HB 2325, NRA-backed legislation making much needed reforms to the Arizona concealed weapons law (CCW) is now in effect. The legislation makes a number of changes to the law first passed in 1994. Most importantly, the legislation reduces the number of training hours required of first-time CCW permit applicants from 16 to eight. Evidence from other Right-to-Carry states indicates that this change will dramatically increase the number of law-abiding firearms owners who obtain permits. The training required of permit renewal applicants is also reduced from four hours to two hours. Permit holders who apply for their second or subsequent permit renewal after August 12, 2005, will no longer be required to submit fingerprints with their applications, ensuring a more efficient and timely renewal process. Permits are now valid for five years, instead of four years.
CCW permits possessed by military personnel deployed overseas will be valid for ninety days after the end of deployment. This will allow armed forces personnel to continue to carry concealed self-defense firearms after returning to Arizona if their permits expire during, or shortly after, their deployment. Finally, permit holders who fail to carry their permits with them while carrying a concealed firearm will not be convicted of the current class 2 misdemeanor offense if they are able to show the court that they possessed a valid permit at the time of the citation.