Concealed Weapons Permits

Posted by PTP; Dustin Howard on May 13th 2022

Concealed Weapons Permits

Why get your concealed weapons permit, even in Second Amendment states like Arizona

Some people think that in a second amendment friendly state like Arizona, there’s no need to obtain your CCW/CWP (carry concealed weapons/concealed weapons permit).

This couldn’t be further from the truth, and this article presents multiple reasons why you should get your state CCW/CWP.

This article focuses on Arizona, which is a “shall issue” state, but your state CCW/CWP benefits are likely similar, unless you live in a state where your second amendment rights have definitely been infringed (ahem, California, ahem).

Make sure you research your own state CCW/CWP process and benefits, but below are likely benefits you’ll get from your local CCW/CWP.

  • Training: while it’s a slippery slope to be legally required to obtain training in order to exercise a constitutional right that “…shall not be infringed…”, as a responsible firearm owner, it’s wise to understand the criticality of training with your firearm and get educated on the legal use of your firearm.
  • Expedited purchases: with your AZ CCW, the process of purchasing a firearm is streamlined. You still fill out the 4473 paperwork, but the CCW is used in lieu of awaiting a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) response.
  • Reciprocity: over 30 states honor or have reciprocity with the Arizona CCW permit (research which states often; California is NOT one of them). This means your AZ CCW is like having a CCW in the state you are in. If you ever travel outside of Arizona you will want the AZ CCW permit in order to continue to carry concealed. Without National Reciprocity or a permit for each state, you can’t carry in any of those states and can be charged in those states according to their laws.

Be sure to understand the laws of each state, even when reciprocity is offered, before carrying in the state.

  • Restaurants Serving Alcohol: when you have an Arizona CCW permit, you may carry your concealed weapon in restaurants or businesses that serve alcohol for consumption on the premises (you still can’t drink, and the restaurant still may have a sign prohibiting firearms, which you are supposed to comply with). Without a permit you cannot carry in these places at all.
  • Right to Carry in National Parks: Without a permit you cannot take advantage of this exception within the state of Arizona.
  • School proximity: due to the Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, without a CCW permit, you can not carry your firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. It’s extremely difficult to avoid theoretical 1,000 feet boundaries of every school in the state.
  • Phoenix Parks: the City of Phoenix ordinances prohibits the possession of a firearm in a city park of 1 square mile or less where it is posted with “Carrying a firearm in this park is limited to persons who possess a permit issued pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-3112.”
  • Law Enforcement Interactions: Law Enforcement (LE) has a rough job, interacting with many people on a daily basis. In AZ, you are legally required to present your CCW when interacting with LE. Theoretically and depending on the LE, your CCW informs the LE that you’ve gone through a legal process to obtain training and education, and that you can and have passed a rigorous background check.

The link below printers a mapping of states with Arizona reciprocity.

Arizona CCW Gun Laws - Concealed Carry States