Is It Legal to Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Arizona?

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Is It Legal to Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Arizona?

Did you know that in Arizona, most adults over 18 years old can legally open-carry a firearm? But when it comes to carrying a gun in your car, there can be many restrictions depending on your age, location, criminal history, and whether or not the gun is loaded. 

In order to protect your rights and be a responsible gun owner, it’s crucial that you understand when and where it is legal to carry a firearm in our state. Continue reading to learn more about Arizona’s laws regarding guns in vehicles. 

Can You Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Arizona?

According to Arizona’s gun laws, most adults who are 21 years of age or older can legally carry a loaded handgun in their car. It does not matter if the gun is concealed or openly visible. According to Arizona gun laws, adults 21 and older can concealed carry without a permit or license.  

But if you are 18 to 20 years old, you can only open-carry the gun in your car—that means the gun or the case it’s in must be visible from the outside when looking into the vehicle. If the gun isn’t visible, it must be transported in a gun case, holster, glove compartment, or luggage. Whatever you use to transport the gun must be visible from outside the car when looking in. 

However, it is illegal for any adults who are considered “prohibited possessors” to carry a gun at all. According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-3101, a prohibited possessor is someone who: 

  • May be a danger to themself or to others
  • Has felony convictions in any state
  • Is currently serving a term in a correctional or detention facility
  • Is on probation for domestic violence or for a felony offense

You May Not Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Arizona in These Places


In Arizona, it is legal to carry a gun in your car on K-12 school property as long as it is unloaded. If you are not in the vehicle, the car must remain locked and the gun must be out of sight. 

While colleges and universities decide their own firearm rules, they cannot prohibit the concealed carry of guns in vehicles on a public right-of-way.

Private Property

Private property owners in Arizona have the right to require guns to be concealed when in cars in their parking lots. However, they can also fully prohibit guns in: 

  • Parking areas with a fence or barrier that have security access and firearm storage
  • Owner-occupied and single-family home parking areas
  • Certain U.S. government military property parking areas
  • State Border Crossings

Gun laws vary from state to state, and it isn’t legal to carry a loaded gun in your car everywhere. It is only legal to cross state lines while carrying a gun if you are traveling to and from places where you are legally allowed to own the gun. The gun and any ammunition you have in the vehicle must also be locked away and out of your reach while traveling.  

What to Do If You Get Pulled Over with a Gun in Your Car

If you get pulled over in Arizona, you don’t have to tell the police officer you have a gun in the vehicle unless they specifically ask you. However, you must tell the truth when asked—you could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor if you lie to the police about having a gun in your car. 

Even if you don’t have a firearm in the car, it’s crucial that you remain calm—don’t make any sudden movements when you’re pulled over. Reaching into the glove compartment without warning could be misinterpreted as reaching for a gun, which will escalate the situation. 

Scottsdale, AZ Criminal Defense Lawyer

Arizona gun laws may not be very strict, but violations are harshly punished. If you get charged with a crime involving a firearm, you’ll need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. We’ll help you protect your rights and fight for the best outcome for your case. Call us today at 480-481-0616 to schedule a free consultation. 


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/28/2023). Photo by Tom Def on Unsplash