Arizona Allows Concealed Carry Without Permits - ITS Tactical

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Arizona Allows Concealed Carry Without Permits

By The ITS Crew

Following the footsteps of Alaska and Vermont, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill into law Friday, allowing Arizonians 21 and older to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, background check or training class.

Of course you’ll still have to legally be able to own and carry a firearm in order to take advantage of the new law, which won’t take place until the current legislative session ends around July or August.

Required by federal law, a background check will still be required to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, but that doesn’t apply to sales by individuals that aren’t dealers.

While this is a major step forward in our 2nd Amendment rights, it still raises a few important questions.

  • How will not having a permit affect the reciprocity that Arizona has with other states?
  • Will people seek the proper training that comes with the responsibility of owning and carrying a handgun?
  • Will this make it harder for Law Enforcement to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys?


A big question that we had to dig around to find the answer to, was reciprocity. Arizona currently has a reciprocity with 31 other states, and to continue to carry in those states you’ll still have to have an Arizona permit.

Permits will also still be needed to carry concealed in any Arizona restaurant or bar that serves alcohol.


You’ve all most likely either seen, or heard stories about those that come into a CCW class with a gun they’ve never touched before that day. While its everyone’s constitutional right to not have to take a training class, its just scary to think about those who would carry without properly knowing how to use their weapon.

We’d like to share a great quote from the Arizona Citizens Defense League, who lobbied for the “constitutional carry” in Arizona:

“The heaviest thing about wearing a firearm is the responsibility that comes with it.”

There’s a lot of truth behind that statement, and it can’t be reinforced enough. You’re not only taking responsibility for your defense, but also of those potential victims around you.


All adults in Arizona can already open carry legally in Arizona without a permit, and there’s no federal law that requires a permit to carry concealed. That being said, Law Enforcement currently uses concealed carry permits across this country to immediately identify a lawful citizen.

Just simply having a permit means that you’re not a felon, and most likely aren’t a threat to the officer. This isn’t an argument for permits, just something to think about for those that immediately dismiss the idea of a permit as unconstitutional.

You’ll still legally have to announce to any Arizona officer that you’re carrying concealed if asked, and that officer will have the option to temporarily take your gun while communicating with you.

Closing Notes

We’ve been discussing this issue here at ITS since we first heard about it on Friday, and would love to hear what you guys think about it. Do you like it? Do you dislike it?

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  • Rick Visser

    So what is up with the Euro’s in the picture?

    • Rick, Just a photo we shot that seemed somewhat appropriate.

  • Scary! This could mean that a potential large conceal carry population are not properly trained. So there’s a good chance if you have to draw a weapon in Az your going to get shot.

    Good news, Matt’s training helped him defend his family from a lethal threat. Bad news, 15 other untrained, over armed bystanders and one old lady shot him 47 times!

    It’s a scary grey line.

    • Kenneth Gareau

      It is no scarier than those same people carrying openly! I agree training should be obtained and on going, but the hysteria around those thinking that the mere concealment is what renders people mindless is itself lunacy! The vast majority of people will not run out and buy a pistol because they can do so without a permit. The 1912 minutes of the AZ Constitutional Convention had this discussion and it was voted down! Most Arizonan’s do not know this! We have just now returned to the way those who drew our Constitution wanted it. Our language says our right to carry and defend , and here are the operative words, “shall not be impaired”.

    • David

      I see that a lot of people are worried about people carrying a weapon without knowing how to use it. I have a solution to that, what if the State of Arizona added that in order to carry concealed you had to have at least 2 hours a month logged in a firing range. I live in Arizona and I do carry my weapon concealed but I go to the range every week would that make you feel safer?

  • TFA303

    Vermont has had this method of carry for decades. It’s not any more rife with bad shootings than states that require licenses (with or without training).

