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There is, of course, confusion about all the recent changes to state gun laws. For one thing, all states have ’em, and they vary from state to state. There are states where the chances of a private citizen receiving a license to carry a concealed gun are roughly the same as the chances of seeing Elvis at a bus stop (Massachusetts), and states where you are actually (if not practically) required to keep a gun, Well, that’s the law in Kennessaw, Georgia. But you get my drift. Arizona is about to pass HB 2347, which would make it possible for any citizen to carry a concealed weapon—without having to take a test (written or practical). The Arizona Star explains. Somewhat.

HB 2347, given preliminary House approval Thursday, removes all the criminal penalties that now exist for having a weapon in a purse, under a jacket or tucked into a boot without having a state-issued permit.

So you’d still have to get a permit for concealed carry, but it you didn’t have one, you don’t get penalized? So why get one? Duh. Unless they legislators tweak the bill, that’s about the size of it. I think.

A 1994 law permitted weapons to be concealed if the person had a permit from the Department of Public Safety, which requires a one-day class on the law and firearms handling, plus a background check.

Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said the requirement should remain in place.

“I’m still trying to figure out what exactly is the necessity for this,” he said.

“It expands our liberty and supports the Second Amendment,” responded Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista. He said the ability to be armed is a right, whether someone chooses to have a weapon visible or not.

The measure goes beyond just eliminating the need for adults to have permits.

Current law does not permit anyone younger than 21 to have a concealed weapon. This legislation would let someone younger than that have a hidden gun if he or she is in a home or business owned or leased by a parent, grandparent or legal guardian, or if any part of the holster or carrying case is wholly or partially visible.

Down to what age? As always, the Devil’s in the details.

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  1. Actually, Robert, there is an excellent reason to issue permits even notwithstanding a change to Vermont-style carry: Reciprocity across state lines. Without a permit there is no basis for reciprocity.

    Now, some could argue that a permit is not needed for reciprocity, that if Arizona allows CO residents (or anyone else, for that matter) to carry sans permit, then CO could simply extend the same privilege to AZ residents.

    Two problems with that: First of all, how do you establish residency? A legal resident of AZ might, under some circumstances, have a drivers license or ID from another state, and in any case, what about those who don't drive? And you could only imagine the number of criminals who, after they got busted carrying without a permit, would suddenly remember that they actually live in Phoenix, Flagstaff or Show Low.

    Second problem would be both practical and political: Since CO requires it's own residents to obtain a permit before carrying concealed in public places, allowing AZ residents to carry without a permit would be extending to AZ residents a privilege CO doesn't extend to its own citizens – obviously a non-starter for a number of reasons (and as a CO resident I would oppose such a construction on that very basis.)


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