This update includes changes made by laws in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Many
minor changes are not noted, such as table of contents, grammar, etc.
Page numbers below refer to Edition 20.
The new 21st edition remains at $14.95. Click here
to get a copy.
Click here for a pdf summary
of all the bills that caused the changes.
2 -- This is now the 21st edition, Copyright 2004, ISBN: 1-889632-13-9.
The new photo of the author was taken by Michael Ives.
15 -- The right to keep arms, and the right to bear arms, are distinct,
and you'll notice an effort in this edition to more accurately address
the different rights in the bundle of rights protected under the Second
Amendment. (Editorial note: It would appear to me that a right to practice,
and a right to have places to shoot, are distinct rights protected under
the penumbra of the right to bear arms.)
16 -- Widely believed, but found to be false after the research that
went into Supreme Court Gun Cases, replace this sentence, "The
Supreme Court has been mostly quiet on the subject, and its few pronouncements
have been used to support all sides of the debate" with, "The
Supreme Court has spoken extensively about guns, and has recognized
an individual right to arms, consistently, for two centuries."
17 -- The published edition of the Arizona Revised Statutes is now produced
by Lexus Nexus, 1-800-223-1940. The list of A.R.S. titles that contain
gun law has grown by two: Title 9 (Cities and Towns) and Title 26 (Military
Affairs and Emergency Management). Title 9 has new law designed to protect
the Ben Avery Range, and Title 26 has an obscure, recently discovered
statute forbidding people from keeping most of their former military
gear. Federal gun law has swollen to more than 94,000 words.
19 -- Good example of grammatical changes -- "which" is changed
to "that" in six places. Change "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms" to "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives" in every occurrence.
20 -- B--B, pellet and dart guns are clarified with a comparison of
the effects of definitions in 13-105, 13-3101 and now, 13-3107. An industry
term, "toy gaming guns" is used in our text to describe paintball
and air-soft style guns used for playing tag, that are not traditionally
Partly as a response to rampant illegal immigration, Arizona adds illegal
aliens to its prohibited possessor list, basically duplicating federal
law. Diplomats and sporting use get specific exemptions.
21 -- Providing a gun for felony use, or having or using one in terrorism
is a class 3 felony. Police aides who issue traffic tickets, and are
the only group in law banned from bearing arms as part of a job description,
are now authorized to serve a variety of legal papers (the ban is unaffected).
Misconduct with weapons now includes any firearms use connected with
22 -- Change "recent" in the last bulleted item to "1996."
23 -- Security-guard law has been largely re-written, section numbers
have been changed, new ones added, terminology changed. It's mostly
a cleanup but there are numerous substantive changes too. Some disqualifying
factors for guards expire after five years; impersonating a guard is
added as a disqualifier; an eight-hour annual refresher course is required
for armed guards; the "license" is now a "registration
certificate"; if a private company maintains its own armed guards
and they receive 16 hours or training and eight-hour annual refreshers,
they can avoid the entire armed-guard and guard-agency licensing process.
I don't know how legislators squared that with the state Constitution
that says, in pertinent part, "...nothing in this section shall
be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize,
maintain, or employ an armed body of men."
25 -- The note on Restoration of Rights now contains a reference to
the Supreme Court "Bean v. U.S." case of 2002, that further
limited the possibilities of getting rights restored for people under
a federal prohibition.
28 -- Add the citation for federal control of kids with guns, 18 USC
30 -- The Arizona Firearms Clearance Center (formerly the Arizona "Handgun"
Clearance Center, when we all thought the Brady handgun law was for
handguns), has been closed, its funding dropped, and 13-3114 is repealed.
Delete this section of text. All dealer sales now go directly to the
FBI NICS center, without DPS as a middleman for Arizona dealers. A brief
history of this office is provided.
32 -- Since out-of-state dealers can no longer access the closed DPS
gun clearance center, delete the first sentence of the fifth pargraph
(which says they can).
33 -- To make the alliteration worse, add, "plethora" before
37 -- Florida now requires a demonstrated ability to safely fire a gun
to get its permit. The former rules did not require a shot fired to
get the permit. Is this a good thing or a bad thing. Some of each I
38 -- Reciprocity. The whole section on this government-run scheme that
denies, confuses and infringes your rights to arms has been revised.
The former single reciprocity list explodes to four: "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.
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.
40 -- Additional preemption language was added in 2003 to help restrain
Tucson, and others, from pushing the envelope on new anti-rights laws.
49 -- Delete the reference to the Arizona Firearms Clearance Center
from the description of how to buy a gun from a dealer.
