Note for 2010 - 2011

Arizona's landmark Constitutional Carry law removes the need to have a government permission slip to discreetly exercise the right to keep and bear arms. Any person, resident or not, at least 21 years old whose gun rights are intact may carry a firearm here, openly or discreetly, as of July 29, 2010, as provided by law. The new law was carefully written to also retain the permit system, since many people rely on the intertstate reciprocity provisions and other allowances the permit gives you (e.g., retail firearm purchases without NICS checks, entrance to places that serve liquor under certain conditions, carry on school grounds as allowed by law, etc.). It is possible that some states may rethink their recognition of AZ permits, since the training requirements have changed, but as of now it seems the 31 states that recognize the AZ permit will continue to do so. By 2011 the list of states appears to have grown to 34 (see DPS stats for the latest).

Note for 2009

The Dept. of Public Safety maintains the official list of what it believes is the current reciprocity status of the 50 states. Arizona currently recognizes any state that issues a permit that meets minimum guidelines (no prohibited possessors, over 21 years of age, etc.) The complete list, plus states that will issue a permit to out-of-staters, appears in each edition of The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide but it ages over time. Americans are supposed to have a right to keep and bear arms, but government has reduced this to a changing list of states for permit holders only, a tyrannical and unconstitutional model. Click the links for an examination of the issues.

New for 2006

As of 2006, Arizona has dropped its reciprocity approach to out-of-state permits and adopted a recognition scheme. Under the new deal, spelled out in HB2074, Arizona will recognize a valid firearm permit from any state if it was legally issued by that state, the person is not an Arizona resident and is legally in Arizona, and the person is not a prohibited possessor. The lists below are replaced by this new plan. Probably.

The descriptions below are important warnings for relying on the permit system. Instead of an uninfringed right to keep and bear arms, you are subject to the ins and outs of a complex, non-uniform, locally interpreted set of rules, regulations, policies and laws. The main protection against trouble with the authorities is the fact that few people encounter authorities in the normal course of travel. Be careful. For advice on how to deal with police during a traffic or other encounter, consider getting You And The Police.

The Arizona Dept. of Public Safety posts information about reciprocity, including state lists, along with detailed disclaimers, since they cannot guarantee the accuracy of the data, its timeliness, and whether it will be fully honored by every official you encounter out of state. It wouldn't hurt to look, but be careful about relying on the reciprocity concept in a world where your Second Amendment rights are infringed beyond recognition:

From the 2004 Update for Edition 21:

p. 38 -- Reciprocity. The whole section on this government-run scheme that denies, confuses and infringes your rights to arms has been revised. Our former single reciprocity list explodes to four in the new edition: "Arizona Reciprocity," "Arizona Recognizes Them," "They Recognize Arizona," and "Get Another State's License." The last three lists have intense official disclaimers that can be thought of as the one word "probably" at the end of each list's title (e.g. "They Recognize Arizona, Probably).

The unworkable "reciprocity" system, which lead to only five states in six years, is being abandoned for a "recognition" system, in which DPS must enter into deals with other states if the other state: 1-Has an expiration date on its permits; 2-Can verify a permit's validity within three business days; 3-Has provisions to disqualify, suspend and revoke permits; 4-Requires criminal background checks; 5-Does not issue to prohibited possessors; 6-Requires a firearms safety program. See §13-3112 for details.




See also: Utah Drops Reciprocity with Arizona

by Alan Korwin, Author
The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide

Mike Anthony is the attorney who teaches the legal portion of the Arizona carry-permit program, for the Dept. of Public Safety, to firearms instructors. He is also the attorney I worked with in writing "Gun Laws of America," and he's a darned good shot to boot. He assembled the following list, as of Oct. 1999. For the very latest info contact Arizona DPS directly.

States that recognize the Arizona carry permit:

(Utah has declined as of April 2002, check with DPS for details)

Other states' carry permits recognized by Arizona:

(Utah has declined as of April 2002, check with DPS for details)

Are you happy that reciprocity has finally started? You should be outraged that your Second Amendment rights have been reduced to a government-approved short list of states, for licensees only.

As many of you know, I've made it clear that I believe the carry permit and reciprocity idea is a scam that saps our energies, because:

• it leads to a false sense of liberty while reinterpreting the Bill of Rights to mean keep-but-not-bear arms;

• it is actually a grant of power to the government and a Bill of Rights tax, which is way outside any authority delegated to the government;

• that it has succeeded wildly in registering all the most ardent supporters of gun rights, who were coerced into eagerly registering themselves by the promise of a few crumbs of freedom;

• that without caving to the coercion they would be subject to forcible disarmament and arrest in direct contravention of their natural and Constitutional rights;

• that the licensing and registration aspect would have been vigorously resisted had it been proposed by anti-rights groups, but because it was promoted by pro-rights groups it was enthusiastically accepted;

• and that the Trojan horse of reciprocity has unwittingly made the rest of us -- more than 98% of the armed public -- unregistered gun owners in the eyes of the media and anti-rights crowd.

Oh, and, uh, it has zero effect on crime control. Maybe you too have noticed that setting up this whole system doesn't arrest anyone. We spend all this time and money tracking the good guys, instead of going after the bad guys.

To read more about this perspective, see my Position Papers on the subject. And check back later for any changes to the reciprocity list.


Remember that a state may be listed as having reciprocity of some sort, but local police may not know it, may not abide by it and may decide to disarm and arrest you anyway.

You probably don't know very much about the rules in the states listed, the "proper authorities" aren't going to tell you, and anything you could get over the phone or by fax is going to be hopelessly inadequate. I co-wrote the 288-page "Texas Gun Owner's Guide" and let me tell you, it's totally different over there. For example, if you let your piece show, you go to jail (unlike here in Arizona, open carry is a crime in Texas).

If you think all this is unfair, then badger your representatives to introduce the American Historical Rights Protection Act, which basically says that if you have a gun and you're not doing anything wrong, that's not a crime.

At least, that's the way it used to be in the land of the free.

For Publication, 551 Words
October 30, 1999
One-time North American Serial Rights
Copyright 1999 Alan Korwin

Not-for-profit circulation approved.

Alan Korwin is the author of seven best-selling books on gun law, including "Gun Laws of America--Every Federal Gun Law on the Books, with Plain English Summaries," and state gun guides for AZ, CA, FL, TX, VA. This paper is part of an ongoing series, click Position Papers on the home page, or write or call for copies.

Contact: Alan Korwin
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440 • Scottsdale, AZ 85254
602-996-4020 Phone
602-494-0679 Fax
800-707-4020 Book orders

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