Arizona Gun Laws
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The United States is one of only three countries in the world that considers gun ownership a constitutional right for its citizens. Within the United States, Arizona gun laws are some of the most unrestrictive across all states. Last year, Arizona ranked number seven for the highest number of registered guns per state. This is significant, especially considering that it is one of 44 states that don’t require citizens to register their firearms (ARS 13-3108).
However, there are some exceptions for those who are legally able to own and carry a gun. At Belén Law Firm, we are familiar with the ins and outs of all Arizona laws, including gun laws. Here, we’ll go into further detail about the laws surrounding guns and what might prohibit you from owning one.
Can you own a gun if you have a felony?
We are all aware of the United States constitutional right to bear arms. It is an ingrained part of American culture. However, not everybody is granted those rights. A convicted criminal may be imposed with what are called “civil disabilities,” which stand apart from the sentence that has already been ordered. Civil disabilities refer to the condition of a convicted criminal who has had a legal right or privilege revoked.
Under ARS 13-904, offenders may be legally banned from privileges such as holding public office, obtaining certain licenses or jobs, entering certain agreements, or profiting from pension or insurance. The civil rights that may be revoked include the right to vote, serve on a jury, and the right to bear arms. Both federal law and Arizona guns laws for felons make it illegal for those convicted of a felony to possess a firearm or even ammunition. Even if the gun is not yours but you are found in possession of it, you could face serious criminal charges.
How to Restore Gun Rights in Arizona
The good news is that even if you were convicted of a felony, there are ways to restore your gun rights in the state of Arizona. For most convictions, firearm rights may be restored two years following the date probation is completed or the prison sentence has ended, as declared in ARS 13-910. For more serious offenses, it will take significantly longer. Serious offenses (ARS 13-706) require 10 full years to have passed since the completion of probation or discharge from prison.
When we say “serious offenses,” what we mean is:
- First Degree Murder
- Second Degree Murder
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Crimes Against Children
Once a felon has met the mandatory waiting period, whether it be two or 10 years, they are eligible to file a petition for the restoration of their gun rights. This petition must be in the form of a written request and filed with the court. Just because the appropriate amount of time has passed, though, does not mean they will be automatically granted those rights.
There are multiple factors the court considers before it grants you your firearm rights again. Factors that will be taken into account include your criminal history and any history of violence on your record. It will also factor in your probation or prison performance, as well as any attempts to rehabilitate. Finally, if your crime resulted in a victim’s injuries, the severity of those injuries will also be examined.
Exceptions for Restoration of Gun Rights
There are certain cases in which you will not be eligible to restore your gun rights at all. If your criminal conviction was that of a dangerous offense, your gun rights will not be up for restoration at any time. A dangerous offense occurs when the convicted person committed a crime that was purposely intended to inflict serious physical injury on another, often involving the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. It is also very unlikely that a person convicted at the federal level will be able to restore their gun rights.
Arizona Gun Law for Felons
While the state is relatively relaxed when it comes to gun ownership, Arizona gun laws for felons are not to be taken lightly. If a felon is caught owning or in possession of a firearm without first having their rights legally restored, they will receive another criminal charge: Misconduct Involving Weapons. In the state of Arizona, this type of offense is a Class 4 felony and often carries a term of about 2.5 years of imprisonment. In the case that you have a previous felony conviction, the term will increase to approximately 4.5 years (ARS 13-3102).
Contact Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Belén Today
At Belén Law Firm, we possess extensive knowledge of Arizona gun laws and what it takes to restore gun rights after a felony conviction. If you have received such a conviction and seek to have your rights restored or simply have questions regarding these rights, contact Phoenix criminal defense attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra today. Our firm is open and accepting new clients, with video and phone conferencing available for your health and safety. Call us today at 602-715-0908 or fill out our online intake form to schedule your free consultation.