Differences between Phoenix and Las Vegas for a firearm owner?


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Joe Link
April 14, 2012, 02:23 AM
My girlfriend and I have decided we're going to move to either Phoenix or Las Vegas sometime after our current lease is up in February. I know most people despise both of these cities, but I love Phoenix (I've visited a few times) and she feels the same about Vegas (she lived there for a year). I've lived here in Portland all my life and I'm ready to experience someplace new while we're young. We might like it and decide to stay, or we might decide it's not for us after a year and move back. Either way, we're in a place right now in our lives where we can take that chance. If we move to Phoenix it'll be North Scottsdale. If we move to Vegas it'll be North Las Vegas or Summerlin.

My question for my fellow gun owners is, what are the differences between these two states when it comes to firearm ownership and use? Which city has the larger gun community (owners, ranges, businesses, etc.)? From the research I've done it doesn't look like there's a whole lot of difference, but I'd like to hear it from folks in the area.

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Certaindeaf
April 14, 2012, 02:28 AM
Death Valley is cool. I'd say Vegas.

Twiki357
April 14, 2012, 04:05 AM
Arizona is a Constitutional carry state. Open or concealed carry is legal anywhere that it's NOT specifically prohibited or posted for no firearms.

I'm not all that familiar with Nevada. I do know that CCW's are issued at the county level and good throughout the state. But I'm not going to go any further than that and chance being wrong.

lechiffre
April 14, 2012, 07:05 AM
I doubt there is a better "Big City", as far as guns go, than Phoenix.

OARNGESI
April 14, 2012, 08:02 AM
phoenix is pretty good as far as gun laws go. but the weather may take some time to get use too, and vegas is just as hot.

Ian
April 14, 2012, 08:14 AM
Clark County NV requires handgun registration. I don't know about ranges in Vegas, but in north Phoenix you will be close to Ben Avery, a nice sized outdoor public range. And as others mentioned, AZ doesn't require a permit for open or concealed carry.

The Lone Haranguer
April 14, 2012, 08:26 AM
I have been in both, Vegas in 2004-05, Phoenix 2005-08. I detested Vegas, but loved Phoenix until the economy took a dump. Phoenix for the win.

The Phoenix metro area has far more gun ranges and shops, my favorite being Scottsdale Gun Club. http://scottsdalegunclub.com Arizona has adopted Vermont-style "constitutional carry" now. Before that, their CCW stated concealed weapon, i.e., you could carry any weapon that is legal to own in the first place; batons, knives, even NFA. :) North Las Vegas - a place to avoid in general - and Boulder City have local laws prohibiting handguns to be transported through them. :rolleyes: Nevada has "shall issue" CCW, but there are a number of PITA restrictions, the biggest one being that you have to qualify with and list each gun you want to carry on your permit. The county Vegas is located in (Clark) requires handgun registration. :rolleyes:

There are a few things not so good about Phoenix. Arizona is not a low tax state. It has an income tax, a sales tax and very high vehicle license fees. If you rent your house or apartment, there is even a tax on that. :rolleyes: Your car insurance will be very high. And there are some high crime areas you want to stay away from.

The Lone Haranguer
April 14, 2012, 08:45 AM
Continuing on, the Phoenix climate is going to take some getting used to, coming from cool and rainy Portland, OR. It's hot. :D The good news is that it is relatively warm in the winter, with only a few days even reaching freezing overnight. In North Scottsdale you may even see a little snow. (Good photo opportunity.) In general there is very little rain, but late spring and early summer does bring monsoonal rain and thunderstorms, which can be quite severe at times. There is also an "urban heat island" effect; i.e., so much ground is paved over that it retains and holds the heat. In summer it can still be over 100 degrees at 3 AM. :eek: But you won't be actually out in it that much, except to get from your air-conditioned car to your air-conditioned building. :D

If we move to Vegas it'll be North Las Vegas or Summerlin.

The actual city of North Las Vegas? No, no, NO!

danez71
April 14, 2012, 10:51 AM
I live about it the middle of both in AZ... little closer to Vegas. Ive considered both as well.


Id choose PHX. A lot more diverse work. Better gun laws.

