It's in the Constitution that it's every American citizens right to bear sidearms. This has been fostered right from day one, and when President Heston was in charge, it was almost mandatory. Thus, every citizen usually has a small stash of weapons somewhere in their place of residence. However, the right to have arms, and the ability to carry them around, are two separate things.
Unless they're in a bad mood or you give a reason to be stopped, the police don't stop people unless they have to. This usually only causes more trouble than it's worth. Due to this, you can generally carry whatever you like, whenever you like provided it is concealed.
It is generally accepted that at any given time, anyone moving around in a PZ has a concealed handgun or small close combat weapon on them. The police accept this, and provided you're not actually engaged in any nefarious activity at the time, if you're stopped and a concealed small weapon found, a simple and quick bribe (or fine as its usually referred to) of $200 is enough to allow any that to be overlooked.
The police aren't interested in small weapons, they're so easy to get hold of that it's not worth their trouble to do anything about it, and besides, if everyone who had a concealed weapon on them was stopped, you'd have to make the penalty the death sentence just so that there would be room in the jails.
However, that's just referring to small close combat weapons (knifes, tasers, small clubs) or handguns (pistols). Larger or more exotic weapons are not strictly kosher.
If you're stopped and you're carrying something bigger, then the bribes get a lot steeper. Again, unless you're actually engaged in some sort of activity that you shouldn't be, the following standard bribes can be used.
Shotguns, vintage rifles, hunting rifles cost $500.
Submachine guns, assault rifles, battle rifles cost $1,000.
Other weapons (miniguns, flamethrowers, grenade launchers, RPGs), however, are just not on. If you must attempt to bribe your way out of this one, you're talking about a $5,000 per cop involved, and even then, there's no guarantee that they're not going to radio ahead and get others involved (especially if you seem able to pay) or just stop you anyway. They don't like people being more heavily armed than they are.
Close combat weapons are generally not considered that important to the police. Knives they won't bother with, chainsaws and power tools can be bought at any hardware store. The only thing that will raise a few eyebrows is a sword, and for a mere $500, it won't even do that.
Technically, every weapon holder should have a license for the weapons they carry. Unless you're going to be a fuss when searched, this license won't be asked for. If however it is, double all bribe prices unless you can actually produce one.
If you do want to buy a license, it costs a mere $500 per year to get a handgun license. A rifle/hunting license costs $1,000. Licenses for automatic weapons cost $5,000 but are generally only given to those in a job that requires them (like a Sanctioned Op).
Licenses for close combat weapons are much cheaper - it's only $500 for pretty much whatever you want to have.
Licenses though, only allow the ownership and controlled using of the weapons specified, so technically, wandering around with a concealed weapon of any kind is still illegal, its just that no one really cares.
The general advice outside of the PeeZee is that if you're not carrying a weapon, you're either stupid or dead. Probably both. Infact, this attitude goes so high, that some senators are trying to make it illegal to leave a PZ without
carrying some sort of weapon.
There is a misconception that the police around the filter care about you're taking out of the city. On the whole, they don't. Provided you're not carrying crates of weaponry without said licenses to prove you're an arms dealer with an escort, they won't bat an eyelid if you have a minigun in the boot of your car. If you're leaving the city, you won't need to pay a bribe to get it past the gate.
The police are only interested about the weapons coming into a town. They will search your vehicle and they will do it quite thoroughly. Provided you have the licenses you need and are only carrying a small arsenal of a couple of weapons, you're fine. If you don't have the licenses, you'll be paying fines. This time though, you'll have to pay for each policeman searching the vehicle - on average, there will be two. You don't need to pay the guys covering you with the heavy weapons. If you're carrying exotic weaponry, make sure you have the licenses, or else you'll be paying per weapon, per cop, which can make it very expensive. Or else you'll be doing a few years hard time.
There is yet another misconception about why the police accept so many bribes. Most people think that the people are just corrupt. While it is true that there are many corrupt members of the police force around, the real reason for all the bribery is that with government and state funding constantly cut, police forces are severely underpaid for what they do. Corporate security is
usually corrupt, but at least they're paid well for what they do, the police aren't. Thus bribery is a very necessary way of actually getting a standard salary at the end of the day. You'll also find that a lot of police actually put their bribes into a pot, and at the end of the day, this is shared out to make things fair, but this is done station per station.