The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that the government shall not infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Although this is a controversial and highly political topic in the country, most gun owners believe that the rights granted by this Amendment are some of the most crucial constitutional rights necessary to protect and defend themselves.
At Goldman Law, we aim to help you understand Arizona’s gun laws to ensure that people are able to legally exercise their Second Amendment rights.
If you’ve been charged with a firearms offense in Arizona, contact an experienced weapons crimes criminal defense lawyer immediately. Our criminal defense lawyer at Goldman Law, Mr. Howard Dworman, is an esteemed resource person in this field, particularly at events like the Crossroads of the West Gun Show. His immense experience in handling firearms cases ensures you get the best defense possible to your Arizona firearms or weapons charge.
Call us now at (602) 698-5520 to protect your rights.
Weapons and Firearms Categories Under Arizona Law
Under Arizona law, the sale, possession, and use of firearms are regulated by the government. Guns, firearms, and weapons are defined and enumerated in Title 13, Chapter 31 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS).
Prohibited weapons include the following:
- Rocket, bomb, or grenade with more than 4 ounces of a propellant charge
- Explosive mine
- A device made or modified to muffle firearms
- Automatic firearms, or firearms that can release more than one shot without having to manually reload
- Rifles that are no longer (in terms of barrel length) than 16 inches
- Shotguns that are no longer (in terms of barrel length) than 18 inches
- Short barrel guns or any modified firearm that isn’t longer 26 inches
- Improvised explosive devices or breakable containers that containable flammable liquids with a 150-degree flashpoint
- Chemical or a combination of them
A deadly weapon is anything designed to be lethal. This category includes firearms, but may also include knives or blunt-force instruments such as knuckle dusters or baseball bats.
Firearms include the following:
- Any other weapon meant to shoot using an explosive
Explosive refers to any of the following:
- Plastic explosive
- Black powder
- Other similar explosive materials
Arizona Gun & Weapon Laws
Gun control law, on both the state and federal level, can be difficult to understand. If you are facing felony charges involving guns and/or other weapons, an experienced Arizona weapons crimes lawyer will help you understand these charges and defend your rights in court.
While Arizona has less restrictive gun laws than some other states, any violation of such laws can lead to criminal charges and harsh penalties.
The right defense lawyer can provide capable and compassionate defense for those who are facing any of the charges below:
- Misconduct Involving Weapons
As described in ARS 13-3102, misconduct involving weapons is charged as a class four felony when the accused knowingly commits such — this includes the following:
- Prohibited possessor: In the state, anyone who’s 21 years or older can carry firearms (open or concealed) even without a license. However, certain groups of people – for instance, convicted felons – are prohibited from possessing firearms. Illegal aliens or people who entered the country through unlawful means can face jail time if they’re caught in possession of a weapon.
- Possession during the commission of a crime: People who are committing a drug-related or violent crime like burglary or assault while carrying a deadly weapon may face the maximum prison sentence for the underlying felony.
- Prohibited firearms: Certain types of weapons are considered illegal in the state such as sawed-off shotguns, machine guns or any automatic guns, assault weapons, armor-piercing ammo, etc.
- Altered serial numbers: It is a serious federal offense for people to carry firearms with altered serial numbers.
- Unlawful Discharge of Firearms
Under ARS 13-3107, any person who knowingly or negligently discharges a firearm may be charged with a class six felony. The penalty may include up to 3 years of prison time.
- Disorderly Conduct with a Weapon
This category involves recklessly or knowingly handling, displaying, or discharging a firearm to disturb the peace of a person, family, or community. As prescribed in ARS 13-2904, this is considered a class six felony, with a possible prison time of up to 3 years.
- Drive-by Shooting
This occurs when a person knowingly discharges a firearm, while onboard a motor vehicle, at another person or an occupied vehicle or structure. Pursuant to ARS 13-1209, this is a class two felony with a maximum prison sentence of 21 years.
Some of the factors that can mitigate or aggravate sentencing include the victim’s age, whether the accused has a prior criminal record, and whether the offense caused injuries or death.
Defenses to Weapon Charges
Arizona is a “constitutional carry” state, which means that a person does not need to obtain or qualify for a license or permit before they can open or conceal carry a firearm.
Arizona State also has “stand your ground” laws. Essentially, this means that a person has no duty to retreat if they’re being assaulted or attacked, as long as they’re not committing a crime or trespassing on private property. They also have the right to use force proportional to that used by another person to threaten them or their family.
The “castle doctrine” is also being followed in the state, which means that a person can stand their ground and defend themselves and their family members with deadly force against someone breaking into their home or car. Arizona law has expanded this doctrine to cover any place where a person has a legal right to be.
However, people who use weapons in self-defense or defense of others may still be accused of and charged with weapons crimes. The law is complicated, and there may be situations where a person who believes they are rightfully defending their life may need to justify their actions in court. In this case, it is important to work with a legal team with ample experience in self-defense claims.
Hire a Phoenix Firearms and Weapons Crimes Lawyer Today
A criminal defense lawyer can use their extensive knowledge of Arizona law to help those accused of offenses involving firearms and weapons. They can help you get answers to the following questions:
- Will I go to jail?
- How do I deal with the charges? Is it possible to get them dropped or dismissed?
- What are my rights?
You want to make sure you’re choosing the right lawyer for your case. We have successfully represented clients against gun, firearms, and weapons charges.
They should be someone who will aggressively fight to preserve your freedom and defend your rights. They should know how to craft a strong defense and find weaknesses in the case being brought against you.
Howard Dworman at Goldman Law has years of experience representing clients facing charges of weapons crimes. If you find yourself in this situation, call us today at (602) 698-5520.