Arizona is an open carry state, which allows residents to carry firearms or purchase firearms without a license. However, if you are not allowed by state or federal law to purchase or carry a firearm and are caught with a ghost gun, you will face criminal charges and possible jail time. A ghost gun, or undetectable firearm, is a homemade firearm delivered to an individual in pieces and assembled by that person to use as a gun. Because it is assembled upon receipt, the ghost gun does not have the required serial numbers, making it illegal. Like any weapon, ghost guns pose a threat when placed in the wrong hands. A homemade gun is untraceable when used in a violent crime since it lacks the serial number required on all firearms.
Federal Laws On Ghost Guns
As of April 2022, the Biden Administration and the United States Department of Justice issued a final rule that requires ghost gun kits to be made by only licensed manufacturers. The rule also states that the kit must have a serial number, and the purchaser must submit to a background check. The definition of a firearm has now been expanded to include firearm parts kits. With the increase in gun crimes committed by ghost guns, the administration believes that creating this rule will lower ghost gun violence.
Arizona State Laws On Ghost Guns
Arizona does not have any state law banning residents from carrying a ghost gun other than the laws prohibiting specific individuals from carrying firearms. Anyone that has been convicted of a felony, under the age of 18, selling the gun as an unlicensed firearm vendor or anyone that is in possession of a firearm with the intent to commit a crime can all be arrested if caught with a ghost gun or any other firearm. The maximum sentence can be up to five years depending on the circumstances.
In Arizona, possessing ghost guns falls under the state law protecting individuals’ rights to bear arms. In 2021, Governor Doug Ducey passed House Bill 2111 to make Arizona a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” which prevents the enforcement of federal gun laws inconsistent with Arizona’s state laws.
Possessing A Ghost Gun As A Prohibited Person
A person that has been convicted of a felony, as well as some misdemeanors, cannot legally possess a gun, whether it’s a ghost gun or a regular firearm. In addition to convicted felons, listed below are other individuals that cannot carry weapons or ghost guns:
- Anyone likely to receive a domestic violence restraining order (determined by a hearing)
- Anyone using illegal drugs
- The mentally ill (judge ordered)
- Immigrants that have entered the country unlawfully
- Fugitives from justice
- Former members of the military that have been dishonorably discharged
Some states have additional laws banning specific individuals from carrying a firearm. For example, California does not allow anyone with any type of restraining order under their “red flag law” to possess a firearm. As long as you are not barred from gun ownership in Arizona, you may have a ghost gun.
Manufacturing A Ghost Gun For Sale Or Distribution
Manufacturing ghost guns with the intent to sell is legal as long as they follow the rule established by the Biden Administration and the Department of Justice. A licensed manufacturer must follow the same regulations for ghost gun kits as fully assembled firearms. Each kit must have a serial number assigned to it, and the purchaser must submit to a background check before they can build ghost guns.
Possessing A Ghost Gun with the Intent to Commit A Crime
Whether you are in possession of a regular firearm or a ghost gun and intend to commit a crime, you could be convicted of a felony and face jail time if police officers catch you.
Penalties for Being Caught with a Ghost Gun in Arizona
There are no penalties for being caught with ghost guns in Arizona unless you have been convicted of felony charges or are otherwise not allowed to carry a firearm according to state or federal law. If law enforcement officers catch prohibited possessors with homemade guns, they may face serious penalties.
Arizona Ghost Gun Laws FAQ
Listed below are some facts about ghost gun laws in Arizona.
What Are Arizona’s Laws Related to Ghost Guns?
Arizona has no laws against carrying an untraceable firearm. Anyone caught carrying ghost guns or other firearms must adhere to the Federal Laws in place regarding the possession of a gun.
Can You Get Arrested for Having a Ghost Gun in Arizona?
Listed below are individuals that can be arrested if caught with ghost guns:
- under 18 years old
- a convicted felon
- selling the gun as an unlicensed firearm vendor
- bringing that gun onto a property that prohibits firearms
- intend to commit a crime with the gun
Is It Illegal To Make Your Own Gun?
It is not illegal to make your own gun as long as the gun is intended for personal use and has a detachable metal part. Since most ghost guns are created by a 3D printer, the material the gun is made from is plastic and will not set off metal detectors. To be considered legal, ghost guns must have a metal plate or other components installed to set off a metal detector.
Why are Ghost Guns Legal Under Federal Law?
Ghost guns are legal under federal law as long as a licensed dealer conducts a background check on the purchaser and the manufacturer engraves a serial number on the frame or receiver. With the Biden Administration’s new rule regarding ghost guns, the kits used to build homemade firearms are now considered a “firearm.”
Can You Conceal Carry A Ghost Gun?
Arizona is not a concealed carry state. Gun owners have the right to own or purchase a gun without a permit or license, which includes ghost guns.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for ghost gun-related charges in Arizona, call the attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group. Our team of experienced Phoenix attorneys understands the laws regarding ghost guns and what your rights are. We will evaluate your case and the circumstances concerning your arrest. With an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney on your side, you can rest assured that we will fight for your freedom and ensure your rights are protected. Contact us online or call us at (602)910-4040 today.