The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution gives you the right to bear arms. As a resident of Arizona, you have the right to purchase, possess and openly carry a gun. Any law-abiding citizen over the age of 21 can carry a firearm openly or concealed without needing to obtain a license. You must, however, follow your state’s related weapons laws to avoid criminal charges.
Weapons-related crimes and charges tend to increase around the holidays. The 4th of July and New Year’s Eve are especially popular holidays in Arizona for the unlawful discharge of firearms and similar offenses. Arizona Revised Statute 13-3102 is the state’s law prohibiting certain types of misconduct involving weapons. It describes this crime as knowingly:
It is also a crime under ARS 13-3102 to conceal a deadly weapon on a means of transportation under the age of 21; manufacture, sell or possess a prohibited weapon; possess a deadly weapon as a prohibited possessor; sell a deadly weapon to a prohibited possessor; deface a deadly weapon; knowingly possess a defaced deadly weapon; use a deadly weapon to commit a felony offense; or discharge a firearm to assist a street gang.
The list of crimes that qualify as misconduct involving weapons is long. ARS 13-3102 lists 16 ways in which a perpetrator could commit a related offense. Certain exceptions to the rule exist, however. If the defendant was in his or her dwelling, on a property owned by his or her parents or grandparents, a volunteer sheriff, or visibly carrying the weapon, he or she may not be guilty of an offense under the misconduct involving weapons law.
Arizona Revised Statute 13-2904 makes it illegal to intentionally disturb the peace of a neighborhood, person, or family. It lists specific actions and behaviors that are illegal under ARS 13-2904. They include fighting, engaging in seriously disruptive behavior, making unreasonable noise, using abusive/offensive language or gestures, preventing the transaction of a lawful business meeting, refusing to obey an order to disperse, and recklessly handling or discharging a deadly weapon.
Disorderly conduct is not a minor offense if it involves a firearm. A weapons offense under Arizona’s disorderly conduct statute is a Class 6 felony – the most serious type of charge under ARS 13-2904. All other related offenses are Class 1 misdemeanors. Handling or discharging a weapon could also lead to an Allegation of Dangerousness charge. The reckless handling/discharge of a weapon under ARS 13-2904 could come with a mandatory minimum sentence of 1.5 years in prison, up to 3 years maximum. Additional penalties can include hefty fines, probation and community service.
Crimes involving weapons are serious in the State of Arizona. Laws for more minor offenses often impose greater charges and penalties if the crime involves the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon. It is important to hire a Phoenix gun charges attorney if you are facing weapons charges under ARS 13-3102 or 13-2904. A lawyer can use every available defense on your behalf.
If someone accuses you of misconduct involving weapons or disorderly conduct with a deadly weapon, contact a defense attorney right away for assistance with the criminal justice process in Arizona. The right lawyer may be able to fight the charges against you with a tailored and aggressive defense strategy.