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Arizona Gun Laws: How Do State Laws Apply On Native American Reservations?

Image: Arizona Gun Laws: How Do State Laws Apply On Native American Reservations?
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. (Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 04:29 PM

While Arizona gun laws allow for the open and concealed carry of handguns without a permit, rules vary greatly in the state’s many Indian reservations.

Arizona state statues generally call for conformity. Arizona gun laws restrict cities, towns, and counties from enacting any rules that are more restrictive than state statutes. While Gov. Jan Brewer recently vetoed a measure that would have allowed a citizen to sue over a violation of Arizona gun laws, cities in general do not challenge the state’s pre-eminence in the issue of gun law legislation.

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However, there are many thousands of acres of federal lands dedicated to Indian nations within Arizona's state boundaries. The laws are very different for gun owners on these reservations. When on reservation land, the laws of the reservation apply.

According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, federally recognized tribes “possess certain inherent rights of self-government.” This gives them the sovereignty to make laws concerning firearms. Before traveling onto a reservation with a firearm it is wise to check tribal rules as they will take precedent over Arizona gun laws.

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Arizona has 21 Indian tribes, which hold about a quarter of the land in the state. Here are a sample of the rules on some of the largest reservations in the state:
  • Navajo Nation: According to HandgunLaw.us, the Navajo Nation makes it illegal to carry a deadly weapon including a gun.
  • Tohono O’odham Nation: The Tohono O’odham Nation prohibits the carry of a concealed weapon on a person or in a vehicle. It is illegal within the reservation to fire a gun within a quarter mile of an occupied home.
  • Hopi Tribe: The Hopi Indian Tribe requires a permit signed by the judge of the Hopi Trial Court and the superintendent of the reservation in order to carry a concealed handgun.
  • White Mountain Apache Tribe: In the White Mountain Apache Tribe Reservation, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon unless authorized by the tribal government, state government, or the United States government. A permit is necessary to carry a concealed weapon.
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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While Arizona gun laws allow for the open and concealed carry of handguns without a permit, rules vary greatly in the state's many Indian reservations.
arizona, gun, laws, native americans, indian, reservations
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2014-29-21
Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 04:29 PM
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