Arizona Citizens Defense League
Protecting Your Freedom
If you want to protect your Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Arizona, then you want to join the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL)
2020 (Very narrow Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Ducey)
Session suspended during COVID-19 lock-down. Legislature adjourned on May 26, 2020 without any pro-rights firearms bills passing.
2019 (Very narrow Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Ducey)
SB 1291 – The AzCDL-requested bill overturning the decades old ban on the possession of nunchakus. The law was so broadly written that it outlawed the possession of jump ropes.
2018 (narrow Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Ducey)
HB 2211 – The AzCDL- requested bill that specifically exempts firearms from a personal bankruptcy process.
HB 2212 – Extends the privilege of carrying firearms in Arizona, with certain limited exceptions, to any sworn an certified law enforcement officer employed by any jurisdiction (federal, tribal, state, local, etc.) in the U.S.
2017 (Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Ducey)
HB 2216 – Codifies the act of unlawfully requiring a person to use or subject themselves to electronic firearm tracking technology, a component of “smart gun” technology that limits the operation of a firearm as well as tracking its location and logging its use.
SB 1122 – Prohibits a city, town, county, or the state from requiring the search of any federal or state database as a requirement for transferring personal property, such as your firearm. Passage of this law should help impede efforts we expect to see requiring “universal background checks” on private firearm transfers in Arizona.
SB 1344 – The AzCDL-requested bill that clarifies that state and local governments cannot regulate the possession of weapons by employees or contractors in or on their privately owned property or vehicles. This bill grew out of over-zealous local governments believing they can control all aspects of an employee’s or independent contractor’s private life.
2016 (Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Ducey)
HB 2224 – Prohibits state and local governments from subjecting the private transfer of firearms to any “additional fee, tax, assessment, lien or other encumbrance.”
HB 2338 – Prohibits the governing boards of educational institutions from banning firearms on public rights of way (sidewalks, streets, etc.) that may intersect the campus.
HB 2446 – Removes an outdated reference to the U.S. Department of Treasury when referencing the National Firearms Act in regards to prohibited weapons in Arizona.
SB 1266 – Allows for injunction, fines and civil suits when state agencies, counties and cities disregard state firearm statutes.
SB 1487 – Requires the Arizona Attorney General to investigate local ordinances that violate the Arizona Constitution or state law.
2015 (Republican majority Legislature, newly elected Republican Governor Ducey)
HB 2396 – Removes the restriction on the type of firearm a wildlife guide may carry.
HB 2399 – Adds hunter harassment to the list of crimes that can suspend or revoke a hunting license.
HB 2527 – Strengthens state firearms preemption laws by specifically prohibiting state agencies and political subdivisions from regulation the “transfer” of firearms.
SB 1189 – Allows for the restoration of the right to keep and bear arms when certain convictions are set aside.
2014 (Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Brewer)
HB 2103 – Lowers age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service.
HB 2336 – Clarifies that law enforcement officer cannot carry a firearm and consume alcohol at licensed liquor establishments unless in the performance of their duties.
HB 2443 – Allows active duty military personnel stationed in Arizona to obtain hunting permits.
HB 2483 – Strengthens the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property.
2013 (Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Brewer)
HB 2326 – Gun Owner Registration Blocked. Amended ARS 13-3108 to prohibit state agencies and local governments from maintaining “identifying information of a person who owns, possesses, purchases, sells or transfers a firearm,” except in the course of a law enforcement investigation (e.g., locating a stolen firearm).
HB 2455 – Firearms Destruction Stopped. In 2012, AzCDL-requested legislation that forbade local municipalities from destroying firearms that had been “recovered, lost or abandoned.” Using Clintonesque (depends on what “is” means) rationalization, the cities of Tucson and Phoenix reasoned that current law did not prohibit the destruction of firearms “surrendered” as a result of a “buy back” program. To counter this, HB 2455 was passed that clarifies that firearms “surrendered” or “otherwise received” fall under the definition of property that must be sold and not destroyed.
2012 (Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Brewer)
HB 2457 – You are no longer prohibited from carrying a firearm (i.e., for self-defense) other than one you are hunting with.
HB 2640 – ARS 17-230 was changed to prohibit the Game and Fish Commission from limiting magazine capacity on any authorized firearm regulated by the Commission.
HB 2728 – ARS 13-251 now prohibits the Game and Fish Commission from adopting or enforcing any rule that “prohibits the lawful possession of a silencer or muffler.” The penalty for possession of a sound suppressor was also been removed from ARS 13-309.
