Arizona's gun laws are among the most permissive in the United States. However, violations of these laws can still lead to significant legal consequences, ranging from minor offenses to grave felonies.
Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm: Firing a gun where it is not allowed, especially within city limits, without a valid justification. This is often referred to as "Shannon's law" in Arizona.
- Penalties can include up to 2 years in prison.
Misconduct Involving Weapons: This broad category captures various offenses:
- Carrying a concealed weapon without the appropriate authorization, even though Arizona allows for constitutional carry.
- Being in possession of a firearm when one is legally prohibited, like individuals with certain felony convictions or certain restraining orders against them.
- Bringing a weapon into places where they are explicitly banned, such as some government buildings or schools. Ranges from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 2 felony, depending on the specifics of the violation.
- Penalties can range from up to 6 months in jail for a Class 1 misdemeanor to up to 12.5 years in prison for a Class 2 felony.
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon: Using or merely presenting a firearm in a manner that threatens another individual's safety. This doesn't necessarily mean the gun was fired.
- Class 2 or Class 3 felony, depending on the circumstances.
- Penalties can range from 5 to 15 years in prison for a Class 2 felony and 2 to 8.75 years for a Class 3 felony.
Armed Robbery: Committing a robbery while armed with a firearm. It's the use or threat of the gun during the theft that elevates a robbery charge to armed robbery.
- A conviction can lead to a prison term ranging from 7 to 21 years.
Negligent Homicide: This occurs when someone unintentionally causes the death of another person through careless handling or use of a firearm.
- Class 4 felony if committed with a dangerous instrument, such as a firearm.
- Penalties typically range from 4 to 8 years in prison.
Manslaughter: This occurs when someone unintentionally causes the death of another person through recklessness or specific circumstances that led to the death. The offender knew their actions could cause death but acted anyway. Additionally, manslaughter encompasses other specific situations, like causing the death of another person in the heat of passion or due to a sudden fight.
- Penalties can range from 4 to 10 years in prison.
First-Degree Murder: The intentional or reckless killing of another person with a firearm. First-degree murder typically involves premeditation.
- Penalties can range from life imprisonment to the death penalty.
Second-Degree Murder: This charge does not require premeditation. Instead, it involves an intentional killing without prior planning or in situations where the defendant should have known their actions would cause death or serious harm.
- Penalties typically range from 10 to 25 years in prison.
Remember, owning and using a firearm comes with immense responsibility. It's crucial for gun owners to familiarize themselves with local and state laws to avoid potential legal consequences. If facing any of these charges, it's highly recommended to seek legal counsel immediately.