You don’t live in Arizona so why would you want, what they officially call, a “Concealed Weapons Permit” (CWP) from the Grand Canyon State?
For me, the answer is simple. Reciprocity.
Because I live in the commie state of New York, there is a relatively limited number of states that recognize my New York permit. Getting an Arizona permit expands the number of states in which I can lawfully carry a concealed firearm.
These helpful Reciprocity Maps from our friends over at USCCA spell out the issue pretty clearly:
New York has 26 reciprocating states. Interestingly, New York has a population of about 20 million and only one percent of the population has a permit (194K licenses issued), according to USCCA.
Compare that with Arizona:
Arizona has 37 reciprocating states, 11 more than New York. Arizona has a population of 7.4 million and roughly five percent of the population has a permit (398K licenses issued), per USCCA.
The key for me is with an Arizona permit I can now drive clear down to Florida with my carry gun on my person without flouting the law (Of course, always do your own research before traveling out of state to ensure you’re compliant with state and local laws).
Without the AZ CWP, I wouldn’t even be able to travel into Pennsylvania without having to stop and secure my gun off my person. Not having immediate access to my primary tool for self-defense obviously leaves me vulnerable.
Getting an Arizona Permit is Easy, Even for Non-Residents!
If you’re a law-abiding citizen at least 21 years of age with a concealed carry permit from a different state (or if you have proof of firearms training), you can basically get an Arizona permit.
What’s the cost?
It’s $60 for the permit, which is good for five years, plus the cost to send the application to the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety, and any fee associated with getting fingerprinted. Thankfully, I had a buddy who is a state trooper fingerprint me for free.
NOTE: DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID!!!
When I was getting my packet together, I had the copy of my valid NY permit for proof of training, the two completed fingerprint cards on the requisite FBI form FD-258, the filled-out application (I’ve embedded an app above), and the $60 check — but I made the mistake of writing the AZ DPS a personal check. Do not do this! They do not accept personal checks!
AZ DPS returned my application approximately 60 days after I sent it. I then had to get a money order (a cashier’s check is also acceptable) for the $60, and resend the application. About 70 days later, this month actually, I finally got my AZ CWP.
It literally says all over the application that they do not accept personal checks. For some reason, my brain wasn’t working the day I put everything together. So, don’t make the same mistake I did.
Maybe there will come a time when we have national reciprocity across all 50 states. Who knows, SCOTUS is now deciding a big case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which may strike down New York’s restrictive “may issue” concealed carry standard.
The decision is expected to come down in June and it could have major repercussions for all of the other commie states (Hawaii, New Jersey, California, Connecticut, etc.) that require one to obtain permission from a local judge or CLEO before he or she can exercise his or her fundamental right to keep and bear arms.
We could see the high court force those states to adopt a “shall-issue” standard which could open up the door for national reciprocity legislation. But, again, who knows. That could be a long, long ways away. In the meantime, I’d recommend that you obtain an AZ CWP. It’s easy, not too expensive and it gives you more coverage as a responsibly armed citizen.
EDIT TO ADD: As some of our astute readers have pointed out, it appears both PA and FL do NOT recognize non-resident permits. This means my AZ permit is no good! What I’ll have to do is apply for non-resident permits in both PA and FL to have coverage. UGH! Stay tuned. I’ve already downloaded the Florida app.