SB 1241 – Loophole Plugged. AzCDL-requested legislation that closed loopholes in ARS 12-945 and 13-315 that allowed local jurisdictions to destroy forfeited firearms. This legislation was a follow-up to a 2010 law that required forfeited firearms to be sold to authorized dealers and not be scrapped. Unfortunately, there was a provision in the law that allowed local jurisdictions to determine the disposition of forfeited firearms they acquired. Sadly, this resulted in the loss of revenue to many police departments, short of cash because of ideology based decisions to destroy these firearms. Under the new law, after 60 days unclaimed firearms that can be legally owned must be sold to a business authorized to receive and dispose of fire-arms under state and federal law, for sale to the public. Law enforcement agencies also have the option to trade forfeited firearms to federally licensed dealers for guns, ammo or other law enforcement equipment.
2011 (Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Brewer)
SB 1469 – The elements of justification for the use of force were broadened and strengthened in certain situations. Highlights of the new law include:
- Removal, as an element for justification in defense of another, whether a reasonable person would believe that their intervention is immediately necessary.
- Redefining “acting reasonably” as it applies to crime prevention as acting to prevent what one would reasonably believe is the imminent or actual commission of an offense.
- Establishing a presumption that a person who is unlawfully or forcefully entering your occupied home or vehicle is posing an imminent threat.
SCR 1020 – Protection from Civil Suits. An AzCDL-requested proposed Constitutional Amendment that protects crime victims from law suits by those who harmed them, passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the Secretary of State where it was placed on the 2012 ballot and approved by the majority of voters.
HB 2146 – CCW Training Reform. An AzCDL-requested bill that removed the burden from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to approve CCW training courses, training organizations, and instructors. In a nutshell, Arizona law now mirrors Florida’s when it comes to qualifying for a CCW permit. The main role of DPS is administrative oversight. With the new changes to ARS 13-3112, a person may qualify for an Arizona CCW permit by:
- Completion of courses that use NRA instructors.
- Completion of hunter education courses.
- Completion of certain NRA courses.
- Law enforcement or security guard training.
- Proof of military service.
Possessing a permit from another state that has training or testing requirements.
HB 2645 – Restoration of Rights. A person who is deemed to be a prohibited possessor because of mental illness may petition to have their rights restored via court proceedings.
HB 2006 – Right to Carry. An AzCDL-requested bill repealing the ARS 17-305 prohibition of the carrying of firearms in game refuges.
SB 1334 – Hunting Preemption. Prohibits political subdivisions (counties, cities, etc.) from enacting any ordinance or regulation limiting the area of a lawful hunting event during open season.
SB 1610 – State Firearm. Arizona’s official state firearm is the Colt Single Action Army Revolver.
2010 (Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Brewer)
SB 1108 – The AzCDL-requested “Constitutional Carry” bill, which restored the fundamental right of law-abiding adults to carry weapons, openly or discreetly, without first seeking written permission from the government. In essence, SB 1108 removed the prohibition and penalties for adults (21 and over) who are discreetly carrying a firearm or other weapon without a CCW permit. It also eliminated the “weapons misconduct” language dealing with open and vehicle carry that has been clouded since 1994 by Appellate Court rulings. The CCW permit became optional. The new law also expanded the training opportunities that qualify for obtaining an Arizona CCW permit.
HB 2453 – State Preemption Strengthened. This legislation further limited the ability of political subdivisions
(i.e., counties, cities, towns, etc.) to regulate firearms. Prior law allowed political subdivisions to enact firearms taxes and regulations such as limiting firearm possession in parks and preserves. HB 2543 also added firearms storage and accessories to the list of things that political subdivisions cannot regulate, and in general prohibited them from enacting any local ordinances more restrictive than state law.
SB 1153 – Knife Preemption Added. Arizona became the first state in the nation to enact a knife preemption law. This new law not only prevents political subdivisions from enacting new knife-related ordinances, but voids all existing ordinances more restrictive than state law, similar to the new firearms preemption law.
HB 2307 – Firearms Freedom Act. Exempted, from federal law or regulation, firearms manufactured and sold in Arizona as long as they remain in Arizona. The passage of HB 2307 was the latest in a multi-state challenge to federal authority to regulate firearms. The movement started in Montana and Arizona became the sixth state to pass a Firearms Freedom Act. About 20 other states had introduced similar legislation. Don’t expect to find “Made in Arizona” firearms for sale in your local gun store any time soon. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) already warned Montanans not to try to manufacture any “Made in Montana” firearms and a lawsuit was filed in federal district court to test the new law.
