Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature has long been controlled by the gun lobby. Guns in bars. Guns in schools. Guns on university campuses. Guns in parks. Where will this nonsense end?
In April 2010, the Arizona Legislature passed and Governor Jan Brewer signed a law allowing Arizonans to carry concealed weapons without a permit— euphemistically called “constitutional carry”. Arizona is now one of the few states in the US where this is legal. Our law is even more liberal that Texas. In this excerpt from Men’s News Daily, a gun lobbyist gleefully promotes constitutional carry in Arizona.
The intrusive government “permit” system in Arizona, introduced in 1994 with paperwork, approvals, fingerprinting, criminal-database listings, required classes, two mandatory tests, taxation and expiration dates to exercise “rights” is still available, but is now optional. Enormous police resources that could be going directly toward reducing crime have instead been diverted by the program into registering, regulating and tracking the innocent. About 3% of the public have signed up for the plastic-coated permission slips, though an estimated 50% of the state’s population keeps and bears arms. Official sources acknowledge they get millions of dollars per year from the permit taxes called “fees.”
“This new law brings rights restoration for the public, and an increase in freedom for law-abiding people,” said Dave Kopp, a lobbyist for the Arizona Citizens Defense League that requested and promoted the new law. “The people have the same right to bear arms discreetly that they have to bear arms openly, we are simply correcting statute to reflect that. If your jacket accidentally covers your sidearm, that no longer exposes you to criminal penalties.” A woman will be able to put a handgun in her handbag, go about her business, and not be subject to arrest.
The key changes in the law were made by repealing the infringing language in A.R.S. §13-3102, not by enacting new rules. A number of other changes were made in SB 1108, the bill that carried the Constitutional Carry law, and these will be described in plain English and posted by gunlaws.com next week. The new law will become effective 90 days after the legislature closes, or approximately in July.
Guns don’t make us safer; they only make our lives more dangerous. According to public health research, the number one risk factor for being shot by a gun is owning a gun. Also, according to the research, gun owners are more likely to shoot friends and family members than burglars or other bad guys. Wake up, Arizona.
Extremist FOX news pundits like Glen Beck and Sean Hannity and politicians like Sarah Palin whose website displayed gunsite logos on 22 targeted Congressional districts– including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ CD8– and Nevada’s Sharon Angle who talked about “second amendment solutions” should be ashamed of themselves for the role they have played in the proliferation of hate speech and violence in the US.
In this special video comment, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann calls out these pundits and politicians. It aired on January 8, after Giffords was shot point blank in the head at a Tucson grocery store.
[tnivideo caption=”Keith Olbermann comments on gun violence and the Giffords’ shooting” credit=”Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq38Nnf4pOw[/tnivideo]