TrainMeAZ is a non-partisan, joint educational effort of the firearms training and Second Amendment community in Arizona. The state’s unique Constitutional Carry law (also called Freedom To Carry or Vermont-style carry), sixteen years in the making* and effective on July 29, 2010, served as the spark to initiate the program.
Interested parties from around the state joined forces to promote gun-safety training, the shooting sports, self-defense awareness and exercise of the fundamental constitutional right of the people, to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes. The goal is to advance marksmanship, safe gun handling, and a deep appreciation of the valuable role firearms play in a peaceful society, on a statewide scale.
Now that any law-abiding adult can bear arms here, either openly or discreetly without government interference, it is more important than ever for everyday citizens to be trained to arms, understand their rights and responsibilities, and make Arizona a paragon of safety, education, and respect for this crucial segment of the U.S. Bill of Rights. The Constitutional Carry law applies to any decent adult on the planet who visits here legally — not just residents — an extension of our Bill of Rights to the entire world.
Our state legislature has shown the utmost concern for the American right to arms, with recent passage of:
- The Constitutional Carry Law: no permission slip is needed for open or discreet firearms possession by law-abiding adults (also called Freedom To Carry or Vermont-style carry).
- Strong Burden of Proof requires courts to favor victims over assailants in self-defense cases.
- Statewide Preemption eliminates legal traps for the unwary issued by local jurisdictions—the state sets uniform gun laws statewide.
- Defensive Display provides specific legal protection for mentioning, holding or displaying a firearm to thwart an assault.
- The Castle Doctrine recognizes you can stand your ground if assaulted, provides a presumption of legal justification in self defense, and now protects people at home and when outside.
- Gun-Free Zone elimination in parks statewide, with more removal of dangerous, negligent and reckless make-believe gun-free zones now being planned.
- Parking Lot Storage for firearms is now honored at most private workplaces.
- So-called “emergency” gun confiscations are banned by law, preventing authorities from disarming citizens in times of civil distress.
- Plus many other fine laws that protect citizens, are tough on criminals, and set a standard others can look to for guidance. There is more to do — there always is in the struggle to preserve freedom — and TrainMeAZ will be doing its part on behalf of the citizens of the Grand Canyon state.
Elements of Phase I of the TrainMeAZ campaign include:
- A public awareness effort with billboards, print advertising and publicity components.
- The “Arizona Where To Shoot Map” in both printed and online versions, guiding people to all publicly accessible shooting ranges in the state.
- One-stop-shopping for training and educational opportunities statewide from first-timer to master, and by location, firearm type, type of shooting discipline (self defense, target practice, sports and competition, etc.), class date, competition skill and more.
- A central reference point for news media interested in learning more about the number-two-ranked participant sport in the nation, the shooting sports.
- A clearinghouse for proposed new gun-rights laws at the state level, through association with the main civil-rights groups in the state.
- Opportunities to get active in the ongoing effort to improve the gun laws for all people on Earth.
Phase II of the TrainMeAZ campaign will roll out while the lawsuit against the City of Phoenix is underway. The city’s censorship of our campaign was a serious setback, but we’re coming back strong with new Contributing Sponsors, more trainers in the program, new ranges that have been identified or built since we began, and programs that will:
- Attract firearms industry and high quality jobs to the state of Arizona
- Assess the financial impact of the industry already in the state
- Add to the commerce and tax base the industry provides
- Create a robust firearms tourism component to the state’s economy
- Generate a Firearms Industry Directory for use by the legislature
- Reintroduce firearms education into the school system
- Press for improvement to the legal protections of the Second Amendment
- See implementation of the Firearms Freedom Act in Arizona and nationwide
* The effort to achieve Constitutional Carry can be traced back to at least 1994, when the government carry-permit system was enacted, and Arizonans were at last enabled to legally carry firearms discreetly. Despite desperate cries of impending doom by hoplophobes and the “news” media, the program was an unbridled success, wild-eyed mayhem turned out to be a paranoid myth, and crime dropped as it has in all states that freed their citizens to keep and bear arms.
The specific effort to repeal the unconstitutional ban on discreet carry began in earnest in 2005 with the formation of The Arizona Citizens Defense League, which has emerged as the preeminent activist group for improving the state’s gun laws. Working closely with The Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association, and helped along by thousands of members and countless volunteers, Constitutional Carry became a reality in 2010 with passage of Senate Bill 1108. If not for incessant pack-media coverage that same year of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration bill, SB 1070, the new Freedom To Carry law would have dominated national news. Any law this intensely pro-freedom arouses the media.
Why is it called Constitutional Carry? Because the language of the Second Amendment to the Bill Of Rights seems to demand it, and the language of the state Constitution definitely does demand it:
Article 2, Section 26, Arizona Constitution
“The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain,
or employ an armed body of men.”