What Guns Can I Possess In Arizona?

The right to bear arms is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, but that does not mean the states are powerless to regulate this ownership. Every state has its own approach to gun laws, and Arizona is no exception.

Unsure of what guns you can possess in Arizona? Although state law is fairly permissive when it comes to owning firearms, there are some restrictions to be aware of. If you find yourself accused of violating these laws, speaking with a dedicated gun defense lawyer can benefit you.

LEGAL GUNS

State law defines a firearm as any kind of weapon that uses an explosion to fire a projectile. These are widely understood to include pistols, revolvers, and shotguns, among others. The vast majority of these weapons can be legally possessed in Arizona.

This includes some types that are either outlawed or restricted in other jurisdictions. A common example is a so-called “assault weapon.” These guns are generally semi-automatic, and while the term is ambiguous, it generally defines firearms that are long, have features like a pistol grip or a folding stock, and include a detachable magazine.

The state has no specific restrictions on assault weapons. The same is true for semi-automatic guns, which are legal unless they are outlawed for some other reason.

ILLEGAL FIREARMS

The reality of the law in Arizona is that there are few guns you cannot possess. Yet there are still some examples of weapons that are prohibited, based on either state or federal law.

FULL-AUTO WEAPONS

The most common example is the possession or ownership of automatic weapons. Informally known as machine guns, these weapons are restricted on both the state and local level. Since 1986, federal law has prohibited the manufacture or purchase of new fully-automatic firearms in the United States.

Arizona law mirrors the federal statute, but it does allow for the transfer of any of these weapons if they were privately owned prior to 1986. There are strict limitations on the purchase of these existing weapons.

CERTAIN ALTERED FIREARMS

The other primary category of illegal weapons are those that were altered in specific ways. This includes sawed-off weapons with barrels that were shorted below 26 inches. Certain short-barreled guns are also outlawed even when they are not modified. Rifle and shotgun barrels must be at least 16 and 18 inches long, respectively.

OTHER RESTRICTIONS

There are additional restrictions related to the possession of weapons other than firearms and there are also bans on certain accessories intended for guns. As is the case with unlawful firearm possession, there are often criminal penalties for owning, selling, or transporting them.

The most common example in this category involves owning a silencer. Designed to muffle the sound of a gunshot, these objects are largely associated with criminal activity. Possessing or using these items is against the law.

Additionally, owning other weapons or dangerous items is also unlawful. Some examples include the possession of bombs, grenades, or objects intended to release poisonous gas.

DISCUSS THE TYPES OF GUNS YOU CAN OWN WITH AN ATTORNEY

State gun laws are permissive, but violations still happen. If you are unclear on what guns you can possess in Arizona, you might find yourself facing criminal charges.

This type of offense can have significant consequences if you are convicted. Reach out today to discuss your defense options with Grand Canyon Law Group.