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Gun control

Proposed Az gun laws would ease concealed weapons requirements

College faculty could also carry on campus

Gun owners will have fewer restrictions in Arizona if state legislators have their way.

One bill attracting controversy would allow carrying a concealed weapon without a permit or background check. It is now a misdemeanor. One of the bill's sponsors says changes to state gun laws would protect people, reports Northern Arizona Today.

"All we’re doing is handcuffing good people, restricting their constitutional, God-given right to carry and perhaps their ability to defend their families," said state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican cosponsoring the bill.

Critics told the New York Times the permit requirement is essential to public safety.

“That’s sheer insanity,” said M. Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center. “If you remove the background check requirement, you’re literally writing a death sentence for law enforcement officers, family members, just people in the street.”

Others disagree.

“It doesn’t make much sense why someone would have to go through a background check, training, etc., simply to carry their weapon,” said John Wentling, vice president of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, a gun rights lobby group is promoting the bill.

Another part of the bill would allow college faculty to carry guns on campus. The Arizona Daily Wildcat reports that the Associated Students of the University of Arizona will discuss the bill at a meeting, Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Ventana Room of the Student Memorial Center.

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“It’s extremely disappointing and disheartening that the state legislature would propose such a (bill),” ASUA Sen. Tyler Quillin told the Wildcat.

Despite opponents' concerns, the laws have a good chance of passing, reports the Arizona Republic.

Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said he has owned guns most of his life. He said that changing the concealed-weapon permit law moves Arizona in the wrong direction but that his opinion may not matter.

"If the Republicans want to push this through, we can't stop it. They run the Legislature, they run the Governor's Office," he said. "I'm not sure the general public wants to go back to the day when people could walk into any saloon with a firearm strapped to their hip, but it seems like the majority party does."

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1 comment on this story

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39 comments
Feb 4, 2010, 8:41 am
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Although the Crips and the Bloods don’t usually get involved in politics, I understand that they are very happy with the Repubs at the moment :)

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