Recently in Arizona there was a Senate bill which passed comparatively quietly and with little opposition. It was SB 1270, and it widely increased the rights of Arizonans to carry weapons as they please in the Grand Canyon state. Prior to this bill, weapons could be carried openly by anyone over the age of 18, however they could not be hid or carried into a restaurant (or any formation serving alcohol) without a permit issued by the Department of Public Safety. The situation has changed considerably now.
Based on the new law, anyone over the age of 21 can legally conceal a weapon and carry it in public without a permit. Removing the burden of a permit from the average citizen, in some eyes, is a positive thing which enables people to enjoy the freedoms which are listed in the Bill of Rights. To others, the idea of anyone being able to put on a gun and conceal it is horrifying. Either way, as the law stands in December 2010, it is legal…to a point.
That point is as soon as the gun owner tries to go into private character. Any store or person is allowed to block weapons from being carried into their formation. Failure to comply could consequence in a criminal trespassing misdemeanor. If the store allows the carrying of weapons (silence is consent) then everyone is in the right. In addition to several exceptions such as school and federal buildings, restaurants which serve alcohol are off limits to those who carry weapons unless they have a hid weapons permits.
In addition, federal law nevertheless states that no one without a permit may carry a weapon hid within 1,000 feet of a school. In urban areas, it is nearly impossible to come within 1,000 feet of a school. consequently, many carrying hid under the constitutional carry bill will nevertheless be technically in violation under the federal law.
Obtaining a permit is comparatively easy. Training must be taken from any NRA and DPS certified instructor, or certain types of training like military service may be substituted. The appropriate paperwork in addition as $60 is sent in with a fingerprint card to DPS, and usually within a few weeks a permit is issued. Arizona is a “shall issue” state, so any citizen without negative markers (criminal record, mental illness, etc) must be issued one.
There are nevertheless several complexities and rules within the weapons laws of Arizona which would take a book to explain. Make sure if you are going to carry a weapon you are well versed in these laws so you do not find yourself in trouble with the law when you least speculate it.