  • Charles

    I think it’s going to be a 50/50 deal, some of the people are going to go and get the training and the permit and others are just going to through a gun in their paints and go have a night on the town. I like what Matt said
    “Good news, Matt’s training helped him defend his family from a lethal threat. Bad news, 15 other untrained, over armed bystanders and one old lady shot him 47 times!”
    “It’s a scary grey line.”
    Thanks Matt

    And keep up the good work ITS

  • Gray Ghost

    While I applaud Arizona’s move closer to how most of us around here interpret the 2nd; I feel like this is too relaxed. I would have much rather had people not be required to go through the class, but to demonstrate an understanding of the laws at the least.

    Personally, I think CHL shooting tests are WAY too relaxed to begin with. They also don’t go into teaching people how their bodies will react and the affects it will have on their awareness and marksmanship. There is a lot lacking in the programs.

    This is awesome though. Wish Texas would get off their ass and pass the open carry option for CHL holders at the very least.

  • John T

    IMHO, permits should be required based on the points that were brought up simply because it eliminates a few of the variables and ambiguities regarding CCW. Am I missing something here or how does needing a permit to conceal carry a step backward in our 2nd Amendment rights? If there is an extra step I can take to ensure I am obeying the law and keeping my interactions with LEO’s safe (for both parties) I will go above and beyond to accomplish it.

    A background check may not be required for the transfer of a firearm between individuals but I hope people aren’t selling firearms to others without asking to see a valid firearms permit.

    I always believed in having some type of a mandatory training class for anyone who applies for a firearm permit, whether it be for CCW or open carry. A basic course, maybe covering things like safety and operation. A class with some trigger time or something along those lines to show you know how to operate your firearm and every firearm you purchase with your permit. You’re required to take a driving test before you’re issued a license so the state knows you know what the heck you’re doing with a car, you’re aware of and can obey all driving laws before you go out there and drive on your own. So why should it be any different with a firearm? Would you feel comfortable going about your day with your spouse and children by your side knowing that there may be people around you carrying firearms that they never shot one single round through? Or bothered to learn how to engage the safety? Or how to properly align their sights? Or to be aware of their targets foreground and background before firing? Etc. I know I wouldn’t.

    If people truly believe that “The heaviest thing about wearing a firearm is the responsibility that comes with it.” Then there is no excuse not to take a CCW training class.

    • John T

      Will training keep innocent people from getting hurt or killed? No. But it is value added.

    • Loki

      “You’re required to take a driving test before you’re issued a license so the state knows you know what the heck you’re doing with a car, you’re aware of and can obey all driving laws before you go out there and drive on your own.”

      If you think this is the same as a new firearm then I would think that you would goto driving school for a car, then those that buy F250-350 trucks should goto school to learn how to drive something bigger than the honda civic you just bought. A CCW class is only as good as the instructor teaching it. I have seen school that arent worth the wood they build the walls out of and others that are really good. In the old days did you need a school how to shoot a weapon or carry it? Im not bashing the idea of being lawful but even lawful people break rules too and commit crimes. Its a hit or miss. But this way paves the road to people will think twice before robbing/mugging the next person knowing that person may have a gun now and not the joe-smo driving a prius that never goes 1mph over the speed limit. But good comment though,

    • Kenneth Gareau

      Driving is a privelege granted to the individual by law. The right to carry and defend is a Constitutional right (not privilege) in the State of Arizona. They are not the same and the analogy does not fit.

    • Constitutionalist

      And a drivers licence is covered under which Constitutional Ammendment?

      Driving is a privilage, gun ownership is a right.

      I do like your post.

  • Tony

    To those of you who feel now that there is no mandatory training requirement, blood will flow in the streets, have you taken the previously mandatory training? Do you really think that this training alone qualifies someone with zero previous experience to fire their weapon in a real life situation? (Yes, yes, in theory any training is better than no training, but in practice the difference in performance between a poorly trained and not trained at all individual might not be so apparent.)

    • Loki

      Atleast not at 5-10ft between perps lol..

