Why a Concealed Weapons Permit In AZ Is Superior To Relying on the Constitutional Carry Law Alone
Obtaining a concealed weapons permit, as I explained in my last article, is time consuming and costs money. Instead, a person could choose to rely on the “Constitutional Carry Law,” that was recently enacted. This is actually a poor decision. There are many extra restrictions which could land someone in hot water rather quickly. Obtaining a permit is well worth the time and money invested, and could end up saving someone a much larger amount of time and money.
The first thing that should be understood is the federal weapons-free school laws. Simply put, no one besides a peace officer or a person with a concealed weapons permit may have a concealed weapon within 1,000 feet of a school zone. If you were to draw out most urban areas and plot out this 1,000ft distance in circles, you would find that you are almost completely unable to travel in an urban area without crossing one of the boundaries. This is normally not an issue as federal police do not enforce traffic regulations or petty crime, however the person without a concealed weapons permit is in technical violation and could theoretically be charged with a crime.
Next is the restaurant issue. Any establishment which serves alcohol is off limits to anyone without a concealed weapons permit. Even then, they may restrict weapons (as many any property owner), but there is no allowance for someone without a permit to carry in a restaurant or bar. Of course, even with a permit the weapon must be completely concealed and the permit holder may not consume alcohol while carrying.
In addition to the stated reasons, there are several more complex ones at work in this situation. A person carrying a concealed weapon is advised to disclose that fact to any police officer who is in contact with them. This is not to threaten, obviously, but to let them know so they are not “surprised” if they catch a glimpse of it. A permit, by virtue of requiring a background check and fingerprints, vets the holder in a way. While it is in no way an assurance of innocence, it give a bit more of a mantle of reliability and uprightness to the person who possesses it. This is obviously out the window if the permit holder is caught violating a law, for example carrying in a restaurant that clearly does not allow it.
Obtaining a permit requires training that others would not receive as well. The legal statutes can be complex and should be understood before one begins carrying a weapon. The class required to get a permit review these, and provide the permit holder with resources for further education. There are many reasons to obtain a permit, both stated and implied. Overall, the commitment of eight hours and a hundred dollars is well worth the added benefit for the citizen who wishes to be armed.