52 -- To help expand the discussion on open carry, add these lines at
the end, "Some gun-rights activists believe open carry is important
for its 'inoculation effect,' demonstrating publicly that firearm possession
is a normal, safe and routine facet of life in a free country. At least
one civil-rights group here has issued meeting notices with the line,
'Tasteful open carry appreciated.'"
54 -- In item 1 (CCW Application), add at the end, "and are not
a prohibited possessor under state or federal law."
55 -- A photo requirement for the permit will likely be added before
too long. The required single fingerprint card is now scanned, digitally
stored in the federal AFIS files, and the original document is discarded.
56 -- DPS automatically sends your fingerprints to the FBI for a check.
DPS has been praised for making the permit process work smoothly and
57 -- There is talk of DPS sending notifications when permits are about
to expire. Currently, you must carefully watch the calendar to avoid
unintentional violations (do not rely on an expired permit, which is
58 -- Fingerprints are sent digitally to the FBI (used to be "may
be sent"). Administrative Rules control some of the details of
the CCW process, and are updated periodically in a public process with
the help of an advisory committee.
61 -- In 2004 there are 67,689 permits (1.2% of the population), 1,208
instructors, and 384 approved training organizations.
62 -- Prohibited places now include hydroelectric generating stations
which, along with nuclear power plants, are now a class 4 felony (was
class 1 misdemeanor).
63 -- A reporting requirement was added for school boards, for weapon
64 -- Change "Bars" to "Places with a Liquor License."
Replace the first sentence with: "It is generally illegal to have
a firearm in a place that is licensed to serve alcohol for on-site drinking.
This includes restaurants that serve alcohol, even if you steer clear
of the bar area. Places that only sell packaged alcohol, like a store,
are excluded from this ban."
65 -- A CCW permit doesn't allow you to go where guns are otherwise
prohibited, "except for certain parks, described under Preemption."
72 -- Nuclear and hydroelectric generating stations are prohibited places.
73 -- We're waiting to see if the line, about certain weapons being
legal only if they were made before Sep. 13, 1994, remains true on Sep.
14, 2004, when that law, the Clinton gun ban, is set to expire. If it
expires, delete the last sentence of the paragraph.
Also, watch the cost of normal capacity magazines (over 10 rounds) drop
to incredible lows, while old-style infringment magazines limited to
ten rounds become clutter. Regular rifles like the AR, AK and similar
will become affordable, and buyers in the last ten years will take a
bath. All sorts of amazing new stuff will hit the market from manufacturers
who already have the designs waiting. If the ban expires, an effort
will redouble in the next session of Congress to again ban these products
and more, affected dramatically by who wins the presidency in Nov. 2004.
If the law doesn't expire, prices for the finite supply of all the affected
gear will rocket. None of this prognosticating appears in the new edition,
I'm just feeling expansive as I write this.
74 -- The 1934 National Firearms Act was the second major federal gun
law, not the first. The first was the Militia Act of 1792, which actually
required keeping arms.
75 -- Put the phrase "Illegal Guns" in quotes, to show it
77 -- A new prohibited weapon was introduced in 2002, which we call
"gas-pressure bombs," chemical substances placed in a container
so that emitted gases will build up pressure and cause the container
78 -- Clarification to the rules for machine guns: The three ways to
legally obtain a machine gun include: 1-A properly licensed dealer can
sell a registered machine gun to a qualified private buyer; 2-A legal
owner can obtain permission from BATFE to transfer the firearm to a
qualified recipient in the same state, and 3-You can inherit one. Any
inherited NFA weapon can be transferred interstate directly to the heir,
after the registration papers are approved. Special rules for executors
of estates that contain NFA weapons are available from BATFE. Permission
to make NFA weapons includes silencers.
79 -- Delete "(and other NFA weapons) which were" in the second
83 -- Wide World of Maps in Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale has topo maps
of the entire state available.
94 -- Range Protection. A passel of laws (§9.461.05, §17-601
thru §17-605, and 17-621) have been enacted to help protect our
shooting ranges from anti-rights bigotry, nuisance law suits, encroachment
by cities and arbitarary closings. "Range" has now been defined:
"a permanently located and improved area that is designed and operated
for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap,
black powder or any other similar sport shooting in an outdoor environment."
Loosely defined archery, air gun and indoor ranges are excluded.
The state claims sole responsibility (preemption) for noise regulation,
sets the standards ranges must meet, requires sound measurements (with
interesting specs in that section), and empowers anyone to take the
measurements. Zoning authorities are required to provide noise attenuation
for certain communities near ranges properly constructed before July
1, 2002, and may negotiate with developers and land owners to do so.