  • Greg

    While I completely agree with the fact that if you can legally purchase a firearm you should be able to carry it, the lack of formal training has me a little unsure. Why not just revise the permit process to require at least taking a course. The instructor of the course could be in charge of issuing the permits even, similar to a hunter’s safety course. This would at least minimize the risks of bad shoots and negligent weapons handling, while maximizing our constitutional right to bear arms.

    • Kenneth Gareau

      We need formal training for voters not for execising our Constitutional rights.

    • Constitutionalist

      I disagree, first of all if you desire a “permit” there is a mandatory (Course/Class) requirement.

      Now for us Arizonans, permit is not required, but if you opt for a permit then the course is required. If you opt out on a permit then you are left to the laws of the state. If you misuse a weapon then you face the law and its punishments, if you are responsible then there won’t be a problem.

      Permit/no permit, class/no class, concealed/not concealed all poor arguments. Constitution says you have the right to bear arms, that is the final and bottom line.

      Be responsible.

    • Kenneth Gareau

      The permit allows several advantages that are not guaranteed in either the Federal or State of AZ Constitutions. First your permit allows no background check for gun purchase. Second you are allowed to conceal carry in bars/restaurants which permit it. The mandatory class is helpful but is not required for renewal! Most of what the initial class teaches is the current law. It does little to focus on real life situations which is/has been the thrust of the concerns of those advocating training in opposition to our absolute right to defend ourselves even without training. I agree all people need to be responsible. I have no clue as to what you mean about “you are left to the laws of the state” comment. All people are subject to the laws of the state. Training is helpful but not mandatory. If you fail to know the law it is no excuse in a court of law. That alone will keep many from carrying a firearm either openly or concealed. The Constitution does not grant us our rights. It enumerates them and is there to protect that which we already possess.

  • I think this is great personally. Now citizens don’t have to answer the the government for the right to protect themselves. Don’t think that this will make people more inclined to start shooting when they get angry though. This is wonderful news. The criminals already have guns. This is like holding your friend down when he’s in a fight with someone. No one holds the other guy down, but in an attempt to stop the fight, you restrain your buddy and he gets his ass kicked without being able to put up a fight. Even if he doesn’t know how to fight, he still has a chance to defend himself. Gun control is no different than this scenario.

  • Justin

    It’s a tough question, but as cited by many people here, training is just value added. It doesn’t guarantee anything. I personally think that training classes are great, and I try and train whenever I can, but the question I raise about forcing people to go to a class is how similar is that to the government trying to legislate safety in any other realm. It’s been shown over and over again that you can’t legislate people’s “safety”. If anything legislating safety has only stripped us of more and more freedom as time has gone on. So from a gun owners standpoint, we might be falling in to the same mental trap that our politicians fall in to when they think their laws can make us safe from ourselves.
    You will have a few yahoos that find out they can carry without a permit and carry like they are rambo, and let everyone know they have it. Otherwise, you are going to have the CCW people who believe in training, and you have the people who are too afraid of guns to even touch one in the first place. The heavier percentage I think is going to be with the responsible CCW holders, with a few morons. Should people train and understand the responsibility and operation of their firearms? Without a doubt, yes. Should people be forced to do it? Tough question for me, part of me says it would be redundant for the most part.

    • Loki

      I agree but if you want to force someone to take a course then I think the goverment mandating this should provide or pay for the class for you. No one person should tell you how to spend your money after you legally aquired a weapon for self-defense. Also training in a class doesnt amount to anything if you dont regularly hit the range to keep up proficiency.

  • My second concern is that if there is no background check required, just the honor system of if you can carry then carry policy, how does that help?
    Don’t get me wrong I agree with, “if I should buy it I should carry it,” but how can LE know that for sure?
    Of course having the registration and back ground at purchase helps curb SOME of this. If you’ve ever been to a gun show you will know what I mean.
    A few months ago I bought a Glock from a private individual and I must’ve been asked at least 6 times if it was for sale before leaving, and these guys weren’t avid gun collectors.
    Like I said its a fine grey line!
    I’m glad I don’t have to draw it.

