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AZ is an open-carry state, plain & simple.

Now, don't think that you can walk around in downtown Scottsdale with a pistol on your hip and not draw attention. It's not a very common sight here in the metro Phoenix area.

However, from what I know, open carry is far more common in the more rural areas around the state, and I would assume Prescott Valley would qualify as rural.

Basically, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you see lots of open carry, strap your Steyr on and wear it proud. But remember that ANY establishment or store has the 100% right to ask you not to bring it into their place of business - and "no weapons" signs qualify as "asking". They do not have to store it for you or "watch it". Some might, however. But comply with all such requests that you remove your weapon - the law says you must. You may also not carry into certain places such as bars, or anyplace that serves alcohol for on-premises consumption (restaurants, etc.). No government buildings, including post offices.

Read up on Packing.org. Also make sure that you carry legally INTO the state; meaning that you transport your gun(s) legally as described in each state you pass through to get here, assuming you're driving.
 

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Matches said:
I also belive it is illegal to wear/carry a firearm into a bank here in AZ.

Matches
Not true - it's perfectly legal, concealed or open.

However, nearly all banks have their "no weapons" sign displayed, which means it IS now illegal to enter with a firearm. But there is no state law about banks & guns; each bank decides for itself.

I'm still a firm believer that even if there's a sign, a PROPERLY concealed weapon will not be noticed, and will not be a problem. My wife has carried into bars & restaurants plenty of times already - mostly by forgetting she's got her piece in her purse. But no one will ever know she's carrying, so IMHO it's no big deal. The law says otherwise, however.

It is also NOT ILLEGAL to carry on "government land". The type of government land must be determined first. For example, in National Forests (at least here in AZ), not only can you carry, but you can SHOOT! Tonto Forest is close to me, and we usually choose to shoot there rather than a range. Bring your own targets (no glass or other shattering objects), find a spot at least 1/4 mile from a road with a suitable mountain backstop, and have at it. You are required to pick up your brass when you leave (other than .22's, but we scrounge for 'em anyway), and not leave any litter. The only thing we leave behind in the forest is any fruit we've decided to blow up, as well as a hillside full o' lead ;). If you choose to go while you're here, PLEASE respect the forest; shoot targets that you can and will take with you when you leave. Cans and crap are fine, just pick them up afterwards. Clean up as much of your brass as you can, and be safe. If everyone acted this way, we wouldn't continually have new areas closed to shooting. A few assholes can ruin it for the rest of us.

National Parks are a big no-no for guns. But one can only assume that Prescott National Forest is near Prescott, eh? ;). If you have the time, go for it - I would just call the forest office and make sure target shooting is allowed, and if there are specific no-shooting areas. Maybe get a map if you can, so you know you're legal and won't be hassled. We have been approached by Forest Rangers in Tonto forest while shooting. The guy was cool, because we were being safe and in a good shooting area. I know if we were not, there'd have been hell to pay. But as long as you're safe and in the right, they treat you that way - which is great.

For hiking, make sure carry is okay where you go. And if not, throw it in your backpack and keep it concealed. Better safe than sorry. Protection while hiking/camping or out in the pitch darkness just stargazing in the middle of nowhere is why my wife and I got interested in guns in the first place.
 
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