Siding with local governments, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have allowed guns into public buildings.
Existing law says all a government agency need do to keep guns out is post a sign and provide lockers for weapons. Charles Heller of the Arizona Citizens Defense League said that's meaningless. In fact, Heller said the signs actually can make the building more dangerous.
If the idea of 'stand your ground' sounds like something that could happen only in Florida, think again. Lawmakers here quietly approved a similar plan two years ago.
The issue arose as Dave Kopp of the Arizona Citizens Defense League was trying to keep police from keeping track of who owns guns. But Kopp got Chuck Gray, who then was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to tack on language adding a new provision to Arizona's self-defense laws.
State senators gave final approval this afternoon to legislation that could let anyone bring a gun into a public building.
Current law says posting a sign makes it illegal to enter with a gun. This legislation adds the requirement of having armed guards and metal detectors. Proponents said the signs are obeyed only by law-abiding citizens, leaving them prey to those who ignore the signs. Sen. Al Melvin said society can be broken down into three groups: The unarmed sheep, armed sheep dogs -- and the wolves who are the bad guys.
Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports there are some changes designed to make the bill more acceptable to the governor.
In vetoing last year's version, Jan Brewer said there were too many loopholes and problems. So Sen. Ron Gould has scaled back the proposal. One change is that only those who have a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon could bring their guns onto campus.