Weather is pretty much the same with it getting a little hotter in PHX in the summer and a little colder in the winter in Vegas. PHX area gets dusts storms which IMO really suck... I dont know if vegas area does or doesn't. My perception is that PHX is a dustier area in general too. Id check into that if either of you have allergies.

I consider N. Scottsdale are nicer/prettier than anywhere in the vegas area. Lots of open shooting land avail too.

If you choose Vegas area I wouldnt choose anything with vegas in the name. Check oiut Henderson too. Good houses/housing and very very close to vegas with-out actually being in vegas. Different feel than the entire city of vegas and north vegas.

Yo Mama
April 14, 2012, 11:09 AM
I'm in Phoenix, and don't think I'll ever leave. I was born here, and always think how lucky I am vs. areas that are hostile to individual liberty. When people move here all I ask is that they be friendly to how we do things here, and they help keep our rights in tact.

With that said, yes it's hot here, I'd rather that vs. snow. Phoenix's economy is coming back strong,....go figure new Gov and all. :o

Phoenix has so many good things going for it, but you also should know there are also places to avoid that are not safe. Some neighborhoods are still very segregated and don't take kindly to outsiders. We have the immigration issue still going strong, and it's not uncommon to see protests.

Open or concealed carry is legal anywhere that it's NOT specifically prohibited or posted for no firearms.

Kinda. Ability for carry is determined by permit or none needed. There are 3 places a permit is currently still needed:

1. School Zone (parking lot only)
2. Bars/Restaurants (can't be drinking)
3. Many mountain preserves/parks

LeonCarr
April 14, 2012, 11:13 AM
Phoenix

Nuclear
April 14, 2012, 04:36 PM
As far as guns go, absolutely Phoenix. I live near N. Scottsdale, great area, yeah the taxes are higher here, and there are some bad parts of Phoenix (just like every other city in the world), but overall I think AZ is a better place to live. We even have casinos, just not as over the top as Vegas.

My wife and I had the choice of relocating anywhere in the Western US, and Nevada was on the table, along with California, and we picked here.

SatCong
April 14, 2012, 07:01 PM
Phoenix!

JohnBiltz
April 14, 2012, 07:18 PM
I'd stay out of North Las Vegas, dangerous place. I moved from Vegas to Phoenix for economic reasons. I actually like the Vegas Valley a lot more. There is always something to do in Vegas, but it is not for everyone. It takes some discipline to live in Vegas. The economy tanked in Vegas after I left, work is going to be hard to find. I think the weather is better in Phoenix. Vegas gets a lot colder in the winter. You will probably see 20-30 hard freezes in Vegas, you may not see one at all in Phoenix.

hang fire
April 14, 2012, 10:45 PM
Uh, like night and day.

Vegas is more than a little tough on handguns and the carrying thereof.

In Phoenix no need to think about gun ranges unless you like company. The desert public land within a short drive from the city is open to shooting.

mrvco
April 14, 2012, 11:09 PM
Summerlin is ok, but (based on personal experience) I'd stay away from North Las Vegas until things turn around in Las Vegas.

That being said, I'd choose Phoenix over Las Vegas regardless.

Liberty1776
April 14, 2012, 11:58 PM
just my opinion from visiting, but my wife and I just got back from a couple week trip to Phoenix. loved it. the most gun friendly city I've ever seen. just a better atmosphere than Vegas. awful flat though and I don't know about the heat, but there's no way I'd consider any part of Vegas... I really enjoyed Phoenix. While my wife conducted her business, I went shooting, hunted down some out of the way diners, taco stands, bbq joints, etc. Had a dang good time and economically speaking, Phoenix is one of the only two large US cities with an expanding economy and health real estate market, comparatively speaking.

