State Capitol News
11:08 am
Thu March 3, 2011

State Senate Votes to Strip Officials From Keeping Guns out of Government Buildings

Phoenix, AZ – Current law permits city, county, state and other governments to
declare their facilities a weapons-free zone solely by posting
signs and making arrangements to check the guns of those who
enter. This measure would say all public buildings are open for
weapons. Only if there were either fixed metal detectors or
security guards with hand wands could guns be legally precluded.
Sen. Ron Gould said the current law is based on a fallacy that
having a sticker on the door declaring a
building to be gun free really makes it so.

(But that's not reality, folks. The stickers only stop law-
abiding citizens. If you're a criminal, the stickers don't stop
you. If you're psychotic, the stickers don't stop you. But it
does disarm law-abiding citizens. So should one of those
psychotic or criminal with evil intent come into the building,
essentially you've disarmed anybody that might be able to defend
them.)

But Sen. Steve Gallardo said the answer is not more people with
more guns. And he said senators should consider their own
situation.

(If we want to make sure that our facilities are safe, let's make
sure we have adequate security. The notion that someone could be
sitting right up behind us with a firearm while we're debating a
particular issue, let it be abortion or immigration, something
that's very emotional, and you have someone sitting in back of us
with a gun, I'm sorry. The only thing that's going to protect us
is Miss Klein.)

That reference is to Sen. Lori Klein who admitted she carries her
380 Ruger in her purse when she comes into the building. But
Gould said Gallardo's complaint proves his point. He said the
Senate is posted on the doors as a no-gun zone, though Senate
President Russell Pearce has exempted senators. Gould said those
postings are meaningless.

(We know that there's guns inside of the building. The point is,
if we really wanted to secure the Senate we would run people
through a metal detector if we wanted to disarm them. But that's
really what we're talking about, whether people want to feel safe
or they really want to be safe.)


And Gould said absent those metal detectors -- detectors that
Pearce has sworn he never would install -- people coming into the
building should be able to arm themselves for protection. For
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.