What is Unlawful Discharge of Firearms Under ARS 13-3107?

Silhouette of two people sitting on the ground and holding guns in front of a sunset

There are countless laws, statutes, and regulations that apply to the ownership and use of handguns and other weapons. The unlawful discharge of a firearm is governed by Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3107. This felony charge can be appropriate even in cases where no one was injured.

When you are facing allegations of illegally firing a weapon, it is important that you understand your rights and obligations under the law. Do not get caught off guard! A conviction could impact your life in many ways, but a positive outcome to your case might be possible when you contact Grand Canyon Law Group. Let an experienced gun attorney help you understand the legal jeopardy you are currently facing.

What is a Violation of this Statute?

As the name suggests, the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm is a straightforward charge. It is unlawful to discharge a weapon in the limits of any municipality with criminal negligence.

It is worth noting that this statute not only outlaws firing a weapon within the limits of a city but also discharging one in a way where a projectile is fired into the municipality.


The language of the statute is broad. That said, the law also provides several exceptions that may not lead to prosecution. Some of these exceptions are designed to cover specific locations or circumstances where the use of a firearm is allowed, such as on a supervised firing range or within one mile of an occupied structure.

Many exceptions involve express permission by state or local officials. A person may discharge a weapon if they possess a permit for the control of nuisance wildlife or with permission from the local chief of police.

Finally, the law does not apply to a person who acts in defense of themselves or others against animal attacks. There must be a reasonable belief that deadly physical force is necessary at that moment.

What is Criminal Negligence in an Unlawful Discharge?

There is an important element of this offense that should not be overlooked: the need for criminal negligence. In other words, there are situations where discharging a weapon within city limits might not be a criminal act.

According to the statute, criminal negligence means performing a dangerous act while failing to perceive the unjustifiable risk of their behavior. In other words, a person acts negligently when they place someone at risk of injury by doing something a reasonable person knows to be dangerous.

If you are charged with a crime due to an incident like this, you need to call us ASAP!

What are the Penalties of a Conviction?

The unlawful discharge of firearms under ARS 13-3107 is treated as a Class 6 felony. While this is one of the lower-level felony offenses, the penalties can be life-changing.

Typically, convictions will result in a sentence of between four months and two years in prison. However, there are other factors—including prior criminal history—that could increase the sentence to as much as six years in state prison. The weight of these consequences is why it is so important to seek out a trusted criminal defense lawyer immediately following an arrest.

Talk to an Attorney About Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm

Arizona might be known as a state that is friendly to gun rights, but there are serious consequences that come with the unlawful discharge of a firearm. If you have been accused of this offense, you need to act now! Call right away to discuss your options during a private consultation with the Grand Canyon Law Group.