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Gun Rights on the Move in Arizona

February 8th, 2010 · Posted by · 2 Comments · Politics, Shooting

Sebastian over at Snow Flakes in Hell notes that Arizona has a slew of pro gun rights legislation in the pipeline this year. The proposed laws include the Firearms Freedom Act, legalizing defensive display of a firearm, allowing university professors to carry guns on school grounds, and eliminating the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed weapon (HB 2347 and SB 1102).

The New York Times points out:

There would still be an advantage to obtaining a permit; carrying a gun into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol would require one, and the permit would be valid in some other states. Permit holders can also buy new guns without a background check.

Permit reciprocity between states, restaurant carry, and an easier process for gun purchases would still make it advantageous to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit. Under the proposed law, a CCW permit would also prevent law enforcement from confiscating a weapon possessed lawfully by a CCW permit holder. As expected, the sky is falling for gun banning, anti-civil rights groups like the Violence Policy Center and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

“That’s sheer insanity,” said M. Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center. “If you remove the background check requirement, you’re literally writing a death sentence for law enforcement officers, family members, just people in the street.”

No, Ms. Rand, criminals won’t be affected by any changes to our gun laws. Stricter gun laws never encumber criminals, just law abiding citizens. If you could get criminals to comply with laws, then we wouldn’t call them criminals.

“You have no laws meant to reduce gun violence and protect the public, and you have an active gun lobby there that wants to do away with even the bare threshold of laws you do have,” said Ladd Everitt of the Washington, D.C.-based national Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Contrary to what Everitt believes, we have a plethora of laws intended to reduce all types of violence, including violent crimes involving firearms. I’m sure that Everitt would be comforted to know that we still have capital punishment in Arizona. If the death penalty isn’t a good enough deterrent against gun violence, a background check surely isn’t going to stop it. Perhaps, these groups should campaign against violent people, instead of inanimate objects.

As a lifelong Arizona resident and a CCW permit holder, I support the passage of all of these bills, with one exception. I have reservations about Senate Bill 1102 allowing concealed carry without a permit. Arizona is a battleground against human and drug trafficking through our Southern border with Mexico. Phoenix has the second highest rate of kidnapping in the world, human smugglers often have running gun battles on our freeways, and home invasions have become routine.

We have a systematic failure to enforce several existing laws, due to vote pandering policies that circumvent the rule of law. These corrupt policies prevent law enforcement officers in many municipalities from arresting human smugglers and criminals, unless they have solid proof a serious crime has occurred. Allowing police to enforce all laws would solve this problem. Otherwise, our carry laws are one of the few ways law enforcement officers have to easily distinguish law abiding citizens from criminals.

Law abiding citizens open carry weapons, or carry with a CCW permit and notify an officer when encountered under current laws. A criminal won’t have a permit and can be easily removed from the streets for the weapons violation alone. If the bill allowing concealed carry without a permit passes, we will take away an effective tool for removing criminals from the streets.

I know my position puts me at odds with AzCDL, but I believe that passage of this bill will provide effective ammunition for the anti-civil rights groups. As an unintended consequence, these groups will be able to disingenuously point to any crime involving a firearm and claim that the crime is due to our “lax laws”, when the lack of enforcement our existing laws and borders would be the true cause. I believe passage of SB 1102 could cause the pendulum to swing against lawful gun owners, undoing much of the headway made on fully restoring our 2nd Amendment rights.

Kevin over at Exurban League has different concerns about this bill that you may find interesting.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bernard Grant Feb 16, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Read up on this guy!

  • 2 Is That A Gun In Your Pocket… Apr 13, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    […] first, offered by Capitalist Pig, is that having the CCW requirement gives law enforcement an extra tool to deal with the bad guys. That argument is not without merit, of course (see Al Capone/tax […]

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