    • Kenneth Gareau

      It is against the law in AZ to sell a firearm to anyone either in private or in the course of business to a “prohibited” person. Unless I knew the background of the individual they can go to a dealer for their purchase!

  • james

    LEO’s already have to assume everyone is a threat,so the point about protecting police by identifying lawful carriers 5 minutes into the encounter is inconsequential.The truth is it always has been legal,but things have swung the wrong way for the last 50 years or more.This is a great step in correcting something that should have never happened.

  • I am all for gun rights but this scares me. People need a background check and competency test. There are too many bad people out there! I agree with a lot of the comments above. It’s just a really sticky situation. Overall I guess I don’t trust just anyone until they jump through a few hoops. Weed the bad ones out.

    • Loki

      You do a background check doesnt mean a person wont snap oneday and use it on someone on purpose. You have to automatically assume everyone is not trust worthy until you “know” them well. See the past decades have made it to where you have to be parinoid about everyone. This will hopefully lead to a better future for weapon holders. In the old days people carried all the time good and bad but crime was lower since the bad knew good had guns to. sometimes bigger and better. And weeding the bad ones out didnt work in Europe or Russia, it just made it worse. Now its time to re-even the playing field and maybe the crime rate will go back down. It happened in FL when they allowed people to CCW again in a few county’s and the crime went down nearly 30% the first year. But I can understand how some will take a little while to adapt and some will take advantage of it at first. Always one in the pot..

    • Kenneth Gareau

      So only good guys get constitutional rights? Suppose the 100 dollar fee is too much for a person to pay because of his financial condition. Does he lose the right to defend his life and those of his family because he cannot afford the license with the training? bad idea.

  • Virius

    That’s the thing about trying to weed the bad ones out is that if you are a criminal or mentally unstable or already made the decision to hurt someone, they are still going to carry a gun even if they aren’t allowed to.

    All in all it is a pain, yes, that everbody that wants to carry has to go through red tape but when you do and you get that permit in the mail, it is a pretty good feeling that you now have the freedom, without the thought of breaking the law, to carry.

  • Wes Pledger

    You have very good points about the Law Enforcement aspect of this new law. Plus I love how the very first comment is totally off-subject!

  • Jonathan Webber

    Inadequately trained people carrying concealed are a liability to themselves and the people around them, we live in a society where liability and “duty of care” rule supreme, trusting the public to draw a distinct line between the two in the heat of the moment with no training is a scary thought. I think a permit to carry and a mandatory class on carrying concealed would be a minimum.

    • Kenneth Gareau

      …and when was your psychological profile done? That will be the next requirement. Constitutional rights are just that rights which shall not be impaired even in and especially in AZ with the language our Constitution has decided should be there.

  • John Carpenter

    I am a certified AZ CCW instructor and I also operate a firearms training company. As you might expect, many people have asked my opinion of this new law.
    I support this law and am very happy that it passed. First and foremost, I am a Constitutionalist so whenever lawmakers bring laws into line with the Constitution, I believe we are all better served.
    Your point about the need for training is spot on. Many believe that simply taking a CCW course is sufficent, it is not. The classes basically cover the legalities of carrying and using a firearm, which is great, but not a substitue for quality firearms training. At my school we will be bundling our CCW classes with other courses like handgun, tactical pistol and urban rifle. Hopefully, we’ll be able to convince students that having the permit and proper training will be in their best interest.
    Another point that you brought up was the issue of reciprosity with other states. Hopefully, that will not change. Another advantage that having a permit will allow is not having to endure a background check when purchasing a firearm or, as you noted, being able to carry in a bar or resturant.
    In closing, I’d like to say that I am very happy that in Arizona the Constitution is your carry permit.

