Misconduct Involving Weapons FAQs
Despite the fact that Arizona has relatively lax gun laws compared to much of the country, there are still situations in which a lawful owner is prohibited from carrying a firearm. Arizona refers to these offenses as misconduct involving weapons, which is a serious crime that can have life-changing consequences if you are convicted.
At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we want to make sure you have all the information necessary to approach your case with confidence. For this reason, our Phoenix criminal defense attorney put together a list of misconduct involving weapons FAQs that cover some of the most basic questions.
Misconduct involving weapons is a crime that restricts what lawful owners of firearms can do with their weapons. For example, under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3102, it is against the law to possess a firearm in any of the following situations:
- In a car, if the weapon was used to commit a serious offense;
- If the firearm has been defaced;
- If you have a prior felony conviction;
- While on school grounds; and
- While at a place where people vote.
These are just a few of the ways someone can violate the Arizona weapons misconduct statute; there are several others. For example, discharging a gun in a public place to assist, promote or further the interests of a gang is also considered weapons misconduct. Those with questions about how the law applies in their case should reach out to an attorney experienced in handling weapons charges to learn more.
It depends. Misconduct involving weapons can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. For example, if you are prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a prior felony conviction, the offense is a Class 3 felony. However, if you sell a firearm to someone who is a prohibited possessor, the offense is a Class 6 felony. There are a few situations where weapons misconduct is a misdemeanor, including:
- Someone under 21 carries a firearm in a motor vehicle;
- Possessing a gun at an election polling place;
- Possessing a gun on school grounds; and
- Refusing the reasonable request of a business owner to temporarily secure the weapon in their possession.
Yes, there are numerous exceptions and defenses to the Arizona weapons misconduct law. For example, minors under the age of 21 cannot carry a concealed firearm in public; however, they are not prohibited from doing so in their own home. Similarly, it is not against the law to leave an unloaded firearm in your vehicle while parked on school grounds, provided it is not visible. There are also exceptions that generally apply to law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and members of the United States military. Finally, possessing a defaced firearm is not illegal if you come into possession “by operation of law,” such as through inheritance.
While these misconduct involving weapons FAQs are a good start, you may have other questions about how the law applies to your case or what gun crime defenses would be the best in your particular situation. If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of James E. Novak to schedule a free consultation. For more than 25 years, Attorney Novak has stood by the side of good people charged with serious gun crimes and weapons offenses, helping them move on with their lives after an arrest. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Novak, call (480) 413-1499 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. We proudly represent clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale and throughout Maricopa County.