In the September 2020 issue of Guns and Ammo, Arizona is rated the best state for concealed carry.  This is the EIGHTH consecutive year Guns and Ammo magazine has rated Arizona as the #1 state for gun owners.

For 2020, state concealed carry laws were evaluated on:

  • Permit issuance
  • Reciprocity/recognition
  • Training requirements
  • Permit fees
  • Castle Doctrine
  • Duty to inform law-enforcement
  • Firearms preemption laws
  • Non-resident permit issuance
  • Prior Guns and Ammo “Best State” ratings

Once again, Arizona was rated #1.  Quoting from the article:

Arizona issues permits though it doesn’t require them for concealed carry if you are over 21.  Open carry is legal at the age of 18.  Arizona managed to score top marks in every category we used for this evaluation, and also does well in the intangible categories such as locations where carry is prohibited. Permits, when they are desired, cost $60 for the first 5 years and $43 for subsequent renewals.  Since it does not require a permit, it gets a full 5 points in the fee category regardless of the permit’s costs.  Guns locked out of sight in privately owned vehicles, including motorcycles, cannot be prohibited by property owners or employers, whether public or private.  As far as CCW goes, AZ is about as good as it gets.

Arizona’s #1 rating is primarily because of what AzCDL has accomplished.  Prior to AzCDL’s involvement Arizona’s CCW system was onerous and discouraged applications.  Permits were only good for 4 years and required training, testing and additional fingerprinting to renew.  Court cases narrowed the interpretation of open carry to a point where the only way to safely openly carry your firearm and avoid arrest was by having a CCW permit.   In self-defense situations, the burden of proof was on YOU to prove your innocence – after you admitted to the “crime.”  Firearms preemption was Balkanized.  Castle doctrine and “no duty to retreat” laws were weak.

AzCDL was created by a handful of activists in 2005 who didn’t like the status quo.  By 2010 we achieved Constitutional Carry.  CCW permits are now optional and the process to obtain a permit is more realistic.  Arizona permits are recognized in the majority of states.  Arizona is also one of the few states that recognize all permits from all states – again thanks to AzCDL.

Because of AzCDL’s efforts, you are now “innocent until proven guilty” when defending yourself.   Firearms preemption has been strengthened.  We were even successful in getting the Arizona Constitution changed to protect law-abiding citizens from law suits when they defend themselves.  Visit our Accomplishments and Why AzCDL web pages to learn more about what AzCDL has accomplished.

We are proud that AzCDL’s efforts, with the support of our members, have again garnered this high rating for Arizona from such a prestigious publication.  However, from our perspective, there is a lot more that needs to be done to make Arizona truly a free state when it comes to honoring your constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.  With your continued support we can achieve that goal.