Arizona has historically been a firearm-friendly state. The right to keep and bear arms (2nd Amendment) is something we in Arizona value and hold dear. However, if you are a convicted felon, or you have been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, you are likely prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm in Arizona (Prohibited Possessor).
The Arizona prohibited possessor law is strict and unforgiving. If someone were to leave a gun in your car or home and you are searched for any reason, the police will likely consider that weapon to be yours because the law is not just about having a gun on your person, it is about having a firearm in your area of control.
Pro Tip: Stay the hell away from guns if you are a prohibited possessor.
Odds are if you are found with a gun in your car, house, garage, outbuilding, etc., you are going to be found guilty of being a prohibited possessor. If you find yourself in this situation, your best chance at freedom is a Board-Certified Criminal Defense Specialist, like Phoenix Attorney, Howard Snader. He is a top Phoenix Defense Attorney with a long track record of success with cases involving weapons charges in Arizona.
If you are an Arizona resident who is 21-year-old or older, you are allowed to carry a gun, and even a concealed weapon, without a permit if you are not legally prohibited from doing so. However, there are some places where no firearms can be carried (with few exceptions for law enforcement), such as the schools, federal buildings (e.g. post offices), and polling places. You may also have some limitations when in State or National Parks. In most cases, you are NOT allowed to carry on Indian Property/Reservations. If you have a weapon permit from another state, Arizona may honor the permit if you meet certain conditions.
According to A.R.S. § 13-3101 (A)(7), a Prohibited Possessor, or a person who cannot in any way be in possession of a weapon, is anyone who:
A person who is a prohibited possessor in Arizona will likely be charged with a class 4 felony. If you are convicted of the charges, you are looking at up to 3.75 years in prison but if you lost your right to own a firearm due to a prior felony conviction, the judge will likely give you a longer prison sentence.
If you are charged with being a prohibited possessor in Arizona, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you formulate viable defenses that may keep you out of jail or minimize the amount of time that you are locked up. Often, a skilled criminal lawyer can argue procedural and constitutional defenses successfully. For example, under the Fourth Amendment, police officers can’t frisk just anyone who seems to be carrying a gun. Under an Arizona Supreme Court ruling, they must believe that the person they frisk is engaging in criminal conduct and is armed and dangerous.
I have successfully argued the “gun” was not operable, or otherwise a gun under the law. I have successfully argued that my client did not and could not have known his rights had not been reinstated where probation and the court advised him of such. Unfortunately, the paperwork was never processed to reinstate his rights. I have been successful in proving my client did not know the weapon was present or otherwise had no legitimate means to access a weapon when it was within community property.
Finding the best Phoenix criminal defense attorney to represent you when you are facing prohibited possessor charges is one way you can increase your chances of beating the charges. You need a criminal lawyer who has experience with weapons charges and has a track record of producing successful outcomes in prohibited possessor cases. Board Certified Phoenix criminal defense lawyer, Howard Snader is one such attorney. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and defense strategy session. We want to help you.