Concealed weapons allowed in libraries, rec centers under proposal at Arizona Legislature

Concealed weapons allowed in libraries, rec centers under proposal at Arizona Legislature

Hundreds of thousands of Arizonans with concealed weapons permits could take guns into libraries, recreation centers and other public buildings under a proposal making its way through the state Legislature. House Bill 2551 would give local governments two choices: Exempt those individuals from weapons bans currently in place at public facilities and events, or outfit every public entrance with guards and metal detectors to ensure true gun-free zones. "Placing a sticker that says ‘No weapons allowed’ with a little red hash — that stops law-abiding citizens from bringing weapons into government buildings. It doesn’t stop criminals," bill sponsor Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said during a House Government and Elections hearing Wednesday. That creates a situation where "the honest people are disarmed and the criminals can go in and have an advantage," he said, "which is just bad policy." Kavanagh acknowledged there are some areas where only law enforcement officers should be armed, such as courts, prisons, prosecutor’s offices, schools and state hospitals. The bill exempts those facilities and does not apply to private businesses. "I see no reason to deprive people of what I believe is a Second Amendment right, and to put them in situations where criminals are armed and they are not," he said. Opponents: Guns can create dangerous situations Gun rights advocates and the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, however, pleaded with lawmakers not to support the measure Wednesday. "In addition to government buildings where sensitive matters are handled, this bill could force guns […]

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