Let’s talk about “Constitutional Carry”. What does that actually mean? It means that anyone over the age of 21 can carry a firearm, open or concealed, with or without a permit. This natural right is specifically enumerated as the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Each state decides how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted within its borders. Arizona has what some may consider the most “open” policy.
Is that a good thing? The answer is yes in principle. I qualify this answer by stating that while everyone has the right, there are responsibilities that are attached to that right. If you are not willing to accept the responsibility, you should not exercise the right. Understanding that Arizona is a constitutional carry state, should eliminate the “fear” the media has created. When you go into a convenience store and there is a patron getting a fountain drink with a gun on their hip, you are not in danger from this patron. For two reasons, by wearing a firearm exposed, they have become the first target if there was an incident. Second, the gun carrying patron would more than likely defend your life as well as their own life. We have been trained to think that all guns are evil, so anyone carrying a gun is evil. It simply is not true.
What are your responsibilities with this constitutional right? With rights, come responsibilities. You cannot have one without the other. Citizens that carry a firearm should spend the time and money required to receive a permit from the state where they reside. Although it is not required in Arizona, I strongly encourage those that take my classes to protect themselves with that extra step. It is important to have an understanding of the laws and legal processes when dealing with firearms. It really is for the benefit of the firearm owner. The class is taught by certified instructors and requires submission of fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety. I keep my permit with my driver’s license, in the event I am pulled over, I would give both identifications to the officer. (So far, I have not been stopped for a traffic violation).
Understanding the law while knowing my rights and responsibilities as a firearm owner and as one who carries consistently, I appreciate the 2nd Amendment. I appreciate the state of Arizona allowing me to live by the dictates of my conscience.