MARCH 25, 2015

Ending government generated disarmed victim zones

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PHOENIX – Arizona House Bill 2320, sponsored by Rep. Brenda Barton, (R-LD6) would solve several problems in Arizona. Currently, state law (ARS 13-3102) allows for publicly owned buildings to be made off limits to the possession of firearms by citizens with the posting of a sign, but provides no requirement to secure such buildings.

This results in a perverse consequence – the law abiding, especially concealed weapons permit holders, will obey the sign, but anyone looking to do evil inside will not. This produces government generated disarmed victim zones.  

HB 2320 will allow CCW Permit holders into such places, unless there is proper security (metal detectors and guards) to make sure that all armed people cannot enter. This model has worked well to ensure the safety of the public, such as the incident in 2009 at The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., where a man bent on murder inside the building, was stopped at the entrance and shot by the guards at the metal detector. 

Objections that HB 2320 is an unfunded mandate on cities and counties are belied by facts; all that is necessary to eliminate any costs is to remove the signs prohibiting weapons. Further, fear of what CCW Permit holders may do is unfounded, based on their historical good conduct. Statistics on the Arizona DPS CCW site show that only 0.022% of permit holders ever have their permit suspended or revoked for any reason.

Others have objected to HB 2320 on the basis that it is “bad for business” and will “reduce tourism.” On the contrary, The Arizona Commerce Authority produces a brochure showing that the firearm business is a $1.2 billion dollar asset to the state, and produces large amounts of revenue from people who visit the state to participate in lawful firearm related activities.
HB 2320 was requested by the Arizona Citizens Defense League to end government generated disarmed victim zones. Yesterday’s shooting spree in Mesa, by a convicted felon, should show us why it’s important not to disarm law abiding citizens.

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