Arizona Lawmakers Introduce Firearms Bills to Further Loosen Restrictions

 

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Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh, a Republican from Surprise, saw his bill passed last year that allows people to store guns in their vehicles in the parking lots of businesses that otherwise prohibit guns.
​What kinds of firearms-related bills will Arizona lawmakers be working on in the aftermath of Saturday's mass shooting of 20 people?

Well, it's still early in the new legislative session. But so far, Republicans are continuing their mission to loosen firearms restrictions, not tighten them.

Here's a look at four of the laws proposed this week:

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State Representative Jack Harper, R-Surprise
​* HB 2001 -- Introduced by Representative Jack Harper, a Republican from Surprise, and several other GOP lawmakers, the bill aims to make it legal for faculty members of a community college to carry concealed weapons on campus.

* HB 2014 -- This one, introduced by Harper, would apparently make HB 2001 redundant. It allows nearly anyone to carry a concealed weapon onto the campus of a university, college or community college in Arizona.

* HB 2006 -- This one also from Harper, who on Monday blasted Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for failing to provide security for Giffords. The bill proposes the repeal of ARS 17-305, an anti-poaching law that prohibits carrying firearms and/or "devices for taking game" in a game refuge.

* HB 2017 -- Introduced by Representative John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills. The bill does nothing but make a grammatical change in a law Kavanagh sponsored (and saw passed) last year. The law prohibits property owners from banning guns from locked vehicles in parking lots, even if an owner has a sign posted that bans generally bans guns from the property.

Kavanagh, reached this morning, says he's certainly aware of the criticism heaped on the state in the days following Giffords' shooting. But politicizing the issue by attacking Arizona's gun laws don't make sense to him.

"I haven't seen anything our gun laws have done that have contributed to any gun violence," he says.

It's "too early to tell" what kind of laws, if any, may be needed in reaction to the mass shooting, Kavanagh says. More needs to be learned about the background of 22-year-old shooter, Jared Loughner, and what could have motivated him.

Possible angles that lawmakers or Congress could address are the confidentiality laws that prohibit doctors or educators from sharing information about concerns they may have with someone's mental health. In Loughner's case, he points out, it's already been reported that a community college teacher was worried about the young man's mental state.

It's also fair to discuss whether Army recruiters, who rejected Loughner, should share such concerns. But proposals to restrict the rights of people based on the non-professional judgments of teachers or recruiters may "get civil libertarians' hackles up," Kavanagh says. "You're walking down a minefield, in terms of personal privacy."

In any case, he wouldn't be working on such a bill because it's not his area of expertise, he adds.

Senator Krysten Sinema, a Democrat from Phoenix, has introduced what appears to be the one piece of gun control legislation so far this session. She wants to make it state crime to be a "straw buyer" of firearms for prohibited possessors, particularly members of foreign drug cartels.

Nationally, at least three members of Congress have called for gun control laws in reaction to Saturday's shooting.

 

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12 comments
Kathy Monkman
Kathy Monkman

Does anyone know the stats related to semi automatic weapons being used as successful defense against other semi automatic weapons? I'm serious with this question,it's not rhetorical. One of the men who came to Gifford's aid was armed but didn't draw his weapon. How did his being in possession of a weapon at this shooting help the situation?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Kathy, like J. I also doubt there is a distinction in handguns recorded in shootings. As to your second question: In this case being armed didn't help the one person who had a gun. As I posted in another blog in response to JT Ready: It was an apparent surprise attack and the actual shooting part probably happened in about five seconds. It took about that amount of time for people to realize what was happening and start to react, some by falling to the ground/floor, others starting to run away, others running toward the shooter, etc, and then the shooter ran out of rounds and started trying to reload a magazine. By that time the gunman was being hit with a folding chair, then grabbed by two gentlemen and taken to the ground, as a lady grabbed the magazine away from his reach. Had the armed bystander tried shooting there likely would have more victims from 'friendly fire'. The idea behind carrying a handgun is as a defensive weapon to be used when time allows the user to unholster it and direct the projectile toward center mass on the intended target, and no place else. In this case the gun was nothing more than a paperweight. Unless the bystander used it to pistol whip the shooter and we don't know that.

J Curwen
J Curwen

I doubt anyone compiles stats broken down by the loading mechanism of the firearms used. Revolver, pistol, they're both hand guns.

Charles Ward
Charles Ward

Kavanaugh must really want to be the poster boy for insane Arizona legislation. Poke that hornet's nest, boy!

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Jack Harper appears to be his ugly twin sister...

Rita
Rita

I remember a friend asking former Phoenix Police Chief Dennis Garrett why anyone would carry a handgun except to harm another human and he could not give her an answer. I believe that question remains unanswered.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Generally, Rita, one would carry a handgun as a defensive weapon in case of being attacked by some person or force (animal, perhaps a coyote while hiking). At least that's the ideal. In reality having a gun often lets people wander into bad circumstances, such as road rage, where they might otherwise turn and walk or drive away.

As a retired police officer I occasionally might carry a handgun concealed, but I still turn and drive or walk away from conflict, and I don't mix guns and alcohol, etc...

I hope that answers you question. Whether we agree with the law or not.

Rob
Rob

"I haven't seen anything our gun laws have done that have contributed to any gun violence,"

Few facts are known, but one that is, is that Loughner took a taxi in order to get there.Obviously, he took with him his gun and several long magazines.

I'm thinking he didn't get in that taxi with his Glock 19 and several 30 round magazines visible. He obviously had them concealed. Which, thanks to legislation passed last year is perfectly legal for anyone over 21 to do without any licensing. Is it possible to surmise that had he needed to get that licensing, which requires physical, hands on training with qualified, licensed instructors that his issues may have been spotted and his license denied?

Either way, wanting to do what he did, concealed carry legal or not, he could have done what he set out to do so ....

Anonymous User
Anonymous User

13-3102. Misconduct involving weapons; defenses; classification; definitions

A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:

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:

(a) In the furtherance of a serious offense as defined in section 13-706, a violent crime as defined in section 13-901.03 or any other felony offense; or

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

Yeah, but he would have concealed them anyway. The only way we would ever find THAT particular law to be the culprit(And I don't like it, BTW), is if he said. 'Hey, I would never have done it if I couldn't have legally carried my gun concealed'.

Just my 1/50th of a dollar...

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

//"Senator Krysten Sinema, a Democrat from Phoenix, has introduced what appears to be the one piece of gun control legislation so far this session. She wants to make it state crime to be a "straw buyer" of firearms for prohibited possessors, particularly members of foreign drug cartels."//

Most gun-control laws are either a joke or a thinly veiled attempt to rein in our rights, but I DEFINITELY like this one.

Steve Muratore
Steve Muratore

Sinema is one of the brightest of our 90 state lawmakers.

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