Powers77
April 15, 2012, 12:25 PM
Vegas does require "Blue Card" registration of handguns. I got my CCW here last year and its not a bid deal to get. Typical pay the fees and wait for it to come as long as you are legal to get it. As others have said we picked Summerlin over N. Vegas. I'd also consider Henderson. N. Vegas is not a safe area.
I've lived in Phx and now Vegas albeit 25 years apart. Vegas is windy a bit more and gets a little cooler in the winter but in general the weather is pretty awesome. Always something to do in Vegas. Friends and family WILL come visit (good and bad). I liked PHX very much as well. Biggest thing I don't like about PHX is the traffic. Too much of a big city in that vein. Vegas traffic is generally pretty good as long as you are not on the strip itself and that is easily avoided.
A bigger consideration might be employment. We are at 14%+ here in Vegas right now. Not sure what PHX is at. Just saw an article that Tucson is a great place to buy a home right now and has 7% unemployment. Very nice place if you have never been there. Only downside I noted is the road system is not good, and is kind of hard to get around.
And finally, I've found its always better to error on the side of what the "Girlfriend/Wife" wishes to do. Life is just more pleasant that way.
I really like it here in Vegas, but it is not for everyone.

musicman10_1
April 15, 2012, 10:02 PM
Phoenix!! Vegas is a neat place to visit but I would not want to live there. Phoenix metro area has everything you want and is probably the most gun-friendly place I've ever been.

Joe Link
April 15, 2012, 10:58 PM
Wow guys, thanks for all the great input! I cannot believe Clark County requires handgun registration! This is exactly why I wanted to post this thread, to get input and see if there's anything I wasn't considering. That kills it for me and my idea of living on (or just off) the strip for a while. We were also under the impression that both Phoenix and Vegas had similar (poor) economies.

Keep it coming guys :)

Powers77
April 15, 2012, 11:34 PM
The "Blue Card" has city of Las Vegas Police Department information on it so it "may" be just a city thing. All I know is I had to get one for each gun and when I buy a new one they fill one out. It is gun specific and only on handguns.

Chief 101
April 15, 2012, 11:38 PM
if that is your only choices it is Arizona for sure

ObsidianOne
April 15, 2012, 11:39 PM
Phoenix by far. For ALL the reasons stated above. Not to mention, open carrying on the strip can be a frustrating experience. A lot of tourists are from places (either states or countries) that they don't see guns being carried (or it's illegal to have firearms) and they call the police quite frequently. Which could be a hassle if you're trying to enjoy yourself.

armoredman
April 16, 2012, 12:05 AM
The nice thing is there are many suburbs of Phoenix to choose from, and you can live outside the city and still reap the benefits. My wife and I are considering a move to north Phoenix if I can find affordable housing there.

SatCong
April 16, 2012, 01:49 AM
armoredman The nice thing is there are many suburbs of Phoenix to choose from, and you can live outside the city and still reap the benefits. My wife and I are considering a move to north Phoenix if I can find affordable housing there.

Come out to Goodyear.

Kingofthehill
April 17, 2012, 05:59 PM
As much as I love Vegas, I would pick Phoenix. It's nice to drive a couple hours north to flagstaff to escape the heat or havea white Christmas. Ultimately the place I will retire to in 30 years when I'm able is flagstaff.

oneounceload
April 17, 2012, 06:20 PM
Clark County NV requires handgun registration

Yep. And the double whammy of living in North LV - you really don't want to

if those are the only two choices, opt for Phoenix;

otherwise the Reno area in NV and Prescott area in AZ are worthy of a look

langenc
April 18, 2012, 12:48 AM
Year ago took a cheaper flight to AZ-Mesa airport. SE of Phoenix.. Then drove to Sun City (NW) and it was 60 miles--all homes/condos and shopping malls--60 miles.

Quiet
April 18, 2012, 03:01 AM
Another vote for Phoenix.

NV has a higher unemployment rate than AZ.
Las Vegas has a higher crime rate than Phoenix.

Some gun laws you won't have to deal with in AZ...
Clark County has mandatory handgun registration for residents of Clark County.
Clark County has a 3 day waiting period for handguns. If you have a handgun registered with LVMPD, you are exempt from the waiting period.

loose noose
April 18, 2012, 10:55 AM
I live 90 miles south of LasVegas, and the gun rules here are not as lenient as in AZ. But we don't have to pay a State income tax. Being a retired LE I can carry CCW anyway. Last I heard for an ordinary citizen to carry CCW they have to be able to show cause (carry a large sum of cash, have been threatened etc) However there are quite a few places out here where you can set up your own range and start shooting.

