Arizona gun laws generally permit adults 21 and older – who are not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms – to carry loaded handguns in a vehicle. It does not matter whether they are concealed or not.1
What about adults under 21?
Adults 18 to 20 may openly carry a loaded gun in a car in Arizona if the gun is visible from the outside looking in. Otherwise, guns should be transported in a:
- storage compartment
- map pocket
- glove compartment2
Can I go on school property with a loaded gun?
Adults may take only unloaded firearms in a vehicle onto K-12 school property in Arizona. And if the vehicle is unattended by an adult, the firearms must remain locked in the vehicle and out of plain view.
Colleges and universities can make their own firearm rules. But K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities may not forbid concealed carry of a firearm in a vehicle on a public right-of-way.
What should I do if I get pulled over with a gun in my car?
During a traffic stop in Arizona, the driver does not have to volunteer that he/she is carrying a concealed gun. But if the officer asks, the driver must answer truthfully. The police may temporarily take the gun for the duration of the traffic stop.
Note that drivers do not have to disclose to police if their gun is carried openly or stored in a case, holster, scabbard, pack, luggage, storage compartment, map pocket, trunk or glove compartment.
Drivers are advised to keep their hands on the steering wheel while the police officer approaches the vehicle and questions the driver. Reaching into the glove compartment can cause the officer to overreact if he/she sees a weapon there.4
When are firearms prohibited in parking lots?
Arizona property owners, tenants, businesses, and employers may ban guns from their parking lots that:
- Are secured by a fence or physical barrier;
- Limit access by a security measure, such as a guard; and
- Provide temporary and secure gun storage that is readily accessible upon entry and exit
Alternatively, a separate parking lot can be provided for vehicles with firearms as long as it is not far and does not require an extra parking fee.
Otherwise, firearms are usually allowed in parking lots as long as they are not visible from the outside of the vehicle, and the vehicle is locked.5
Are guns allowed in company cars?
Public and private employers in Arizona may forbid firearms in vehicles they own or lease.6
What about interstate travel?
Federal law generally permits people to transport unloaded guns from and to locations where they may lawfully possess and carry them as long as the guns are locked and out of reach. If there is no trunk, then the gun has to be in a locked container separate from the glove compartment or console. Any ammunition must be similarly locked and out of reach.
Note that state and local police may still arrest people for transporting guns in violation of state or local laws. But then the defendant can use federal law as an affirmative defense in an effort to get the charge dismissed.7