More than 200,000 people who have state-issued permits to carry concealed weapons would be able to bring them into most public buildings under terms of a bill given preliminary Senate approval Tuesday. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.
Proponents say that people who have gone through the required state training need to protect themselves from those who may not be law-abiding citizens, people already ignoring the no-guns signs on public buildings. But, Sen. Steve Gallardo said the legislation is based on a faulty premise that those with concealed-carry permits have gone through extensive training on not only handling their weapons, but also when it is appropriate — and when it is not — to use deadly physical force.
“We have whittled down our CCW laws over the last 10 years where they are unbelievably laughable. Just about anyone can obtain a CCW license. There is absolutely, for the most part, no training,” Gallardo said.
There is a required background check. But, a requirement for 16 hours of training was repealed years ago. That has been replaced by one of several options, such as completion of a firearms safety or training class approved by the Department of Public Safety or certified by the National Rifle Association. The measure does allow government agencies to keep gun-toting patrons out of public buildings — but only if they spend the money on armed guards and a metal detector at each public entrance. And, public schools and university buildings remain gun-free zones.