HB 2629 – Firearms Registration Stopped. This bill is a great example of how a few activists can make a real difference! HB 2629 resulted from Mohave County being too exuberant in applying the law requiring the storage of firearms when entering public (i.e., government) buildings. It seems a lot of extra record keeping was in place, in effect registering gun owners and their firearms. Fortunately the process was videotaped by concerned citizens and shared with AzCDL and the legislature. HB 2629 prohibits a political subdivision from requiring or maintaining any permanent or temporary records related to the storage of firearms that contain descriptions (serial numbers, etc.) of fire-arms or their owners. The legislation also clarifies that a person has no duty to retreat in any place they have a right to be.
HB 2002 – Restaurant Carry Improvements. While primarily a bill dealing with liquor licenses and “sampling,” it contained AzCDL-requested language that requires liquor licenses to be displayed “in a conspicuous public area of the licensed premises…” This becomes important in identifying establishments serving alcohol that prohibit firearms, since a “no firearms” sign is required to be posted near the liquor license. Under prior law, the “no firearms” sign could be sitting next to the liquor license in an area not normally seen by the public and anyone entering with a firearm would be unaware that they are breaking the law.
Other Changes supported by AzCDL in 2010
Firearms seized by law enforcement can no longer be scrapped. They must now be sold to authorized dealers. (ARS 13-3105).
Law enforcement may no longer confiscate a firearm from someone with a suspended CCW permit if it is otherwise lawfully possessed. (ARS 13-3112.D).
The courts may no longer order the forfeiture of a firearm when a person is convicted of carrying in a “public establishment” where weapons are prohibited – The reference to ARS 13-3102.A.10 (public establishments) in ARS 13-3105.B (forfeiture) was deleted.
2009 (Republican majority Legislature, Republican Governor Brewer)
SB 1113 – A limited Restaurant Carry bill that passed with amendments, some not supported by AzCDL, that reduced opposition to the bill. In the final version:
- Only concealed firearms are allowed in places serving alcohol.
- Only individuals with CCW permits may carry a concealed firearm where alcohol is served.
- The individual legally carrying the firearm may not consume alcohol.
- The penalty for violating the law is a class 3 misdemeanor.
- Establishments may prohibit firearms by posting a sign in a specified location.
- It is an “affirmative defense” (in court, after being arrested) if the person violating the law “was not informed of the notice,” the sign had “fallen down,” the person is not a resident of Arizona, or the posted sign has not been up for 30 days.
- Lack of knowledge that firearms are prohibited in establishments serving alcohol is no longer a valid defense
SB 1168 – Prevents any private or public employer, property owner, etc., from banning any person from keeping a firearm in a locked vehicle in a parking area on the property, with specific limited exceptions.
SB 1243 – The AzCDL-requested bill that clarified when the defensive display of a firearm is justified. Defensive display of a firearm includes the following:
- Verbally informing another person that you possess a firearm or have one available.
- Exposing or displaying a firearm in a manner that a reasonable person would understand was meant to protect you against another’s use or attempted use of unlawful physical force or deadly physical force.
- Placing your hand on a firearm that is contained in a pocket, purse or other means of containment or transport.
SB 1243 also established that there is no requirement for the defensive display of a firearm before the use of physical force, or the threat of physical force, by a person who is otherwise justified in the use or threatened use of physical force.
SB 1437 – Added persons certified by a “national association of firearms owners” (e.g., NRA) to the list of persons qualified to be an Arizona Gun Safety Program Course instructor. Prior to the passage of SB 1437, instructors could only be certified by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
SB 1449 – A very important bill that retroactively applied the restoration of the “innocent until proven guilty” language, that passed out of the Legislature via SB 1145 in 2006, to cases pending at the time of SB 1145’s passage. The most egregious of these was the trial of Harold Fish, who was hiking in Coconino County when a man with a violent history and his two dogs attacked him. Mr. Fish was forced to fire at his attacker, killing him. What Mr. Fish did not know, and could not know, was the violent history of his attacker. A history, among many other facts of the case, which the judge and prosecutor would not allow in court for the jury to consider. Before Mr. Fish’s trial, the Arizona Legislature returned the law from “guilty until proven innocent”, back to “innocent until proven guilty” in self-defense cases. Unfortunately, the trial was conducted under the old law and Mr. Fish was convicted.
