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Thread: Going Camping in Arizona... Any Advice on Carrying Without Being Arrested?

  1. #1
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    Wink Going Camping in Arizona... Any Advice on Carrying Without Being Arrested?

    First off, I am an OVER 21 male from California traveling to Arizona.

    Also, I want to thank everybody for their response to this in advance, good or bad. Before you read through my long thread, I will say that I have browsed this site all day and I am posting what I believe to be my rights within the law. I am just confirming as I don't want to be in any trouble.

    I will be in the area of Tucson and Tombstone in a few weeks. I have a general understanding of the law but I just want to make absolutely sure not to get into any hot water. I will be camping and traveling many back roads in Southeast AZ and will most likely run into several border checkpoints along the way. This is where I get kind of scared being from California.

    Since I'm from California, everything inside me screams, "Lock up the handgun in a storage case, store the ammo separately, make sure it's not loaded." Obviously I don't have to do that in Arizona, but stuff you can do there scares the crap out of me because it's illegal where I come from.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong. I plan to possibly be in and out of National Forest/BLM land while camping and will be taking 2 handguns and a shotgun. Please correct me if any of these are wrong or if you have any helpful tips.

    Stuff I can do:
    1. I may carry a loaded gun in the glove compartment (it does not lock).
    2. I may carry a loaded gun on my hip in a holster.
    3. I may open carry or concealed carry at my campsite.
    4. I may keep my gun stored loaded in my backpack in the back of the truck.
    5. I may keep a shotgun out of sight (concealed) within my vehicle.
    6. If a cop or border patrol agent asked me if I have a concealed weapon, I should answer YES SIR.
    7. I'm assuming jacketed hollow point bullets are okay.
    8. I may LOCK my gun up in a lockable container at any point and that is okay.

    Stuff I should NOT do:

    1. I should NOT stuff the gun inside the side of the door in the truck (storage area).
    2. I should NOT keep the gun stuffed under the seat.
    3. I should NOT keep the gun hidden anywhere near me that's not the glove compartment or my hip in a holster.


    I'm sorry if these seem like dumb questions. I am from California and half the things on this list would get me a felony. So you can understand my apprehension about keeping a gun in the glove compartment. That scares the crap out of me to be honest. I'm so used to NOT doing that and it's honestly giving me a bit of anxiety. I feel like just locking my gun up in a container the whole trip but then again, why should I?
    Last edited by CaliforniaJinx; 10-02-2011 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    Welcome to Arizona and thank you for taking the time to research your questions! I'll try and answer the general gun toting questions. As far as the outdoors and camping stuff, it's something I don't do.

    I recommend purchasing the Arizona Gun Owner's Guide .

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaJinx View Post
    Stuff I can do:
    1. I may carry a loaded gun in the glove compartment (it does not lock).
    2. I may carry a loaded gun on my hip in a holster.
    3. I may open carry or concealed carry at my campsite.
    4. I may keep my gun stored loaded in my backpack in the back of the truck.
    5. I may keep a shotgun out of sight (concealed) within my vehicle.
    6. If a cop or border patrol agent asked me if I have a concealed weapon, I should answer YES SIR.
    7. I'm assuming jacketed hollow point bullets are okay.
    8. I may LOCK my gun up in a lockable container at any point and that is okay.
    Yes to all of the above. Those on this list that spend time communing with nature and camping out can better answer the questions about what you can and cannot do on federal and state land camping out.

    Be aware that if you are on Indian Reservations, Arizona state gun laws do not apply and tribal laws rule. Most ban at least the carrying of guns.

    You do NOT have to keep your gun in the glove compartment. For 21 and over, there are generally no restrictions on where or how the gun is carried, open or discreetly, on your person or in a vehicle (exceptions involve schools, places that serve alcohol, government owned buildings, etc.).

    Also, in Arizona law there is no distinction between a loaded and unloaded gun. Load your pistol and put one in the chamber.

    ARS 13-3102 is the law on "misconduct" with a weapon that covers most of what you are talking about. Be aware that the law does not "grant" diddly-squat. It just tells you what you legally cannot do.

    Other sections also cover self-defense, threat, intimidation, assualt, etc. The stuff that happens or can happen to you, if you use your gun. Basic rule - if it's not worth dying for, it's not worth shooting for.

    Stuff I should NOT do:

    1. I should NOT stuff the gun inside the side of the door in the truck (storage area).
    2. I should NOT keep the gun stuffed under the seat.
    3. I should NOT keep the gun hidden anywhere near me that's not the glove compartment or my hip in a holster.
    You CAN legally do all of the above. From a practical perspecitve, a gun that is not within reach (preferably worn in a holster) is useless.

    I feel like just locking my gun up in a container the whole trip but then again, why should I?
    That's the same as not owning a gun. Might as well stay in California

    You're in Arizona - exericse you right to bear arms and smell the freedom.

