Archive | June, 2012

Concealed Carry Laws and Police Interactions

25 Jun

Most of the time, dealing with police is a non-issue.  Rarely (if we are lucky!) does the question even come up as to what to do in regard to the concealed carry laws and police interactions.handcuffs

There are states, however, that mandate the citizen inform a uniformed officer upon contact that they have a concealed weapon.  These states lay out the proper protocol as to what should be said and what should happen – and that’s good. But many states do not, and that brings up the question as to what to do in those instances.  The article in by Duncan Mackie explores the question of disclosing your CCW license or not in routine traffic stops and other encounters.

Concealed Carry Laws and Police Interactions

Cops see themselves as the good guys. They are sworn to protect, serve and arrest; they are trained and experienced; they have uniforms, badges, and guns. A legal presumption of good intent and proper action cloaks much of what they officially do. As legally-armed citizens, we know we are certified good guys, too, because we went through training and at least two criminal background checks to get our guns and carry permits. We can unconsciously bring that “good-guy” attitude into our interactions with police. I think we need to be careful with that. (Full article)

As Mackie points out, the problem can begin when we assume that the police agree that carrying a concealed weapon is a ‘good guy’ thing to do.  We feel that we are exercising our rights, know the law in order to obey it, and have undergone training as mentioned above.  To us, it’s a no-brainer that we have done these things in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones in accordance to the law.  We know what we are doing and we assume that police see it this way, too, and that’s where problems can arise.

It would be great if we could know that the police always see the situation the way that we do, but that’s not the case. It’s important to maintain calm, keep your hands in plain view and never reach for your weapon.  When it comes to concealed carry laws and police interactions, it doesn’t matter if you voluntarily disclose your CCW immediately (although you should if it’s the law in your state). Remaining polite and non-argumentative will go a long way, no matter what.  Keep your wits about you and you will likely keep yourself from any issues regarding your concealed weapon.


Concealed Carry Reciprocity and Other Concealed Carry Laws in Arizona

6 Jun

Most of the laws regarding carrying concealed weapons (ccw) including concealed carry reciprocityhave been in effect in Arizona for several years, with the most recent update occurring in 2009.

Map of USA states as regards their status for ...

Map of USA states as regards their status for Concealed firearm carry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arizona’s concealed carry laws are pretty liberal, allowing state residents and any US citizen to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun. With the Arizona permit in hand, the licensee may choose to carry either concealed or openly.

Arizona will honor concealed weapons permits issued by many other states, a process referred to as concealed carry reciprocity. Arizona is mandated to recognize valid permits issued by any other state as long as certain criteria are met during the permitting process. Since some states require a special written agreement in order to establish ccw reciprocity, the Arizona mandate allows for these written agreements. This gives Arizona a broad band of states with which they have concealed carry reciprocity. In order for a permit to be recognized, the permit holder must be legally present in Arizona and must not be legally prohibited from possessing a firearm in Arizona. Additionally, the permit holder must be at least twenty-one years old and must not be under indictment for, or convicted of, a felony offense.

Arizona residents can also take advantage of concealed carry reciprocity and use their permit in numerous other states across the country. Since the laws of the state one is in, as opposed to those of the state which issued the permit, take precedence, it is always wise to review the state’s laws and verify there have been no changes to reciprocity agreements prior to traveling across state lines.

Most states recognize the Arizona concealed weapons permit. Only fourteen states do not recognize the Arizona permit as a result of concealed carry reciprocity. Some states however, will only honor the permit issued to Arizona residents.

If you are planning on getting a concealed weapons permit in Arizona, either as a resident or non-resident, be aware that it can take up to 60 days for the various checks to be conducted. If you are moving to Arizona and already have a permit from your home state, you may be able to continue to use that permit because of concealed carry reciprocity even after you have taken up residence in Arizona. It is advisable to contact the Arizona Concealed Weapons Permit Unit to determine if your permit is transferable, or if you should just use your existing permit until it expires.

Arizona, like most states, has restrictions on where you may carry concealed handguns. Unlike some states, under Arizona law a permit holder is allowed to bring their concealed weapon into an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages, as long as they refrain from consuming alcohol and the business does not have any posted signs prohibiting firearms. That being said, Arizona concealed carry laws do allow for a business to prohibit firearms from their premises whether they post signs or not, so it is possible for a business to request that an individual with a valid ccw permit leave the establishment. These are important regulations for any permit holder to be aware of, especially for travelers relying on concealed carry reciprocity.

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