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If I am a prohibited possessor can I still carry a knife?

Posted on April 11, 2019 in assault & violent crimes

If I am a prohibited possessor can I still carry a knife?

It’s a simple question, but it requires us to delve into the definitions that Arizona’s Misconduct Involving Weapons statutes uses.

First, what is a Prohibited Possessor?  Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3101(7), a prohibited possessor is defined as any person who falls into the following categories:

  • Has been found to constitute a danger to self or to others or to have a persistent or acute disability or grave disability pursuant to court order, and has not had their right to possess a firearm restored;
  • Has been convicted of a felony or adjudicated delinquent for a felony and has not had their right to possess a firearm restored;
  • At the time of possession was serving a term of imprisonment in any correctional or detention facility;
  • At the time of possession was serving a term of probation for a domestic violence offense or a felony offense, parole, community supervision, work furlough, home arrest, or any other time of release, or who is serving a term of probation or parole pursuant to interstate compact;
  • Is an undocumented alien or a nonimmigrant alien traveling for business or pleasure in Arizona or who is studying in Arizona and maintains a foreign residence abroad;
    • It’s important to note that there are several carveouts for this particular section for hunting, diplomats, otherwise designated officials, and other reasons.
  • Has been found incompetent pursuant to Rule 11 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure and was not later found to be competent;
  • Has been found guilty except insane of a crime.

It is a broad category, and you may not even know that you are included.  For example, if you are serving jail time for a misdemeanor DUI and are given work release for 12 hours of every day, you are a prohibited possessor even though you do not have a felony conviction.

Next, we must determine what the Misconduct Involving Weapons statute actually prohibits.  Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3102(A)(4), the prohibited possessor Misconduct Involving Weapons statute, prohibits knowingly possessing a deadly weapon or prohibited weapon if you are a prohibited possessor.

So what is a deadly weapon?  A deadly weapon is defined simply by Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3101(1) as anything that is designed for lethal use, including a firearm.

So the ultimate question of can I still carry a knife if I am a prohibited possessor, the answer is a resounding – depends on the knife.  A fillet knife, pocket knife, steak knife, or other form of utility knife likely would not be prohibited.  But a switch blade, combat knife, or martial arts blade likely is.  The specific answer in your case will likely require experienced legal advice and perhaps the use of an expert in knife design.  If you need answers about what you can and cannot possess as a prohibited possessor, call the attorneys at AZ Defenders today at 480-456-6400 or online for a free consultation.

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