An Arizona court has confirmed that police may take temporary custody of a person’s lawfully possessed firearm during any contact police might have with a citizen.
What is interesting about this decision is that it simply confirms a law that has been on the books in Arizona for a very long time.
As part of the Arizona Revised Statutes, it has long been law that during any contact with law enforcement, the police officer has a legal right to take temporary custody of any firearm in the possession of the person they are interacting with.
This is solely to protect the safety of the police officer, something that is altogether reasonable considering that some are not particularly happy about their circumstances when being stopped by a police officer.
Unless the person has committed a crime and is taken into custody, the firearm is returned to the owner at the end of the contact. The firearm is nearly always returned in an unloaded condition.
The court decision confirming existing Arizona law resulted from an appeal by an individual convicted of a firearms misconduct charge.