Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have allowed some people to bring their guns into public buildings. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.
Current law says government agencies can post signs that say “no guns.” And those who ignore those signs can be charged with a crime. This legislation said that the approximately 200,000 Arizonans who have state-issued permits to carry concealed weapons would have to obey those signs only if there also were metal detectors and armed guards at each public entrance. Charles Heller, spokesman for the Arizona Citizens Defense League, said such signs provide a false sense of security. He said law-abiding citizens surrender their weapons, leaving them vulnerable to those who ignore the signs. But, Brewer said that mandate for metal detectors and guards would be an expensive proposition for public agencies. Heller said there’s a cheaper alternative: Take down the signs, and let everyone bring in their weapons.
“The honest people can be in there, armed. Nobody’s going to say ‘boo’ to them. And, if a bad guy comes in, he knows he’s got a good chance, if he tries to kill somebody, of getting shot,” Heller said.
In her veto message Brewer said she is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. But, it may be that the governor will find no version of any bill to allow guns into public buildings acceptable to her. She vetoed similar measures in 2011 and again in 2012, saying at that time any decision to allow guns in public buildings should be made in cooperation with local agencies and not simply mandated by the Legislature.