Arizona is a wonderful place. In most places if you shout, “I have a gun!” anyone who hears you will call the police and run for cover. In Arizona they might ask you how much you want for it.
The Arizona legislature has passed a new law to make Arizona the third state, after Vermont and Alaska, to allow concealed carry without a permit by law-abiding citizens of the U.S. Unlike the measure that was defeated in Wyoming this year, the Arizona law will not be restricted to Arizona residents. U.S. citizenship is all that is required. While I’m pretty sure illegal aliens will be restricted, I assume without knowing for sure that resident aliens with a green card will be permitted to carry without a permit because they may legally own guns and obtain CCW permits. The law that was proposed in Wyoming but not passed gave deference to the idiotic parochial attitudes that prevail in the Cowboy State and would have been restricted to Wyoming “residents.” With no workable definition of just who is and who is not a “resident,” of course.
The new law in Arizona does have some restrictions. Must be 21 and not be a person prohibited by state or federal law from possessing firearms. A CCW permit will still be required to carry into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol. Arizona law provides that one may not drink any liquor at all while in possession of a firearm. When contacted by a police officer anyone carrying concealed must inform the officer if asked. The officer may take possession of the weapon for the duration of the contact. Since a holstered gun is a safe gun he ought to leave it where it is, but it will take a stupid accident someday to make that point.
Arizona CCW are available to resident and non-residents but the training requirement must be satisfied within the state from an approved instructor. I don’t know whether the new law to carry sans permit also includes proof of training. I hope not because that makes every police contact a pain in the butt while you prove to the officer that you have had the necessary training. Firearm training as a pre-condition is one of those things that Milton must have been referring to in Areopagitica when he said, “Impunity and remissness, for certain, are the bane of a commonwealth; but here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.”
State and Federal laws on who may possess a firearm still apply and the new law will not benefit anyone who is prohibited from possessing firearms. Permits will still be available on an optional basis for those who wish to carry in other states under reciprocity agreements or recognition laws. Those who don’t want to be detained for 30 minutes or more by police officers to do a background check to find out if they are prohibited persons may also wish to have a permit.
Governor Jan Brewer is expected to sign the bill into law.
How will this affect open carry on the Navajo Reservation? I don’t know. There are no restrictions on firearm possession on the Navajo reservation and the tribe has adopted a bill of rights that includes the Second Amendment. Concealed carry is OK with an Arizona or other state CCW permit and open carry in legal. Clarification is needed on how Arizona’s new law will work on the reservation.
Other news: SF 2379 has been approved by overwhelming majorities in the both the House and Senate in Iowa and awaits the governor’s signature. It will make Iowa another “shall issue” state and all out-of-state permits will be recognized. It will also make open carry legal with a CCW permit. This is the first time I have seen open carry linked to a CCW permit.
Interesting article on open carry in Nevada.