Tasers are one of the most misunderstood defensive implements around. For starters, they are one of the only tools that can provide you with ranged less lethal defensive force, and can ably bridge the gap between something like pepper spray and a firearm.
However, despite the proliferation of these tools in police usage, they remain uncommon in civilian hands and they aren’t legal everywhere. How about Arizona? Are tasers legal in Arizona?
Yes, tasers are legal to purchase, possess, and carry in Arizona. A concealed weapons permit is not required. However, sellers of such devices must meet several requirements, and the legal definition is quite specific.
Tasers are absolutely legal in Arizona, but you should know up-front that the state has a surprising amount of laws on the books defining and concerning them.
It’s mostly for the sellers of these devices, but there’s plenty you’ll need to know also. Keep reading and I’ll tell you all about it…
How are Tasers Classified in Arizona?
Tasers are classified as “remote stun guns” in Arizona. Sort of a mouthful term, as you’d expect, but one with a definition that is still easily understood.
Arizona law defines remote stun guns as any device that’s designed to incapacitate a person using an electrical charge, a charge that is delivered through either direct contact or through wired probes.
The law also specifies devices that can transmit such a charge through the use of a spark, plasma, ionization, or other conductive means. Sadly, we don’t have any such wondrous stun guns available at press time!
Read the relevant statute yourself in 13-3117, and check out other relevant definitions for weapons and force generally in 13-105:
13-3117 – Remote stun guns; sales records; use; classification; definitions
2. ” Remote stun gun” means an electronic device that emits an electrical charge and that is designed and primarily employed to incapacitate a person or animal either through contact with electrodes on the device itself or remotely through wired probes that are attached to the device or through a spark, plasma, ionization or other conductive means emitting from the device.
13-105 – Definitions
12. ” Dangerous instrument” means anything that under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury.
14. ” Deadly physical force” means force that is used with the purpose of causing death or serious physical injury or in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of creating a substantial risk of causing death or serious physical injury.
15. ” Deadly weapon” means anything designed for lethal use, including a firearm.
32. ” Physical force” means force used upon or directed toward the body of another person and includes confinement, but does not include deadly physical force.
33. ” Physical injury” means the impairment of physical condition.
39. ” Serious physical injury” includes physical injury that creates a reasonable risk of death, or that causes serious and permanent disfigurement, serious impairment of health or loss or protracted impairment of the function of any bodily organ or limb.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Arizona?
Yes, they are. Stun guns, just like tasers, are completely legal for civilian possession in Arizona. It is worth pointing out, though, that stun guns and tasers are not the same thing even though the terms are often used synonymously in casual conversation and even in many states’ statutes on the subject.
Properly, a stun gun is an electrical defensive weapon that works by direct contact with the assailant, whereas a taser fires probes or darts that trail wires back to the device.
To be clear, Arizona’s definition for remote stun gun applies to both devices.
Can You Carry a Taser Openly?
Yes, you can. Tasers and stun guns are both legal for open carry in Arizona.
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed?
Yes, you can openly carry a taser, or a stun gun, in Arizona. No permit is required to do so.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession?
Yes. Only people who are 18 years old or older may buy or own a taser in Arizona.
What You Need to Do to Get a Taser in Arizona
To purchase a taser from a dealer in Arizona, you’ll need to seek out an authorized seller.
An authorized seller in Arizona is one that is selling an “authorized remote stun gun,” which is any such device that meets the definition described above, and also the following standards as specified in paragraph E of Section 13-3117 below…
Dealers must also complete a sales record for the device, which will typically entail a background check for you or at the very least the recording of all of your relevant identification information.
Note that this requirement does not apply to secondary sellers.
13-3117 – Remote stun guns; sales records; use; classification; definitions
A. It is unlawful for a person or entity to do any of the following:
1. Sell an authorized remote stun gun without keeping an accurate sales record as to the identity of the purchaser with the manufacturer of the authorized remote stun gun. The identification that is required by this paragraph shall be verified with a government-issued identification. This requirement does not apply to secondary sales.
E. For the purposes of this section:
1. ” Authorized remote stun gun” means a remote stun gun that has all of the following:
(a) An electrical discharge that is less than one hundred thousand volts and less than nine joules of energy per pulse.
(b) A serial or identification number on all projectiles that are discharged from the remote stun gun.
(c) An identification and tracking system that, on deployment of remote electrodes, disperses coded material that is traceable to the purchaser through records that are kept by the manufacturer on all remote stun guns and all individual cartridges sold.
(d) A training program that is offered by the manufacturer.
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership?
No, obtaining training to use or carry a taser safely is not a requirement for taser ownership in Arizona, or for the possession of a stun gun.
But I always advocate for such, and you’d be wise to seek out such training if you want to make a taser part of your self-defense repertoire.
It should be pointed out, though, that for the purposes of classifying an authorized remote stun gun, the manufacturer of the device must offer a training program.
That means that manufacturers who don’t offer a training program for the device can’t have their units sold by retail sellers in the state of Arizona.
Where Can You Carry a Taser in Arizona?
Generally, you can carry a taser anywhere that self-defense weapons are legal and permissible.
However, you should never carry your taser into any courthouse or courtroom, or into any government office or facility at any level, be it city, county, state or federal. Schools, of any kind, are also no-go zones generally.
Military bases and the secured areas of airports are likewise off limits. Note that local laws on these devices do vary, and in some places, you might be able to legally carry a taser where you ordinarily could not carry a firearm, but in other locales a blanket ban or signage barring weapons might apply to tasers also.
Make sure you understand all of the relevant laws before you commit to carrying a taser, openly or concealed!
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Arizona?
As with all weapons, you should only deploy your taser to protect yourself from an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury. Tasers are not less than lethal; they are properly defined as less lethal weapons, meaning less likely to inflict death or serious injury.
Accordingly, if you taze somebody they might suffer great injury or death! For this reason, you must never, ever use your taser:
to settle an argument
because someone is verbally harassing you
because you are upset,
or because someone pushed you or threatened you with simple assault.
Doing so could set you up for serious criminal charges!