Powers77
April 18, 2012, 10:44 PM
No special circumstances are required for a CCW in Nevada. You only have to be able to pass the normal background check that I think is required everywhere. My CCW class was really just an education on the laws and how to do things legally. Taught by a true gun enthusiast. There is a shooting portion but if you can't pass it you have no business with a gun.

mrvco
April 19, 2012, 01:03 AM
I was going to mention Tuscon, but didn't want to derail the thread. But since the cat is out of the bag... What a neat city and the desert there is absolutely amazing. If I had to come down out of the mountains and move to the desert, Tuscon would be at the top of my list.

rspeters
April 19, 2012, 01:57 AM
I'm up in the far Northwest Phoenix area and it's nice. I'm about 15-25 minutes from Lake Pleasant and open desert...I love being able to get out of town quick for shooting, offroading, etc. Plus no complaints about the gunlaws here.

igousigloo
April 20, 2012, 10:31 PM
Where does Harry Reid live? Try the other place.

exavid
April 21, 2012, 01:54 AM
I've spent time in both places and if I were moving I'd go to AZ and visit Las Vegas for a couple days now and then. AZ is a lot more gun friendly. There is a great variation of climate and terrain in AZ. Besides how could a state that has a county sheriff like Joe Arpaio be bad? Taxes are a bit higher in AZ but Nevada isn't doing so well of late and that could change. Flagstaff, Tucson, Yuma, Phoenix, there are a lot of interesting places in AZ. Also it bears repeating, what state elected Harry Reid? Remember Jan Brewer, AZ's governor stuck her finger in Obama's eye.

Ex
April 21, 2012, 02:10 AM
Phoenix (area). Don't like Phoenix itself...live in Mesa. Cooler by up to 10 degrees. Must calmer environment. Much closer to real mountains (Mogillon Rim @~7-8000 ft). Almost a "small town" feel with all the bennies of BIG city, etc...

Of course, IMHO!

Alaska444
April 21, 2012, 02:37 AM
Phoenix or Las Vegas? Nahhh, Denver is a neat town and not all that backwards as far as guns goes, but it is getting a bit too liberal for me since it is a western city after all. But Phoenix? Can you say HOT!! Vegas is definitely a cool oasis compared to Phoenix if you happen to follow the weather reports at all.

Denver gives you rather mild weather in the winter as well. My wife and I both wish we would have stayed there instead of heading out to CA. Weather wise, it tops Vegas and Phoenix by a wide margin my opinion.

loose noose
April 22, 2012, 04:13 PM
To Powers77, I'm not sure when you got your CCW, but in Clark County, not only do you need a "blue card" (Form Of Permanent Registration) but you also need to show cause according to the Metropolitan Police Department before the County Sheriff will issue you a CCW. This I heard less than a month ago from a Metro Officer. If I'm wrong I definitely apologize for any misunderstanding.

Powers77
April 22, 2012, 07:17 PM
To Powers77, I'm not sure when you got your CCW, but in Clark County, not only do you need a "blue card" (Form Of Permanent Registration) but you also need to show cause according to the Metropolitan Police Department before the County Sheriff will issue you a CCW. This I heard less than a month ago from a Metro Officer. If I'm wrong I definitely apologize for any misunderstanding.
Loose Noose - My Nevada CCW is dated 11-2011 so I took the class last fall. There was a lot of paperwork but I don't recall any need to show cause at all. I'm originally from the Peoples Republic of Illinois so I'd sure like to know if NV is headed that way as well.
You have my curiosity up at this point and I'll make it a point to check next time I'm over at the range. They teach the CCW class and I'm sure they will know of any such requirements.
Just found the requirements listed below at ccw-lasvegas.com and think its the "standard" list most states use. I'm still going to inquire next time I'm over at the range. No offense taken at all. Hopefully your Metro source is the one mistaken.


CCW Requirements

In order to qualify for a Nevada CCW permit you must meet all the following minmum requirements. Please make absolutely certain you meet these requirements before you begin the CCW process. If you do not meet even just one of these requirements, you are not able to obtain a Nevada CCW permit.

Full List of CCW Requirements

1. You must be 21 years old.

2. You must complete the 8 hour CCW class.

3. You must target qualify with each type of gun (semi-auto or revolver) you want to conceal carry.

4. You must not be a fugitive from justice.

5. You must be mentally sound, sane, and competent.

6. You must never have been admitted to a mental health facility/asylum.

7. You must not be a habitual user of drugs or alcohol.

8. No felony criminal conviction (regardless of crime or date of occurance).

9. No misdemeanor criminal conviction that involved the use of violence or threats thereof within 3 years prior to submitting your application.

