State Capitol News
Fri June 26, 2009
Legislators choose gun rights over private property rights
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – State lawmakers decided Thursday that the rights of gun owners
trump those of property owners, at least in some circumstances.
Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.
The issue surrounds the policies of some businesses banning
employees from driving on the property with guns in their
vehicles. Rep. John Kavanagh said that undermines the right of
people to defend themselves.
(Many of these are women victims of domestic violence or women in
general who feel vulnerable if they work late at night and they
have to drive home alone and they're afraid of getting a flat
tire on a lonely road. When these employers say to these
employees, 'You can't bring guns into this facility,' then they
have to leave their gun home because they can't bring it into the
workplace and they can't leave it in the parking lot. So they
wind up being defenseless.)
His legislation says companies can't ban people from bringing
guns into parking lots as long as they lock them in the vehicle
out of sight. But Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute warned
that declaring Second Amendment rights superior to property
rights sets a bad precedent.
(What we see this legislation doing is turning privately owned
parking garages, it's not just corporate parking garages, it's
mom-and-pop parking lots as well, into quasi public property.)
Bolick said that would be akin to saying a store owner couldn't
keep protestors out of the parking lot because they're exercising
their First Amendment rights. But a majority of a Senate panel
disagreed, approving the bill on a 4-2 vote.