Thread: Open Carry in my Car
I'm fairly new to this site and have spent some time looking for this answer, but have had trouble. What are the laws regarding an 18 year old carrying in a car? I've heard as long as its holstered I'm ok, but am not entirely too sure. Thanks for the help!
Last edited by usmcmustang; 09-21-2011 at 11:57 PM.
ARS 13-3102.B.3 - I recommend reading it. Might even want to print it out and carry it with you.
Vehicle carry is in ARS 13-3102.B.3(e):
"A case, holster, scabbard, pack or luggage that is carried within a means of transportation or within a storage compartment, map pocket, trunk or glove compartment of a means of transportation."
Keep in mind that for the last 16 years, there is a court interpretation of the above language, when it was in another section of the law, that said unless the gun was holstered or cased and in one of the magic places (glove compartment, etc.) that "within a means of transportation" meant the gun must be visible from outside the vehicle - something that is impossible with a gun worn in a holster. Cops have been using that court interpretation to arrest people for 16 years. Now that the law has changed, that doesn't mean they will not try to hang that court ruling on this new section of the law.
My recommendation is that if you are under 21 and carrying a gun in a car that you put it in a case or holster (if it's not in a case or holster it is a violation of the law) and place it in one of the magic spots (glove compartment, etc.).
Last edited by azcdlfred; 09-22-2011 at 03:07 PM.
A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:
2. Carrying a deadly weapon except a pocket knife concealed on his person or concealed within his immediate control in or on a means of transportation if the person is under twenty-one years of age.
B. Subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section shall not apply to:
3. A firearm that is carried in:
(e) A case, holster, scabbard, pack or luggage that is carried within a means of transportation or within a storage compartment, map pocket, trunk or glove compartment of a means of transportation.
Looks to me... my opinion... that OPEN CARRY in a car/truck or on a motorcycle/scooter doesn't violate this law. CONCEALED CARRY would violate the law IF one is under 21, otherwise even concealed carry is within the law.
Further, the law (whatever it is) doesn't apply to a firearm that one has cased, holstered, scabbarded, or otherwise packaged if one has it in some type of "storage compartment" within the vehicle, e.g. trunk or glove compartment of a car or perhaps saddle bags of a motorcycle.
So, if on the day before my 21st birthday (still only 20 at that point) I ride my motorcycle into AZ and I have a .45 holstered and visible on my hip (OPEN CARRY ON MY PERSON), I'm within the law. If, while I'm there I decide to stow my holstered .45 in my saddlebags and ride around like that, I'm still within the law because then the law (whatever it is) doesn't apply. The next day I'm 21 years old and I decide to CONCEAL CARRY ON MY PERSON under the same circumstances as before and I'm within the law also. Also, now that I'm 21 I can do either in or on my means of transportation ... OPEN CARRY or CONCEAL CARRY at my discretion.
Is there some other interpretation I'm not grasping here?
Last edited by usmcmustang; 09-22-2011 at 03:00 PM.
However if you are sitting in a vehicle, wearing a holstered gun, unless your vehicle is transparent, your gun is concealed from view outside of the vehicle.
Like I said in my previous post, that same language was in the old law for 16 years before the passage of Constitutional Carry. Now, that language only applies to under 21 and is in a different sub-section of the law. Here's where it get's tricky. In 1994, an appeals court ruled that "within a means of transportation" meant the firearam must be obvious to ordinary observation. Keep in mind, that for the last 16 years, cops have been arresting people using the State v. Adams decision. Now the law has changed, but the language used in State v. Adams still exists, albiet in another subsection.
So, it boils down to, are you absolutely certain that when you are under 21 and pulled over by a cop who finds out that you are wearing a holstered gun that you won't be arrested because it was not visible from outside the vehicle? And if you are arrested, do you have the financial means to defend the charges?
This is all "what if" and conjecture, but from my perspective, the smartest thing to do if you are 21 and getting into a car would be to put the gun in a case and put it in the glove compartment, map pocket, etc.
My two cents,
I just read the AZ vs. Adams 1997 appeal's case. Seems the weapon was found in the car jammed between the passenger seat and the door during a search incident to an arrest. The accused was the passenger, but when the weapon was found the accused wasn't even in the car. I don't see myself ever in that situation, but who knows.
Last edited by usmcmustang; 09-23-2011 at 12:02 AM.