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» Arizona Statutes, Marketing » Concealed Weapons In Arizona – Apparently Way Too Confusing For Lawyers

Concealed Weapons In Arizona – Apparently Way Too Confusing For Lawyers

An out of state lawyer called me earlier today with questions about Arizona’s concealed carry law. As we spoke, I Googled “misconduct involving weapons az” to pull up the statute. The law was the first result, as it should be. I also noticed law firm websites, some belonging to lawyers I know, made up the majority of the remaining results on the first page. After the call, I clicked through to the lawyers’ websites out of curiosity.

The first said “The following are punishable by up to 6 months in jail…carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.” It also included this: “Call us right away, anytime for an evaluation of your case and some expert advice.” The second said “Class 1 Misdemeanor Misconduct Involving Weapons includes violations such as carrying a concealed weapon without possessing a permit” and a big paragraph including the claim that “Only an experienced Phoenix misconduct involving weapons attorney has the knowledge and expertise you need to make sure that your case goes smoothly and you receive the best possible outcome.” The third said, “If the Misconduct involves…carrying a concealed deadly weapon without a permit, it is charged as a class six (6) felony.” The whole site was filled with propaganda about the ex-prosecutors at the firm and all their victories. The next one started off by saying “it is necessary that you get in touch with an experienced criminal lawyer in Arizona for your case evaluation as soon as possible,” later explaining “misconduct with weapon laws fall under A.R.S. 13-3102 of Arizona Law which defines it as: Carrying any deadly weapon, except a pocket knife, concealed on his person or within his immediate control, such as on a means of transportation.” The last one said “If you do not have a permit for the weapon that you have on your person or in your personal vehicle, you could be charged with misconduct involving weapons” and told me “Only an experienced criminal defense lawyer can give you the defense you need when you have been charged with a crime.”

I stopped there, fairly disturbed by what I had just read. Every single lawyer website I visited had misstated the law.

The misconduct involving weapons law is A.R.S. 13-3102. It used to say the following:

A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:
1. Carrying a deadly weapon without a permit pursuant to section 13-3112 except a pocket knife concealed on his person:
2. Carrying a deadly weapon without a permit pursuant to section 13-3112 concealed within immediate control of any person in or on a means of transportation.

In 2010, however, SB 1108 made these changes:

A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:
1. Carrying a deadly weapon without a permit pursuant to section 13-3112 except a pocket knife concealed on his person OR WITHIN HIS IMMEDIATE CONTROL IN OR ON A MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION:
(A) IN THE FURTHERANCE OF A SERIOUS OFFENSE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 13-706, A VIOLENT CRIME AS DEFINED IN SECTION 13-901.03 OR ANY OTHER FELONY OFFENSE; OR
(B) WHEN CONTACTED BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND FAILING TO ACCURATELY ANSWER THE OFFICER IF THE OFFICER ASKS WHETHER THE PERSON IS CARRYING A CONCEALED DEADLY WEAPON ; or
2. Carrying a deadly weapon without a permit pursuant to section 13-3112 EXCEPT A POCKET KNIFE concealed ON HIS PERSON OR CONCEALED within HIS immediate control of any person in or on a means of transportation IF THE PERSON IS UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE

As you can see, the language requiring a permit was deleted, and the additions in all-caps made new crimes requiring more than just having a gun on you or in your car. Is it concealed or within your immediate control in your car? Not enough anymore. You need to have it in furtherance of certain offenses, fail to accurately answer an officer when asked, or be under 21 years of age to violate the statute. All those websites bragging about their owners’ qualifications and urging the reader to hire them did not even get the law right. Not even close.

I’d be more upset if the websites said certain things aren’t prohibited when they actually are, as I imagine many people believe what lawyers’ websites say and may actually follow their advice, but I still see the pervasive misinformation on this as a big problem. At best, it makes lawyers look like idiots. At worst, it seriously misleads the public.

Sadly, it’s just how things work now. People find everything online now, including lawyers. Garbage on the internet with the right keywords brings in business. If you or someone on your behalf isn’t spewing client-attracting terms everywhere, cluttering search results with marketing nonsense and drowning out the seemingly ever-shrinking number of lawyers actually trying to say something thoughtful online, you’re losing money. I don’t know if it makes it more depressing or not knowing that lawyers probably didn’t even write half the crap I read. It’s probably some web guy copying something some other web guy put up. At some point back in the day, maybe a lawyer wrote what they posted about the law, but now the law has changed. I have no doubt that many of the lawyers publishing incorrect information on their sites probably don’t care. In the end, as long as it works for SEO, it works for them, right? The future of law is here, and it’s not pretty.

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