Ranges on land zoned for a school, hotel, motel, hospital, church, or
for residential use, must close from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The proper authorities
have the option to keep it open all night for themselves, with adequate
An affirmative defense against any civil liability is provided for ranges
in compliance with the law. In such a suit, the loser pays the costs.
These are the real incentives to limit nuisance suits.
The general plan of a city with more than a million people must have,
under §9-461.05, "protections from encroaching development"
on certain outdoor ranges owned by the state before July 1, 2004. ...
A variety of threats to our nationally famous, official "Point-of-Pride"
Ben Avery Shooting Facility, prompted this range protection bill, and
Ben Avery is the only one described. This state law prevents the city
of Phoenix and others from actions that might adversely affect the range.
There were some pretty outrageous stories afoot. The protective zoning
under this law does not apply to the National Guard, ranges owned by
the state before 2002, and loosely defined archery, air gun and indoor
To prevent capricious action, under §17-621, the Game and Fish
Commission, largely responsible for running Ben Avery, cannot close
the range without meeting eight conditions, including a unanimous vote
and a Governor's executive order.
105 -- The judiciary has again tampered with the burden of proof law,
13-205, casting doubt on the use of force in crime prevention (13-411).
We reemphasized the precautionary note in this chapter and especially
the Burden of Proof law. Lobbying from the Maricopa County attorney's
office, reversed the effect of this law. If ever was law needed fixing,
this noxious guilty-unless-proven-innocent law is it.
PRECAUTIONARY NOTE: "Sometimes guilty people go free, and sometimes
innocent people do not." Many factors make reliance on justification
laws quite risky. Yes, the laws support the use of physical or deadly
physical force in life-threatening emergencies, and yes, your right
to self defense is an invaluable and fundamental right. People are indeed
acquitted under justification, but remember that justice is not always
served, and people often wonder afterwards if a guilty party walked.
Remember that you are only justified if the authorities or a jury agree,
after the fact, that you were justified. You get to sweat it out the
whole time the case is pursued, which can take years. Changes to the
law can complicate your defense, such as when the burden of proof law,
§13-205, was quietly changed in 1997.
Previously, if you claimed justification, the prosecution had the burden
to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the acts were not justified. In a
stunning reversal, you must now prove you were justified by a preponderance
of the evidence, an enormous blow to the protections Arizonans once
enjoyed. At least one court has even disagreed with the clear exception
for crime prevention under §13-411. Remember that a prosecutor's
role is to work hard to convict, regardless of your guilt or innocence.
The pursuit of high conviction rates may lead to what some would consider
dirty lawyer tricks, with your future on the line. There's an old saying
that has some merit here, "Better a criminal goes free than a lien
on your home." It is admittedly a very tough and risky choice.
110 -- Threatening or Intimidating, formerly a class 1 misdemeanor,
can now range as high as a class 4 felony. Causing an evacuation is
now a class 1 misdemeanor.
114 -- Arizona's gun laws continue their growth with three new sections.
Certain plea bargains are not available for firearm offenses (§9-500.22),
DNA samples are taken (and you get to pay for them) for certain firearms
offenses (§13-610), and terrorism, broadly defined, includes among
many other things, intentionally using a firearm to "influence
the policy or affect the conduct of" any part of government in
the state, or to cause substantial damage to or interruption of public
infrastructure (§13-2308). For the purpose of the new terrorism
law, the term "explosive agent" does not include firearms.
Terrorism is a class 2 felony (§13-2308.01).
127 -- The list of main federal gun laws expands to include:
Smith & Wesson-preference ban (P.L. 106-398, 10/30/00, DOD FY 2001);
The Patriot Act: Anti-terrorism measures (P.L. 107-56, 10/26/01); Aviation
Security Act: Arm the pilots (P.L. 107-71, 11/19/01); Homeland Security
Act: Arm the government measures (P.L. 107-296, 11/25/02); Vision 100--Century
of Aviation Reauthorization Act (2003) (Deputizes Cargo Pilots so they
may be armed); Reauthorization of the ban on undetectable firearms.
(2003); Consolidated Appropriations Resolution (2003).
133 -- Delete the 4th complete paragraph on the page (refers to the
prior point-of-contact system for NICS checks).
