALS 183 § 1 (codified as Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-421).

Machine Guns & Automatic Firearms in Arizona

Arizona includes machine guns in the definition of “prohibited weapon,” and prohibits anyone from knowingly manufacturing, possessing, transporting, selling, or transferring a prohibited weapon. However, this rule does not apply if the machine gun is registered pursuant to federal law or has been classified as a curio or relic by the U.S. treasury department.1 Federal law generally allows machine guns to be registered so long as they were manufactured prior to May 19, 1986.

See Machine Guns & Automatic Firearms Policy Summary for for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3101(A)(8)(iii), (B), 13-3102(A)(3).

Guns in Vehicles in Arizona

Arizona’s 2010 law regarding the carrying of concealed weapons eliminated the requirement of a concealed weapons permit for a person who carries a concealed weapon within his or her immediate control in or on a means of transportation in Arizona.1 The person must be age 21 or older, and the person must accurately answer if a peace officer, who is detaining the person based on reasonable suspicion of an offense, asks whether he or she is carrying a concealed weapon.2 However, even these requirements do not apply to a weapon carried in a case, holster, scabbard, pack or luggage that is carried within a means of transportation or within a storage compartment, map pocket, trunk or glove compartment of a means of transportation.3

Arizona enacted a law in 2009 that limits property owners’ ability to prevent the presence of firearms in parking lots on their properties. According to the new law, a property owner, tenant, public or private employer or business entity may not establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that prohibits lawfully transporting or storing a firearm in a locked motor vehicle or in a locked compartment on a motorcycle, so long as the firearm is not visible from the outside.4

  1. 2010 Ariz. ALS 59 § 2, codified as Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(A)(2) and (H).
  2. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102 (A)(1)(b), (M).
  3. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(B)(3)(e).
  4. 2009 Ariz. ALS 177, codified as Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-781. The property owner, tenant, public or private employer or business entity may, however, prohibit firearms in a parking lot, parking garage or other area designated for parking motor vehicles that: 1) is secured by a fence or other physical barrier; 2) limits access by a guard or other security measure; and 3) provides temporary and secure firearm storage. The storage must be monitored and readily accessible on entry into the premises and allow for the immediate retrieval of the firearm on exit from the premises. Id. Alternatively, the property owner, tenant, public or private employer or business entity may provide alternative parking in a location reasonably proximate to the primary parking area for individuals who desire to transport or store a firearm in the individual’s motor vehicle, so long as it does not charge an extra fee for such parking. Id.

Guns in Schools in Arizona

Arizona prohibits the possession of a firearm on the grounds of any public or nonpublic kindergarten program, common school or high school, except for use in a program approved by the school.1 However, an adult may carry an unloaded firearm within a means of transportation on school grounds, provided that if the adult leaves the means of transportation, the firearm must not be visible from the outside, and the means of transportation must be locked.2 In addition, the governing board of a school district must prescribe and enforce policies and procedures prohibiting weapons on school grounds without specific authorization from the school administrator.3

Arizona administrative regulations govern the possession of firearms on the grounds of state colleges and universities.4

See our Guns in Schools Policy Summary for further information.

  1. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(A)(12), (H), (M)(4).
  2. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(H).
  3. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-341(A)(23).
  4. Ariz. Admin. Code § 7-4-102(3).

Ammunition Regulation in Arizona

Arizona law generally prohibits anyone from giving or selling ammunition to a person under age 18 without written consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.1

Arizona does not:

See our Ammunition Regulation Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 1-215(22), 13-3109. This rule does not apply to the temporary transfer of ammunition by firearms safety instructors, hunter safety instructors, competition coaches or their assistants if the minor’s parent or guardian has given consent for the minor to participate in activities such as firearms or hunting safety courses, firearms competition or training. With the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian, the temporary transfer of firearms and ammunition by an adult accompanying the minor in hunting or formal or informal target shooting activities is also allowed. Id.

Other Location Restrictions in Arizona

In 2009, Arizona enacted a law allowing concealed weapons permit holders to carry handguns into the premises of a licensed bar or restaurant that serves alcohol unless the alcohol licensee has posted a sign that clearly prohibits the possession of weapons on the licensed premises. The sign must meet certain requirements.1

This law was subsequently amended in 20132 to eliminate the concealed weapons permit requirement for carrying a concealed handgun into the premises of an alcohol licensee.  Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 4-229(A) now states, “A person may carry a concealed handgun on the premises of a [bar or restaurant licensed to serve alcohol] unless the licensee posts a sign that clearly prohibits the possession of weapons on the licensed premises.”

Note, however, that Arizona’s laws on this matter appear contradictory. Arizona lawmakers have not amended Section 4-244(29), which still states that it is generally unlawful for a person other than a peace officer or the owner or authorized employee of an alcohol licensee “to be in possession of a firearm while on the licensed [business’] premises,” except in the case of “a person with a permit issued pursuant to [the CCW permitting law] who carries a concealed handgun on the licensed premises. . . .”  Section 4-244(30) also still makes it generally unlawful for the owner or employee of such alcohol licensees to knowingly permit a person in possession of a firearm to remain on the business’ premises, except if the person is a peace officer or “a person with a permit issued pursuant to [the CCW permitting law]. . . .”

Notwithstanding these contradictions, Arizona law does prohibit anyone, including a concealed weapons permit holder, from consuming alcohol while in possession of a firearm on the premises of an alcohol licensee business.3

Arizona law also prohibits possession of a firearm:

  • In an election polling place on the day of any election;4
  • On the person or within the immediate control of any person in a nuclear or hydroelectric generating station;5
  • In any “public establishment,” or while attending any “public event,” after a reasonable request to remove the weapon and place it in the custody of the operator of the establishment or sponsor of the event for temporary and secure storage.6 (“Public establishment” means a structure, vehicle or craft owned, leased or operated by the state or a political subdivision.7 “Public event” means an event of limited duration conducted by a public entity or a private entity with a permit or license granted by a public entity);8 or
  • On the grounds of a jail or correctional facility or a secure care facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Corrections.9

State administrative regulations may prohibit the carrying of firearms in additional locations.


  1. 2009 Ariz. ALS 175 §§ 2, 3, codified as Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 4-229(A), (B), (E), 4-244(29)(C), (30)(C). The department of liquor licenses and control prepares the signs and makes them available at no cost to licensees. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 4-229(D). The law also provides affirmative defenses if:
    • The person was not informed of the notice prior to the violation;
    • The sign had fallen down at the time of the violation; or
    • At the time of the violation, the sign had been posted for thirty days or less.  Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 4-229(C).
  2. See 2014 Ariz. ALS 253 § 25.
  3. 2009 Ariz. ALS 175 § 3 (codified as Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 4-244(31).  This section has a minor exception to permit “the consumption of small amounts of spirituous liquor by an undercover peace officer on assignment to investigate the licensed establishment.”
  4. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(A)(11).
  5. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(A)(11).
  6. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(A)(10). Unless the operator or sponsor is licensed to manufacture, sell, or deal in liquor, the storage must be readily accessible on entry and allow for the immediate retrieval of the weapon on exit from the establishment or event. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102.01.
  7. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(M)(2).
  8. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(M)(3).
  9. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-2505, 13-2514, 31-129.