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How to Buy a Gun in Arizona Legally in 7 Steps

buy a gun in Arizona

The Second Amendment is alive and well in the Grand Canyon State, which is good news if you’re looking to  buy a gun in Arizona. No special licensing or certification is necessary, for example, so state residents can walk into any gun shop and purchase a firearm. You’ll still have to prove your identity, age, and residence, though, because legally purchasing a firearm in Arizona is only applicable to state residents of a certain age who aren’t banned from buying a gun. There are also different requirements for out-of-state buyers. 

It’s also possible to make your purchase even easier by applying for a concealed carry permit because it allows you to skip the background check. It isn’t required to carry your firearm in Arizona, but the training involved and other benefits make it worthwhile. This guide will explain how to buy a gun in Arizona without breaking any laws.

Documents You’ll Need to Buy a Gun in Arizona

Exercising your Second Amendment right in Arizona is an exciting time, and you can make the process far more straightforward by learning what to expect before visiting any licensed retailer. Your gun dealer will require some documentation before allowing you to buy a gun, although none of this is necessary for a private sale. Be prepared to fill out some forms at the firearm shop before completing the deal. Here’s what you’ll need:

Government ID

An acceptable form of government ID containing your name, birthdate, address, picture, and signature is necessary for all firearm purchases. Keep in mind that out-of-state buyers will go through a different process, because the dealer must ensure the firearm is legal in that state before concluding the purchase. 

Form 4473

You’ll have to fill out form 4473 – Firearms Transaction Record – from the U.S. Department of Justice before the sale can finalize. This form includes much of the same information that’s on your government-issued identification card, and additional questions on criminal history and place of birth. 

Background Check

Completing a background check is necessary before you can buy a gun from a licensed dealer in Arizona. Gun buyers in the state are subject to reviews from the Arizona Firearms Clearance Center and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The background check typically takes about a minute unless there’s something on your record that requires further investigation.

Filling out this paperwork is relatively painless and ensures the purchase is legal in the federal government’s eyes. This protocol isn’t unique to Arizona, as these background checks are mandatory on all firearm purchases from licensed dealers in the United States.

7 Steps to Purchasing a Gun in Arizona

The paperwork you’ll have to fill out before you buy a gun in Arizona is only part of the process. A few other steps are necessary to ensure the process moves smoothly, as well. Here’s a look at the other steps you’ll need to complete to finalize your firearm purchase:

1. Determine You Have the Funds

The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure you can afford to buy a gun. Arizona has no registration costs, but you’ll still need the money to buy the weapon and its ammunition. Licensed dealers are usually willing to take credit cards, while a private seller will likely only accept cash.

2. Ensure You Aren’t Prohibited

It’s a good idea to go through the list of items that could prohibit you from purchasing a firearm in Arizona. You must: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen or have the necessary exception status
  • Be at least 18 years old (21 to buy a handgun)
  • Have a history free of felonies or domestic violence. 

It’s also possible to have your gun rights restored if something on your record prohibits you from buying right now. This process involves filing an application in the Supreme Court and could take a bit of time to complete.

3. Find a Dealer

Your area might have multiple gun shops, so it’s a good idea to read some online reviews and find one with a solid local reputation. You’ll also find different firearm types at the various licensed dealers, giving you all kinds of options when making your purchase. 

4. Check the Gun’s Legality

Pretty much any type of gun is legal for Arizona residents to purchase, and that includes most semiautomatic or assault-style rifles. Any weapon you find at a licensed dealer is legal to buy and use in the state. Out-of-state buyers could be restricted, though, as some weapons aren’t legal in other parts of the country and the laws in their home states will apply to the transaction.

5. Pass the Background Check

You’ll have to pass the background check before finalizing your purchase. Most assessments take seconds to complete, but the FBI can issue a delay that gives them up to three days to research your history if any red flags appear. The federal government could also deny your background check if something on your record prohibits you from owning a firearm, at which point you can file an appeal with the FBI.

6. Get a Concealed Carry Permit

concealed weapon training in Arizona

Obtaining your concealed carry permit allows you to bypass the background check when you buy a gun in Arizona. You aren’t required to have this permit to carry a concealed weapon, but skipping the background check can speed up your purchase. It also makes it legal to carry your firearm in reciprocating states.

7. Take Possession

Arizona residents can take possession of your new weapon without any waiting period once you complete the background check and pay the dealer. Out-of-state buyers must have any handguns they purchase shipped to their home states, on the other hand. They can take immediate possession of long guns if they reside in a state without waiting periods, however.

The gun-buying laws in Arizona are relatively straightforward for locals because you can leave a licensed shop with your new firearm in a matter of minutes. Learning how the process works before heading to a gun dealer ensures you know what to expect and can put your mind at ease.

Get Concealed Carry Certification in Arizona

It’s pretty easy to buy a gun in Arizona, since all you’ll need is a background check and the money to pay for your firearm. It’s still a good idea to learn how the process works, though, because you have to show state ID and the federal government requires some paperwork. Obtaining your concealed carry permit makes buying a gun even more straightforward by allowing you to skip the background check. 
Concealed Coalition offers concealed carry training and certification in Arizona that will teach you the state’s gun laws and how to use your firearm safely. Our experts have trained over a million responsible gun owners nationwide through local and online sessions. Contact our team today to go over your firearm education needs.