Enhanced Background Checks for Firearm Transfers Arizona

Background Checks for Firearm Transfers in Arizona

With background checks for firearm transfers Arizona, the law does not mandate firearms dealers to conduct background checks before transferring a firearm. However, Licensed dealers are still mandated by federal law to initiate a background check.

It involves the dealer directly contacting the FBI to perform the necessary checks. When purchasing firearms from licensed dealers in Arizona, individuals generally undergo background checks unless they hold a valid CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permit.

Conversely, private sellers in the state are not obligated to conduct background checks when selling firearms, regardless of the buyer’s circumstances.

This article will delve into Arizona’s regulations governing firearm sales and transfers, providing insight into the state’s requirements, complexities, and considerations surrounding gun ownership.

Gun Sales and Firearm Transfers Arizona

Gun sales and Firearm transfers in Arizona are subject to various regulations to ensure responsible ownership and prevent unauthorized access to firearms. The key focus areas include:

  • Background Checks for Private Sales: 

Commercial sales through Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) require background checks. It involves contacting the Arizona Firearms Clearance Center and conducting an Arizona clearance check and a federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System check.

The results take less than a minute and are categorized as a proceeding, a delay, or a denial.

It’s important to note that background checks are mandatory for purchasing a gun from a commercial firearms dealer unless the buyer holds a valid CCW (Concealed Carry Weapons) permit. 

Private sales between individuals in Arizona do not currently mandate such checks. This exemption has led to concerns about potential loopholes and the possibility of firearms falling into the wrong hands.

However, it’s important to note that federal law still prohibits certain individuals, such as felons and those with domestic violence convictions, from purchasing firearms.

  • Gun Show Loopholes: 

Gun shows in Arizona have been discussed due to the potential for private sales without background checks. In some cases, individuals can sell firearms to others at gun shows without conducting the same level of scrutiny as licensed dealers.

It has raised concerns about unregulated transfers and the potential for firearms to end up in the hands of prohibited individuals.

  • Regulating Online Sales: 

Online gun marketplaces and platforms have recently gained prominence, providing individuals with opportunities to buy and sell firearms.

While reputable online sources and licensed dealers (FFLs) follow federal regulations and conduct background checks, private sales between individuals online may not always adhere to the same level of oversight.

Online Gun Marketplaces:

Various online platforms are available where individuals can buy guns in Arizona. Websites such as Cabela’s, MidwayUSA, and Cash My Guns facilitate online firearms sales.

These platforms provide users with the convenience of purchasing guns from the comfort of their own homes. However, ensuring compliance with Arizona gun laws and regulations is important when purchasing firearms online.

  • Intra-Family Transfers: 

In Arizona, certain firearms transfers between immediate family members are generally exempt from the requirement of conducting a background check. This exemption recognizes familial relationships and the presumption of responsible firearm ownership within families.

However, ensuring compliance with federal laws and considering responsible transfer practices even within the family is crucial.

It’s important for individuals engaging in private firearm transfers, attending gun shows, or participating in online gun purchases in Arizona to familiarize themselves with the applicable state and federal laws. 

Background Checks for Firearm Transfers in Arizona

Recent Developments and Debates in Arizona Gun Laws

In recent years, Arizona gun laws have been the subject of ongoing debates, legislative updates, and public discourse. Here are some notable developments and trends:

2023 Legislative Session:

The 2023 legislative session started in Arizona, and lawmakers have a new opportunity to prioritize common-sense gun safety legislation.

Over the past years, Arizona state legislators have introduced various contentious bills, including one proposal to permit loaded firearms in vehicles parked at K–12 schools.

Second Amendment Sanctuary State:

In April 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed HB 2111, “2nd Amendment Firearm Freedom Act,” making Arizona a Second Amendment Sanctuary State.

This legislation effectively restricts utilizing state resources and personnel to enforce gun laws that do not align with the Second Amendment.

Constitutional Carry: 

In 2010, Arizona became the third state in modern U.S. history to enact “Constitutional Carry,” allowing individuals at least 21 years old and not prohibited possessors to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

This law, which eliminated the requirement for a concealed carry permit, has been praised by gun rights advocates as a protection of Second Amendment rights.