10. No criminal conviction for stalking.

11. No criminal conviction for domestic violence.

12. You may not be under restraining order.

12. You may not have been dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Forces.

13. You must be a US Citizen or Legal Resident Alien with a valid SS#.

14. You must submit a completed application and all supporting documents.

15. You must pay the appropriate fees.

16. You must answer all questions on the application honestly.

17. No D.U.I. (drunk driving) conviction in past 5 years in any state.

SabbathWolf
April 22, 2012, 07:28 PM
I was born in Sunrise Hospital in Vegas, and grew up there.
I left when I joined the army.
I am retired now and still never moved back home again.
I live in the Midwest now.
Enough said.

loneviking
April 23, 2012, 08:23 PM
As of Oct. 2011, you don't have to qualify with every different semi-auto you want to carry. Qualify with one semi-auto and one revolver, that's all you need for any of them. I despise Las Vegas because the powers that be tried to create 'california east' and I moved away from California to get away from that mentality. There are quite a few unenforceable firearm laws on the books of Vegas and surrounding suburbs. Much of the population is about as anti-gun as what you find in California.

SabbathWolf
April 23, 2012, 10:44 PM
As of Oct. 2011, you don't have to qualify with every different semi-auto you want to carry. Qualify with one semi-auto and one revolver, that's all you need for any of them. I despise Las Vegas because the powers that be tried to create 'california east' and I moved away from California to get away from that mentality. There are quite a few unenforceable firearm laws on the books of Vegas and surrounding suburbs. Much of the population is about as anti-gun as what you find in California.


Not to mention my entire old neighborhood and much of the "old" city looks like Tijuana, Mexico now.
The town has fallen apart in many places and resembles a 3rd world country.
I have no idea what the percentage of illegal immigrants is now, but I visited in 2010 and was almost brought to tears when I saw what happened to my old home.

Joe Link
April 24, 2012, 10:52 PM
Wow, it's crazy how different Vegas is than I had imagined it. I'm sure happy I posted this thread. We've decided on Phoenix ;)

Powers77
April 28, 2012, 06:22 PM
To Powers77, I'm not sure when you got your CCW, but in Clark County, not only do you need a "blue card" (Form Of Permanent Registration) but you also need to show cause according to the Metropolitan Police Department before the County Sheriff will issue you a CCW. This I heard less than a month ago from a Metro Officer. If I'm wrong I definitely apologize for any misunderstanding.
Just spoke to the guy that taught my CCW. He now teaches it at the local Bass Pro here in Vegas. He confirmed that there has not been any change in the requirements and that there is not a provision requiring one to show cause to obtain a CCW.

loneviking
April 28, 2012, 08:34 PM
Nope..no requirement to show cause. Nevada has statewide pre-emption which means that the legislature sets the gun laws and not Las Vegas.

Ex
April 28, 2012, 11:24 PM
Wow, it's crazy how different Vegas is than I had imagined it. I'm sure happy I posted this thread. We've decided on Phoenix ;)
Good choice Joe! Depending on where you find employment, check out Mesa and Gilbert .

If you wanna go a couple miles further east to Apache Junction, you can save some pretty big stamps on home prices. AJ has a lot of areas in it that are trailer cities, but they are really building some very nice communities now as well. PM me if you want some specifics!

I'm in east Mesa and it's very nice AND 10 degrees cooler than Phoenix!
Ex

loose noose
April 30, 2012, 05:03 PM
Powers 77 & loneviking, glad to hear I, and the Metro Officer, was wrong I don't see why a retired LEO should be able to carry CCW and the law abiding citizen has to jump thru hoops to be able to carry, best of luck to all of you.:cool:

Hypnogator
April 30, 2012, 05:22 PM
We've decided on Phoenix

I don't think you'll be sorry. As others have stated, look closely at Mesa or Tempe, rather than Phoenix proper. Our daughter and her husband live in Tempe and love it, and there are a lot of great things to see and do there and in Mesa.

We've bought some property near Florence, about half way between Mesa and Tucson. Love that area in the winter. ;)

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