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Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Gun in Arizona

While Arizona residents do not need a permit in order to buy a shotgun, rifle, or handgun, there are people who are prohibited from owning firearms. Similarly, you would not need a permit to carry a weapon on your person, whether in open or as a concealed firearm, but there are places where the weapon would not be allowed. By law, someone who is carrying a concealed weapon has to honestly if a police officer asks them if they are armed, otherwise, hiding this fact or lying about is also a violation of gun laws in Arizona.

What is illegal possession of a firearm in Arizona?

People Who Cannot Possess Firearms
First, under Arizona law, not everyone can own a gun. Someone who cannot possess a firearm is called a "prohibited possessor" in state law. This includes someone who is considered dangerous to himself and to other people, or who is severely disabled, or an adult who is a convicted felon or a minor who is an adjudicated delinquent who has not recovered their right to possess or carry a firearm. This prohibition also applies to someone who has been convicted of domestic violence or a felony and is on probation, or anyone who is on parole, work furlough, or any other type of release, or under community supervision or house arrest, etc. Also, undocumented or nonimmigrant aliens can only possess firearms under very specific circumstances. Minors who are not emancipated cannot use firearms without the consent of their parents, grandparents, or guardian.

Places a Gun Cannot Be Taken
This is only a general list, as private laws, state laws, or even federal laws may render certain places off limits to a weapon. This could include a local business that has laws against weapons on their premises. It does not matter if they have signs advertising this law or not, a trespassing charge could come someone's way if they violate that regulation. Here are some other places where firearms cannot be carried:

  • Establishments such as a bar or restaurant that serve alcohol (at least not without a concealed gun permit, and only if you will not be drinking)
  • School premises
  • Military bases
  • Polling places
  • Correctional facilities
  • And more

Illegal Firearms
Then there are some weapons that are in and of themselves illegal. This would include any firearms that have silencers on them, or firearms that, without a manual reload, can automatically fire more than a single shot with just one trigger function. Other illegal guns would include a rifle that has a barrel length shorter than 16 inches, a shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18 inches, or any firearm whatsoever that is a modified rifle or shotgun that has a total length under 26 inches.

Potential Penalties for Violating Firearm Possession Laws

While there is such a wide body of laws, not all the potential sentences can be covered, as charges could be anything from a misdemeanor to a felony. For example, if a minor under the age of 21 has a concealed firearm near or on their person, this could be a class 3 misdemeanor, which could mean 30 days in jail and $500 in fines. Lying to an officer about carrying a concealed deadly weapon is a class 1 misdemeanor. If someone is convicted of possessing a firearm on school grounds, this could also be a class 1 misdemeanor, or a class 6 felony. This could mean facing six months in jail (for a misdemeanor) or 1 to 1.5 years in prison (for a felony). Another class 6 felony would be selling or giving a firearm to a prohibited possessor.

If a prohibited possessor has a firearm or an illegal weapon, then this would be a class 4 felony, punishable by 2.5 to 3 years in prison. The same penalties could be faced if someone is charged with firing or possessing a firearm while committing a felony. If someone is charged with selling or giving a firearm to someone in a criminal gang or syndicate, then this would be a class 3 felony charge. This could mean 3.5 to 7 years in prison.

Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Can Fight Your Weapons Charge

On top of any incarceration or fines you could face for a weapons charge, you would also be facing a life with a criminal record and all the reduced opportunities that would mean. With the help of a skilled legal advocate, however, you could fight to save your freedom as well as your reputation. Find out how a former prosecutor has the experience to defend you when you contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson today!

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