Expansion of Firearm Rights: 

Arizona has seen a series of laws to expand firearm rights. These include legislation allowing firearms in public establishments, such as restaurants and bars, if the owner does not prohibit it.

Another notable law allows school staff members to carry firearms on campus under certain circumstances.

Red Flag Laws: 

The debate surrounding “red flag” laws has recently gained attention. Red flag laws allow temporary firearm removal from individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others. While some advocates argue that these laws can prevent gun violence, opponents express concerns about due process and the potential misuse of such measures.

Legislative Efforts: 

The Arizona legislature has seen gun control and expanded firearm rights proposals. These include bills related to background checks, magazine capacity limits, and regulations on “assault weapons.”

The outcomes of these proposed bills have varied, with some advancing and others being defeated.

Court Cases: 

Arizona has witnessed legal challenges related to gun laws. These cases have involved issues such as the constitutionality of certain regulations and the interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Court decisions can significantly affect Arizona’s gun laws and influence future legislative actions.

Public Opinion and Advocacy: 

Gun control advocates and gun rights organizations have actively shaped the public discourse and influenced legislation.

Public opinion polls in Arizona have reflected diverse views on various gun policy issues, including background checks, access to firearms, and concealed carry regulations.

It’s important to stay updated on the latest developments and debates surrounding Arizona gun laws by following legislative news, monitoring court cases, and engaging with organizations representing different perspectives.

The ongoing discussions and potential changes in gun policy continue to shape Arizona’s firearm regulations and impact the rights and responsibilities of gun owners in the state.

Penalties and Consequences for Violating Arizona Gun Laws

Violating Arizona gun laws can have serious consequences, particularly for prohibited possessors such as convicted felons.

Individuals who are found to be non-compliant with these laws may face criminal charges, significant fines, imprisonment, probation, and even the loss of their firearm rights. Here are the other potential penalties associated with non-compliance with Arizona gun laws:

Criminal Charges: 

Engaging in activities that violate Arizona gun laws can lead to criminal charges.

These charges vary depending on the offense committed, such as illegal possession, unlawful sale or transfer, or using a firearm in the crime.


Violators of Arizona gun laws can be subject to substantial fines. The fine amount varies based on the nature and severity of the offense. Fines range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the specific circumstances.


Serious violations of Arizona gun laws can result in imprisonment.

The length of the sentence depends on the offense committed, prior criminal history, and other aggravating factors. Felony offenses, such as illegal possession by a prohibited possessor, can lead to imprisonment ranging from one year to two-and-a-half years or longer, accompanied by fines of up to $150,000. 


In some cases, individuals guilty of violating Arizona gun laws may be placed on probation. During the probation period, offenders are required to adhere to certain conditions set by the court.

Violating probation terms can result in additional penalties, including revocation and potential imprisonment.

Loss of Firearm Rights: 

Convictions for certain gun law violations can lead to the loss of firearm rights. Prohibited possessors, such as convicted felons, are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. Individuals who lose their firearm rights may face restrictions on gun ownership, even after serving their sentence.

It’s worth noting that individuals who have lost their gun rights may have potential avenues for restoration, such as through a set-aside, a restoration of firearm rights, or a pardon.

These processes provide an opportunity to regain gun rights after meeting specific requirements. Seeking legal guidance and exploring these options can help individuals navigate restoring their firearm rights in compliance with Arizona law.


In conclusion, non-compliance with Arizona gun laws can have serious repercussions. Violators may face criminal charges, substantial fines, imprisonment, probation, and the loss of their firearm rights.

Individuals must understand and adhere to Arizona gun laws to avoid these consequences and maintain lawful firearm ownership. Seeking legal guidance with such offers by The Sorenson Law Firm, LLC, and staying informed about updates and changes to gun laws, can help individuals navigate the complex landscape of Arizona’s firearms regulations and ensure compliance.

By doing so, individuals can protect themselves legally and contribute to the overall safety and security of the community.


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