Arizona Carry Laws: Stay Away from Your Betters

Arizona has some of the most liberal (in a good way) gun laws in the country. So liberal, in fact, that, at least until Trayvon et al, it was the common-sensers’ poster boy example of blood-in-the-streets, no holds barred firearm mayhem waiting to happen. The Grand Canyon state even has constitutional carry – no permit required to tuck one in your pocket and go. But it looks like even in Arizona, when it comes to where you can carry, some people are just like everyone else, only better. And Arizonans have Governor Jan Brewer to thank for it . . .

Yesterday she vetoed a bill, for the second time, that would have allowed concealed carry in government buildings. Her reason, according to

“The decisions to permit or prohibit guns in these extremely sensitive locations — whether a city council chamber or branch office staffed with state workers — should be cooperatively reached and supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders, including citizens, law-enforcement officials and local government leaders,” Brewer wrote in her veto letter.

House Bill 2729, sponsored by Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, was pushed by the Arizona Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights group. It proposed making it legal for people to enter public property with a weapon unless the property was secured by either a state or federal certified law-enforcement officer or an armed security guard and metal detectors.

It should be a local decision, at least that’s the way Brewer sees it. She even used Antonin Scalia’s opinion OK’ing restrictions in “sensitive places” in the Heller decision to justify the veto. Arizona local yokels also opposed the bill based on the cost of complying. But potential cost wasn’t her only reason for canning the new law:

“While I appreciate the efforts of the bill sponsor … there must be a more thorough and collaborative discussion of the proper place for guns in the public arena,” Brewer wrote.

So it’s OK for the state’s legislators and other public officials to pack heat wherever they like, just not their lowly constituents. Someone I know recently said, “If a politician doesn’t support the right to keep and bear arms, if he or she doesn’t “trust” citizens enough to exercise gun rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, the politician shouldn’t be trusted with power.” Words to live by.