CCW or Not? What are the advantages to having a Concealed Carry Permit in Arizona?

Why obtain an Arizona CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) Permit? Also referred at CWP (Concealed Weapon Permit).

Arizona currently has a population of around 7.4 million residents. Only 391,000 Arizona State concealed carry permits have been issued. Now I find that kind of puzzling because we are a “shall issue” permit state, so there’s only a few things that would prevent you from getting your permit. We also honor all 50 states, meaning anyone from any state can come here and get an Arizona CWP (Concealed Weapon Permit), for example taking your course while on a short visit to Arizona.

It is true, Arizona does NOT require a permit to carry. However, if you plan to carry a weapon on your person or vicinity, you must know all laws pertaining to firearms and self-defense. It’s about making the right decisions to protect yourself physically and legally.
Open carry or visible carry is legal in Arizona for any person who is at least 18 years old and who can legally possess a firearm, this includes in your vehicle as long as the firearm is in plain view. Anyone who is at least 21 years old who can legally possess a firearm, may conceal carry a firearm without a permit, this includes concealed in your vehicle. If you are prior military or law enforcement you don’t even have to take a CWP course, just file the paperwork and fingerprints with the State and they will issue you a permit.
So, with all these Wild Wild West Arizona laws, why would anyone even consider getting a CWP? Why pay the cost of a firearms safety course, fingerprints, and the State fee to obtain your permit? Well, for over a year now I’ve been teaching Arizona CWP classes and I can tell you what my students are saying and my thoughts, as an experienced 20-year veteran of law enforcement, the pros of having a CWP.

Now I’d like to tell you that the proper CWP course is filled with valuable information, regardless of whether you choose to obtain a permit or not.

Topics include:
Arizona Laws pertaining not only to Concealed Carry but also those laws covering self-defense, defense of another and defense of property.

You will learn about Arizona being a Castle Doctrine state. Castle Doctrine is similar to “Stand your Ground” but is typically limited to real property including a person’s home. The concept is that an individual has a right to be safe and secure within his or her own home or “castle” and should not have to retreat from his or her home in order to be safe. There is also no duty to retreat if you are in a place where you may legally be, and you are not engaged in an unlawful act.

Other topics covered are justification of Use of Force, Use of Deadly Force, Use of Physical Force in Defense of Premises, Use of Physical Force in Defense of Property and Use of Force in Crime Prevention, this includes Use of Deadly Force in Defense of another.
So, as you see a lot of useful information is covered during a CWP course. As I mentioned, many students have taken the course never planning to submit for a CWP Permit, they took it for the valuable information. Many stated that they have firearms in the home and wanted to learn the laws of the land, or state. I’ve had others tell me that they travel frequently, and they liked the fact that when you obtain an Arizona CWP that you have reciprocity in 37 other states.

Through my Law Enforcement career, I’ve dealt with many people who were armed with firearms. Most of them were contacted in vehicles during traffic stops. When the driver or a passenger handed me their identification and with it was their CWP, commonly two things crossed my mind. The first was I was most likely dealing with a well-informed responsible gun owner, and the second was that I was not dealing with someone who had a serious criminal record. (See ARS 13-3102)

Please refer to our website for many more resources.
As an Official Partner with USCCA we would like to provide you with a FREE Guide on “10 Things You Need to Know Before You Carry Concealed” call or send us an email and we will get to you right away.

For any questions regarding my article, please email me at
[email protected]
Oz Johnson/Lead Instructor, NRA Certified
602-448-8283 / 602-410-7355