2008 (Republican majority Legislature, Democrat Governor Napolitano)
SB 1070 – Made it easier for those who satisfactorily completed training to obtain a permit, or renew an expired one. If your permit had expired within the last 5 years, and you could provide proof that you took the training via your expired permit or other acceptable documentation, you could renew your permit without retaking the training. Even though the law did not set an expiration date for training, DPS, via administrative rulings, demanded that training had to occur within 12 months of applying for a permit. SB 1070 also expanded the pool of available instructors to automatically include certain NRA certified instructors.
HB 2634 – Clarified that a person with an expunged felony, or who had their rights restored, may obtain a concealed weapons permit. Because the law had been silent in this area, DPS refused to issue permits. HB 2634 benefited from broad bipartisan support and its passage showed a significant shift in attitudes and AzCDL’s clout at the legislature.
2007 (Republican majority Legislature, Democrat Governor Napolitano)
SB 1250 – Removed the requirement to obtain fingerprints upon the first renewal of a CCW permit. In 2006 a bill (HB 2325) passed that eliminated the fingerprint requirement after the second renewal. DPS interpreted this to mean that the second time you renew your permit after August 2005, you don’t need fingerprints, or roughly in the year 2015. SB 1250 removed all that silliness, and eliminated the fingerprint requirement for permit renewals altogether. Starting December 31, 2007, when you renewed your concealed weapons permit, you were no longer required to submit a set of fingerprints.
SB 1258 – Prohibited the Governor, or Adjutant General, from confiscating lawfully held firearms during a state of emergency. The original bill also included a prohibition on the confiscation of ammunition. However, to address the Governor’s concerns, an amendment was added that “Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Governor, the adjutant general or other officials responding to an emergency from ordering the reasonable movement of stores of ammunition out of the way of dangerous conditions.”
HB 2116 – Allowed people to let their grandchildren use their big game permits and tags to take big game under certain limited circumstances.
HB 2469 – Reduced the penalty for not carrying your CCW permit with you to a petty offense (from the prior Class 2 Misdemeanor). It also restricted the application of the law to concealed weapons permit holders, and clarified that a permit holder can only be charged if they are carrying a concealed weapon when they fail to present their permit at the request of a law enforcement officer. If you produced a legible permit that was valid at the time of the violation, when you go to court you “shall not be convicted.” Under prior law, a person was guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor offense if they failed to present a concealed weapons permit upon the request of a law enforcement officer.
2006 (Republican majority Legislature, Democrat Governor Napolitano)
HB 2074 – Eliminated the training requirement for CCW permit renewals. Also established universal recognition of permits held by residents of other states.
HB 2076 – Required uniform compliance with the Firearms Preemption Law passed in 2000 when operators of public (i.e., state and local government) establishments or events decide to prohibit firearms. The operator is now required to provide temporary and secure storage that is readily accessible on entry and permits immediate retrieval upon exit if they choose to prohibit firearms.
HB 2076 also contained a provision allowing firearms to be carried in “map pockets” in vehicles. Since the 1994 State v. Adams appellate court decision, carrying a weapon anywhere in a vehicle that is hidden from view to a casual observer outside the vehicle, could be considered illegal without a CCW permit. Note: This was superseded by Constitutional Carry in 2010.
SB 1145 – Restores “innocent until proven guilty” in self-defense situation that was taken away in 1997. Also strengthens “Castle Doctrine” (stand your ground) rights. Because the bill contained an emergency provision and passed with at least a 2/3 majority in each chamber, it became effective upon the signature of the governor.
2005 (Republican majority Legislature, Democrat Governor Napolitano)
AzCDL was founded in June 2005
HB 2325 – AzCDL-requested legislation that extended the Concealed Weapons (CCW) permit from 4 to 5 years and reduced the initial training requirement from 16 to 8 hours. It also eliminated the fingerprint requirement after the second or subsequent renewal. This was the first improvement to the CCW permit process since the law was created in 1994.
SB 1271 – Allows K-12 schools to offer the Arizona Gun Safety Program.
For a list of the bills currently being monitored by AzCDL, visit our Bill Tracking page.
AzCDL is self-funded and fiercely independent.
We are not beholden to any national organizations or political parties. No outsiders, no sugar daddies, no corporate string pullers, and no New York billionaires. We are funded by your donations.
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The Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) and was founded by a group of local activists who recognized that a sustained, coordinated, statewide effort was critical to restoring and protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.