Smart & Aggressive
attorneys defending you.
click for a free consultation

Can You Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Arizona?

Posted on December 1, 2021 in Firearms Crimes

Although Arizona has a reputation for strict laws and enforcement, it is permissive when it comes to firearm laws. In Arizona, the law allows any person who is 18 or older to open carry a firearm, and anyone who is at least 21 years old to conceal-carry a firearm without requiring a permit – including carrying it in their vehicles. This is known as a Constitutional Carry Law. Arizona was the third state after Vermont and Alaska to enact this law.

The Law on Carrying a Gun in Your Car in Arizona

In Arizona, the state’s gun laws allow adults who are 18 to 20 years old to openly carry loaded guns in their vehicles as long as the gun is visible to people who are outside looking into the car. If it is not visible, the gun must be kept in some type of case, holster, pack or the glove compartment. You do not need a special permit, such as a concealed weapons permit, to carry a loaded gun inside of your vehicle in Arizona as an adult.

Do You Have to Tell an Officer That You’re Carrying a Gun in Your Car?

No. It is not a legal requirement to tell a police officer that you are carrying a concealed loaded gun in your vehicle during a traffic stop. Doing so is advisable, however, as this can help prevent an officer from being surprised or overreacting if he or she spots a weapon in the vehicle, such as while you are reaching into the glove department to get your vehicle registration. Note that the law does require you to tell the truth if an officer directly asks you if you are carrying a weapon in your car. It is also in an officer’s authority to temporarily take your gun for the duration of the traffic stop.

Restrictions on When You Can Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car

While you are allowed to carry a loaded gun in your vehicle and on your person in Arizona in most circumstances, firearms are prohibited in some places. Private property owners, for example, have the right to ban firearms from their parking lots if the lot is secured by a fence, physical barrier or other security measures, such as a security guard. The owner must also provide a secure gun storage area that is accessible upon entry and exit. If the business or property owner does not ban firearms, you can bring a gun into a parking lot as long as it is not visible from the outside of your car and you keep your vehicle locked.

You also cannot keep a loaded gun in your car if you are visiting a K-12 school property in Arizona. The gun must be unloaded. If the vehicle is left unattended by an adult, the unloaded firearm must remain out of sight and locked in the vehicle. You also may not be allowed to carry a loaded gun in your car if you are driving for work. If you are driving a vehicle owned by your employer, the employer has the right to forbid you from bringing a firearm with you. This is true of both public and private employers in Arizona.

You are subject to federal law, not just Arizona law, if you drive across state lines with a firearm. Under federal law, you can only transport an unloaded gun in your vehicle while crossing state lines, and only if you are traveling to and from locations where you may lawfully possess and carry your firearm. In addition, any firearm that you have in your vehicle must be locked and out of reach. If you do not have a trunk on your vehicle, it must be in a locked container that is not your glove compartment or center console. Any ammunition with you must also be locked and out of reach.

If you get arrested for carrying a loaded gun in your vehicle in Arizona, contact a Phoenix gun crimes lawyer right away for assistance.