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Can I Carry a Gun with Me on a College Campus in Arizona?

Posted by attorney Jeremy Geigle

No, you are currently not allowed to carry a gun on college campuses in Arizona. However, there are local politicians who are working to make such behavior legal.

In 2011, the Arizona House approved a bill that would make it legal for individuals to carry guns with them on college and university campuses. Arizona was the second state, along with Utah, to agree to this.

Republican Rep. David Gowan Sr. stated, “The purpose of carrying a gun with you is to defend yourself against that aggressor." The Republican-led House obtained the popular vote to allow firearms to be carried in the open or concealed position on college campuses.

Governor Jan Brewer—a strong gun-rights advocate— would have been the one to sign it into law, but she vetoed the bill. Supporters believe that a person’s constitutional right to bear arms shouldn’t be taken away just because he or she is on campus, and having guns on campus could save lives in the event of a school shooting.

The department of public safety would issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon to a person who is qualified. A carrier would be required by section 4-229 or 4-244 to carry the permit at all times when they are in actual possession of the concealed weapon. If the person is in actual possession of the concealed weapon and is required by section 4-229 or 4-244 to carry the permit, the person shall present the permit for inspection to any law enforcement officer on request.

The department of public safety would issue a permit to an applicant who meets all of the following conditions:

  1. Is a resident of Arizona or a United States citizen.

  2. Is twenty-one years of age or older.

  3. Is not under indictment for and has not been convicted in any jurisdiction of a felony unless that conviction has been expunged, set aside, or vacated, or the applicant’s rights have been restored and the applicant is currently not a prohibited possessor under state or federal law.

  4. Does not suffer from mental illness and has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution.

  5. Is not unlawfully present in the United States.

While it remains illegal to carry a concealed (or unconcealed) weapon while on the campus of a college or university in Arizona, local politicians will likely continue to fight for this bill amid the nation’s concerns of safety against assailants with firearms.

In Arizona, if you fail to store your weapons safely and someone is hurt because of your negligence, you can be charged with endangerment, among other potential offenses.

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