As many know, Gov. Brewer signed SB1108 into law on in April 2010 and has taken effect on July 29, 2010. The bill extends the ability for Arizona residents, who are at least the age of 21 and can legally posess a firearm, to now carry concealed without a DPS issued CCW Permit.
I am frequently asked, "What does that mean to you and what are the benefits of a CCW Permit?"
There are 5 benefits to having a CCW Permit.
1) Education - the CCW course introduces you to firearms, proper handling, the laws (and consequences), and proper shooting techniques. Education is vital and should be the responsibility of all firearm owners.
2) CCW Permit holders MAY carry their firearm into restarants and bars that serve alcohol (as long as they are not consuming and the restaurant does not have a "no weapon" sign posted).
3) Reciprocity - The SB1108 law only allows an Arizona citizen to carry/conceal in the State of Arizona. CCW Permit holders may carry/conceal their firearms in other States that share in reciprocity. That means your CCW Permit is recognized in 32 States. The States are:
Nevada (starting 7/1/11)
Note: Although you may carry your firearm in these other States, you are subject to THEIR laws. An example is: Some States may have a magazine capacity restriction of 10 rounds or less. Some States does NOT allow you to carry in an establishment that serves alcohol. Be aware of their firearm/CCW laws before visiting. Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. The penalties are not worth it.
Resource: If you are planning a road trip, visit this site and enter the States you are traveling through. It will let you know if they recognize the Arizona CCW, and if not, links to their laws.
4) Being that you've already been background checked and ran through the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System), you will no longer have to do this process when purchasing a firearm from a FFL dealer.
5) The $60 fee you pay to DPS helps out the State's economy and your permit is good for 5 years. The tuition fee you pay to your instructor helps support his family and business. In all, the fees are good for our Arizona economy. Ok.. a bit of a stretch, but it's true.
Note: When renewing your Arizona CCW, you no longer have to attand the 2 hour refresher course, or resubmit fingerprint cards. All you have to do is fill out the DPS Renewal Application and send in your $43 renewal fee.
Personally, I don't care if you carry a gun in the plain sight or concealed. If you "carry", get yourself educated. Once you made up your mind to carry a firearm and are willing to use it in the defense of self or others, you take on a WORLD of responsibility (and liability). Learn to use your firearm correctly, safely and accurately. Read/Learn the Arizona Revised Statues Title 13, especially chapter 31, that deals with weapons and explosives.
It is my belief that an Armed America is a safer America. Criminals generally choose "easy targets" and are mostly crimes of opportunity. With our new Conceal Carry Law and CCW Permits, criminals now have to think twice about attacking an Arizona Citizen. Most of us are packing guns now!