    • Kenneth Gareau

      Amen from AZ

  • Tony

    Reading the comments, I find it frightening how many of so-called pro-gun people fall back into the very same “but blood will flow in the streets!”-arguments that anti-gun people use as reasoning for their political agenda. Are we all so indoctrinated into a nanny state society that even those who should know better are unwilling to let go of that security blanket?

    • Kenneth Gareau

      Spot on!

  • Reddog

    We seem to be missing the point for the second amendment here. The purpose is so that we, the people, can defend ourselves from our government on an equal footing. If the Government is allowed to set the rules for your right, then they can regulate your right to oblivion, either through onerous fees or impossible requirements. Plus, with the government running the licensing, they know who the gunowners are, and know where to go first to collect them, a de facto registration.
    The earlier argument are moot, and just show the effectiveness of the gun grabber’s efforts. Like other states, the CCW performance requirements in OK are weak; just shoot 50 rounds through your gun without shooting yourself or the instructor. Hits on the target are not required. A blind man pointed in the right direction should be able to accomplish this, yet there is no blood running through the streets here. Those that compare this to driving are actually closer than we dare to think, as there are many untrained, unlicensed, and uninsured drivers on the road today, yet there are relatively few accidents or deaths compared to the numbers on the road. And really, when have we heard of 17 armed citizens responding to anything? We usually pray for just one.
    Cut the smoke, and look at the founders’ wisdom. I would rather take my chances with an armed granny defending herself next door over a thuggish government subduing an unarmed people.

    • Kenneth Gareau

      Great points!

  • Wheelhouse

    This is a very good thing and I hope other states continue the trend. Let’s not forget that our founders believed the right to self-defense is a God-given right; not provided by the Constitution, but protected by it. To me, firearms symbolize freedom plain and simple. This country simply wouldn’t exist w/o them.

    People should get educated and trained on firearms, no doubt. Schools will educate students about sex, S.T.D.s, and drugs. Why not basic introduction to firearms and their operation? Start taking the fangs out of the snake and present them as the tools that they are. No, that’s crazy talk.

    The woman walking home from work at night shouldn’t have to give up her rights and play the role of the victim that evening because she hasn’t saved up enough or set aside time for her training class. That’s crazy talk.

  • Kenneth Gareau

    I wonder how many of the founding fathers and those living in the United States before execising your second amendment right became “a crime” would agree with the training mandate and if they did would it be for the same reasons? I doubt it would be. They would want the training so as to be better at protecting themselves, than fearing a neighbor might accidently shoot them. IMHO

  • Sundevil98

    I’d be interested to see what the statistics are of people who have a CCL in AZ, and how many more firearms training classes they take. I would bet that the majority take the 8 hour required course and that’s it. Will this law really make a big difference. I doubt it. Most of the individuals reading this site I would asume practice far more often than the average person. I went through the CCL course while I was living in AZ. It wasn’t real rocket science. Just your basic this a gun type stuff. However, being a gun nut I pursued other courses, and in my current job as a po-po I’m even more imersed in firearms training. The average citizen though won’t go beyond one or two courses. Just my humble oppinion.

    • Kenneth Gareau

      There are about 145,000 to 155,000 CCW permits in AZ. Records on who took what classes beyond the initial classes necessary for the permit is a non tracked, as it should be, retail issue. I think your assumptions are right however about the frequency. A downside to taking courses shows up in court. The prosecutor says, “so tell me sir, have you a great fear of being attacked?” No sir I do not. So then why do you carry a knife, a tactical light, pepper spray and also have taken some twenty courses on gun combat/safety in the last three years?” Jury listening, and probably not gun friendly, says to itself: we have a lunatic here!” Always a spin which can get you. It is what attorneys do! IMHO

  • I feel they should just make getting the CCW permit in AZ free. I lived in AZ for a year and had no problem having to open carry since I didn't want to pay the $80 for a CCW. I do feel you should have a permit to carry concealed though.

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