Follow These Steps If You Get Pulled Over With a Gun in Arizona
The state of Arizona ranks 7th in the nation in total number of registered firearms. If you happen to own one of the more than 200,000 guns in the state, and you’re traveling with it, chances are, that you’ll be pulled over with a gun in the car at some point in your life. Our attorneys at Coolidge Law want to make sure you know what to do if you get pulled over with a gun in Arizona.
Be polite. Work with the officer by being compliant and respectful. If you feel that the officer isn’t treating you with the same respect, take down their information and address the situation in court. Avoid confrontation! Don’t try to defend yourself outside of the courtroom. Wait for the right place and the right time.
If you’re in Arizona and you get pulled over with a gun in the car, follow these steps:
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel
- If asked, tell them you are carrying a gun
- Ask why you were pulled over
Remember: if you’re unsure of the situation you can film it using your cell phone. Especially if it seems like the person pulling you over might not be a real cop.
Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights is the first step to keep you feeling safe. If you get pulled over in Arizona with a gun, you should know the following:
In Arizona, you may openly carry a handgun. You are also allowed to concealed carry without a license, meaning Arizona does not require you to register your gun; so the need for a permit does not apply.
You are legally allowed to drive with your gun. There are only a few criteria you must meet:
- You must be 21 years of age or older to carry it loaded and concealed without a permit
- You must be legally allowed to own a gun
- If you’re 18-20 years old, you must drive with the gun in a case, holster, storage compartment, trunk, or similar enclosure like a glove compartment
Another important thing to know is that if you get pulled over, you are not required to notify the officer that you have a gun in your possession. However, if an officer asks you if you have a firearm in the car, you must give an answer. Remember that you’re not acting outside of the law by driving with a gun. This knowledge will help you feel calm if you do get pulled over.
The officer that pulled you over may ask you to hand over your gun. This isn’t permanent. They only want to hang onto it until the interaction is over, then they will return your weapon.
Another tip to remember: if you’re driving with a gun in your glove compartment, where most of us keep our license and registration, do not automatically open it to retrieve your information. Wait until the officer who pulled you over asks for this info. Before grabbing what you need, tell the officer that there is a gun in the compartment. This transparency will keep you safe. Don’t reach for your gun! Just disclose the location of it when asked.
If you feel that your rights are being breached, take it up with your attorney, not the officer. You don’t want to get a ticket, especially if you’re operating under the law. Contact Coolidge Law Firm if you find yourself in need of an attorney.