    Fred
    Last edited by azcdlfred; 10-02-2011 at 07:07 PM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Border Patrol could care less if you're armed. They won't even ask. 'Best place for your handgun is on you, holstered. How you carry is up to you... but openly is preferred. BLM and 'National Park' lands must abide by state law. No hunting in the parks... check with the local rangers as to BLM land. OC is fine in the parks and BLM areas.... or open range desert. The Rez is no guns... It's OK to traverse the Rez areas armed, but park the gun before you get out of the vehicle. You need not hide your 'loaded' shotgun.

    This ain't California. You might feel as to you just escaped thru the 'iron curtain' initially. 'Comin' thru Yuma crossing? Pull over on the AZ side of the bridge and experience real freedom for a change.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    More on camping...

    This is high plains desert... 3000, 4000+' elevation. Water is essential... anywhere. Bring canteens. There's still a drought going one... despite the monsoons. Use a camp stove. Open fires may be prohibited in some places. Be aware that everything bites, including the plants. The rattlesnakes are nothing to fool with, particularly the Green Mohave's. They have a white stripe bordered by black stripes at the base of the rattle. Western Diamondbacks have a 'coon tail' of evenly spaced black and white rings. The Mohave venom contains a neurotoxin comparable to a Cobra.

    Cell phone coverage may be spotty due to the mountains. Do not touch the cactus... particularly the fuzzy looking ones. That's Cholla. The spines are tiny and will penetrate anything, including leather gloves. If you get a cholla ball on your clothing... scrape it off with a knife or a stick. Don't use your fingers.

    You'll need sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat. I don't recommed going into the desert in shorts and sneakers. Wear long pants (jeans) and boots. Long sleeved shirts as well. Get a neckerchief and wear it doubled a couple times close to your neck to keep the sweat from making you miserable. The main 'bugs' to avoid are scorpions and wolf spiders. The smaller and clearer the claws on the scorp, the worse they are. Those are Bark Scorps. Shake your boots and clothing out before putting them on.

    Bring tweezes and a magnifying glass for removing cactus needles. You'll get 'em on you... no matter what.

    Other critters to avoid include coyotes, Javelina, Gray wolves, Cougars and bears. The Javelina are especially nasty when they have little ones around. Secure your food sources/garbage and do your cooking at a good distance from your actual campsite. Welcome to the Sonora desert... it's different here.
    Last edited by Sonora Rebel; 10-03-2011 at 12:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Regular Member March Hare's Avatar
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    Cactus thorns.....

    Duct or Duck (your choice) tape work well to remove the very fine thorns like you find on Prickly Pear cactus and its fruit.
    Just stick it on, peel it off and it will pull them out.

    I second Sonoras words on water, it's extremely important to have enough with you, more people get in trouble due to dehydration than anything else.

    Be safe and have fun in AZ!

    -MH
    Last edited by March Hare; 10-03-2011 at 01:33 PM.
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    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    Welcome to Arizona

    Welcome to the free State of Arizona. You might as well have crossed into a different country. We are NOT California, and we work hard to make sure it doesn't become like it as well. Carry open or concealed if over 21 -- no permit required. The only caveat here is carrying in places where alcohol is served for on-premises consumption. (Not just bars). To carry there you must: have a CWP, carry concealed, not drink alcohol, and no signage must be posted prohibiting firearms. Indian lands have their own rules. Otherwise, carry as you please.

    And heed every word SR said about being in the desert. It's rough, rugged, and mercilessly unforgiving to the unprepared -- but it is gorgeous and breathtaking. Enjoy your stay!

  7. #7
    Regular Member Super Saiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonora Rebel View Post
    Bring tweezes and a magnifying glass for removing cactus needles. You'll get 'em on you... no matter what.
    Reminds me of the time I went out hiking and tripped, only to have my right hand land on a fallen piece of cactus. Had the tweezers with me, thankfully, otherwise it would have been a real short hike.

  8. #8
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Saiyan View Post
    Reminds me of the time I went out hiking and tripped, only to have my right hand land on a fallen piece of cactus. Had the tweezers with me, thankfully, otherwise it would have been a real short hike.
    When we walk our dogs, I carry a Leatherman tool that has pliers for pulling out stuff. One my Beagles stuck his nose in a Cholla "branch" that had fallen on the ground - he didn't appreciate what I had to do. I like that idea of duck/duct tape. Might start to carry some.

    Sonoran Rebel is correct - that stuff goes through leather.

    Fred

  9. #9
    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
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    Just my two cents, if I was down south in the rural areas I'd pack a rifle.
    Freedom is a bit like sex, when your getting it you take it for granted, when you're not you want it bad, other people get mad at you for having it and others want to take it away from you so only they have it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix David View Post
    Just my two cents, if I was down south in the rural areas I'd pack a rifle.
    I'm pretty well north but I still keep a rifle handy as often as possible.

    Me and the little guy last Memorial Day weekend, camping near the Hassayampa river south of Wilhoit:

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