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Know the Laws: Arizona

UPDATED September 15, 2017

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Below is information about state gun laws in Arizona.  A restraining order or criminal conviction may make it illegal for an abuser to have a gun. However, in addition to these state-specific laws, there are also federal gun laws that could apply. To fully understand all of the legal protections available, it is important that you also read the Federal Gun Laws pages.

Please consider getting in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws in your area. Please go to AZ Where to Find Help to find domestic violence organizations and lawyers in your area.

Guns and Criminal Convictions

back to topIf the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?

Arizona state law says that if a person has been convicted of a felony in any state, is currently on probation for a domestic violence offense (as defined by law), has been found "guilty except insane" of a crime, or has been found incompetent by a court pursuant to rule 11, Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, and who has not been found competent since that time s/he cannot have or buy a gun.*  Federal laws, which apply to all states, also restrict a person's right to have a gun if s/he has been convicted of certain crimes.  Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

* A.R.S. § 13-3101(A)(7)(b),(d),(f),(g)

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back to topHow can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?

Domestic violence misdemeanor and felony records are open to the public, but they are not always easy to access.  If you know the exact courthouse where your abuser may have been convicted, you can go to the courthouse and ask the clerk of court for access to those records.

Domestic violence misdemeanor and felony records are also kept in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  However, no one other than law enforcement officials and licensed firearm sellers are allowed to search the NICS. Your local police department may be willing to search NICS for you if you ask, but they are not required to do so.

To read more about the NICS, please see the question, What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?


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WomensLaw.org thanks Merri Tiseth, Legal Advocacy Hotline Program Manager, at the AZCADV for her help in reviewing this information.

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