Is it possible to legally have a firearm (handgun/rifle/shotgun) in a vehicle that a person is the driver of, and NOT tell the police in Arizona whether they have a firearm or not?

According Arizona Revised Statute 13-3102 ( https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/03102.htm ) it says under A-1-b: "(b) When contacted by a law enforcement officer and failing to accurately answer the officer if the officer asks whether the person is carrying a concealed deadly weapon; or"

However, doesn't this violate the person's constitutional rights to NOT answer any questions, or self-incriminate? Would a "I prefer not to answer any questions I am not legally obligated to answer" suffice? Would saying "I don't know" suffice? Would saying "I may or may not have a firearm" suffice? What is the most vague answer you are legally allowed to give, especially when in possession of a firearm? What is the consequence of not answering this question?

Can someone under 21 that has a handgun in luggage in the trunk of a car legally NOT answer that question? Under ARS 13-3102 under A-1 it says: "1. Carrying a deadly weapon except a pocket knife concealed on his person or within his immediate control in or on a means of transportation:", so does that mean if it is in the trunk of a car, or in a lockbox on the dashboard, you don't have to answer that question?

Lastly, is it smarter/wiser to answer the question when confronted by police?

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    If you "legally have a firearm ... in a vehicle," how is it self-incriminating to say so? – bdb484 Oct 8 '20 at 4:09
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    @bdb484 Its not just potential self incrimination, asking if you have something is arguably a search that the 4th amendment protects you against. I expect the law would be upheld though. – Matt Oct 10 '20 at 2:43
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    I don't think it's arguable that a question is a search. If there's any case law supporting that, I'd be interested to see how the court reached that conclusion. – bdb484 Oct 10 '20 at 6:14
  • I've asked a separate question about the 4th/5th Amendment issues if you admit to having an illegal weapon due to this law. law.stackexchange.com/questions/58077/… – Paul Johnson Nov 14 '20 at 13:15

You have to answer the question accurately, which means an affirmative or denial, or a sincere unknown - if you don't know the contents of something you carry for example. So you need to answer correctly and truthfully. Everything else is not accurate for your person. If you are not sure about passengers, the best you could say is "I do/don't, but I only speak for myself, not my passengers/the contents of that box XYZ gave me." Not answering or being vague is not the way to go, as such behavior ticks mental checkboxes for in how much danger a policeman believes to be.

Then, your hypothetical: yes, the trunk is carried, it is even specifically mentioned in section 3 of the paragraph you pointed at (emphasis mine):

  1. A firearm that is carried in: (e) A case, holster, scabbard, pack or luggage that is carried within a means of transportation or within a storage compartment, map pocket, trunk or glove compartment of a means of transportation.

It is always smarter to answer the question correctly, as you put policemen at ease if you show you cooperate and that you have no access to a firearm.

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