So, what good is a CCW in AZ if we have Constitutional Carry?

Good question. Well, there are a few privileges that having a CCW affords you over just exercising Constitutional Carry rights.

1. Firstly, in regards to state law, the only exception granted to CCW holders is they are allowed to carry in places that serve liquor, provided that they don’t drink, the establishment has not prohibited firearms and they have their CCW with them at the time. (ARS 4-244 Paragraphs 29-31, ARS 4-229)

2. Federal Law allows those who are licensed by the state, e.g. CCW Permit Holders, to carry on public property, roads, or sidewalks within the 1000 foot School Zone parameter, but State Law still prohibits carry on the school grounds itself. ‘School Grounds’ includes the parking lot, which there are provisions for transporting and storing an unloaded firearm in the parking lot. (18 U.S.C Section 921, ARS 13-3102)

3. According to The ATF, those with a valid AZ CCW are exempt from having to complete a “Brady Check” Background Check with NICS when purchasing a firearm from a dealer. A valid AZ CCW Permit is accepted by the ATF as an alternative to the NICS Check. Your FFL may or may not require a background check, they can accept your CCW instead, but they don’t have to. This is not a privilege afforded to all Concealed Carry permits from every state, so cherish it. (

4. Reciprocity with other states. There are 34 or so states that hold the AZ permit as valid within their borders, provided you also follow their laws on carry. So, with an AZ CCW you can carry in 34 other states, as long as you follow their laws. (

5. Simply having a CCW promotes the idea that you are a law-abiding gun owner, that you know and respect the laws. It’s not unheard of for a cop to let people off with a warning, or a judge to show favor in a case, to someone with a CCW.

6. Further, while taking a legitimate class from vetted instructors isn’t required by law, it’s highly recommended. Learning the ins and outs of use of force laws and other legal concerns while carrying is very important and has the potential to keep you out of getting into hot water in the first place.

**This is provided as a Legal Information Resource and should not be treated as legal advice.