141 -- New federal laws are described including: Three federal laws
in 2001: Congress bans preferential treatment to Smith and Wesson and
others in issuing government gun contracts; the Patriot Act introduces
new arm-the-government provisions and more, and plans to federally deputize
pilots and arm those deputies against terrorism is passed, but stalled
by agency bureaucrats; Undetectable Firearms Ban Extension, 2003 extended
for another ten years, to Dec. 10, 2013; Arming Cargo Pilots, 2003:
Air-cargo pilots, omitted from efforts to arm passenger-plane pilots,
may now also be deputized and, as federal officers, be armed against
terrorism. Consolidated Appropriations, 2003: Too many items, including:
Dept. of Agriculture may selectively arm its employees; Judiciary may
not tax or add fees to the Brady NICS check and must destroy certain
records related to retail gun sales; Federal officers get funding for
firearm competitions and awards; reiteration of ban on centralizing
certain firearms records; no changes to Curios or Relics list; continued
denial of relief for people with federal firearms disability except
for corporations; no electronic retrieval allowed for out-of-business
dealer records; safeguards on using dealer records in police work; $45
million for prosecutions to reduce gun violence; and a renewed ban against
advocating or promoting gun control by the Centers for Disease Control.
143 -- "Changing Federal Landscape," written in 1994 as a
result of uncertainties surrounding the Brady law, has morphed into
a section called, "Infringement Creep," which says in part:
Judicial and legislative activities are underway with regard to federal
firearms issues on a practically non-stop basis. Despite some pronouncements
about a moratorium on new gun laws, federal gun law grew by more than
13% in 1996 alone. That's more new federal law in one year than we've
seen in almost any decade...
Failure to comply with new laws and regulations can have serious consequences
to you personally, even if you believe your constitutional rights have
been compromised. In fact, many experts have noted that increasing latitudes
are being taken by some governmental authorities with respect to constitutional
guarantees. Legislative and regulatory changes present serious risks
to currently law-abiding people, since what is legal today may not be
tomorrow. The entire body of U.S. law is growing at a significant rate
and it represents some threats to freedoms Americans have always enjoyed.
It is prudent to take whatever steps you feel are reasonable to minimize
New laws may be passed at any time, and it is your responsibility to
be up-to-date when handling firearms under all circumstances. The information
contained in this book is guaranteed to age.
147 -- The Noble Uses of Firearms list includes preventing and deterring
149 -- There are now about 1,200 approved CCW trainers (was 600).
150 -- New language is added to the introduction for the gun safety
The Gun Owner's Commandments for Safety that follow deal with routine
gun handling in daily, non-threatening circumstances like range time,
hunting, cleaning, transporting, teaching and similar uses of firearms.
The gun safety rules for combat, as in crime prevention and personal
safety, are another matter entirely.
If you think there are a lot of safety rules for routine gun handling,
wait till you read some books on gun handling in tactical live-or-die
situations. In stark contrast to the usual safety rules, the so-called
Lovejoy's rules of gun safety include: 1-You must have a gun; 2-Keep
your gun loaded and ready to fire at all times; and 3-The first hit
counts more than the first shot. Depending on who you ask it is a long
list packed with valuable suggestions, e.g., If your shooting stance
is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
169 -- Lexus Nexus, not the Michie Company, now publishes the Arizona
176 -- The Crime and Punishment Chart has been updated (some penalties
increased, some new crimes added).
181 -- GROWTH OF ARIZONA GUN LAWS
These are the word counts for the law section, Appendix D, of this and
previous editions of this book. The increases are caused by two factors,
the discovery and inclusion of new sections of gun law (e.g., security
guards, Game and Fish Dept., military affairs and emergency management,
etc.), and the enactment of new laws by the state legislature, which
has been occuring every year in recent times. Gun laws are growing nationally,
with no end in sight.
Year -- Word Count -- Edition:
2004 -- 30,178 -- 21
2002 -- 26,627 -- 20R
2001 -- 26,222 -- 20
1998 -- 20,576 -- 19
1997 -- 19,873 -- 18
1996 -- 17,036 -- 17
1994 -- 15,784 -- 16
1994 -- 15,779 -- 15
The statutes reproduced in Appendix D have been updated to include all
the laws from 2002, 2003 and 2004. A chart of the bills involved, and
the statutes they affected, is posted on the Updates pages of gunlaws.com.
Under routine conditions, new gun laws, if any, coming out of the next
legislature, which begins in Jan., 2005, would not be effective until
around July 2005.
217 -- There's a new photo of the author, taken by Michael Ives, and
an updated bio.
219 -- Our catalog of books has grown.
Inside Back Cover: The Crime and Punishment Chart has been updated (some
penalties increased, some new crimes added).
"We publish the gun laws."
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
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