Gun nuts day at the Arizona legislature (updated)

First, the good news …

On a 14-16 vote the Senate killed SB1243 which would have allowed those who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon to bring them in to public buildings. Building operators could maintain that gun-free status only by installing metal detectors and hiring security guards. Senate again kills bill allowing concealed weapons in public buildings:

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, the sponsor of SB1243, made no comment as the measure went down to defeat for a third year in a row.

Republicans Kate Brophy McGee of Phoenix, Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and Bob Worsley of Mesa joined with Democrats to provide the margin for defeat.

That alleviates the need for Gov. Doug Ducey, who has promoted himself as a supporter of the Second Amendment, to have to decide between the rights of gun owners and cost to governments — including the state — if they decide to install metal detectors and hire guards to keep their buildings free of weapons.

Now the bad news …

State senators voted Tuesday to forever block cities from requiring background checks when people sell weapons at gun shows [aka the “gun show loophole.”].

On the issue of background checks, Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, questioned why lawmakers would want to put in this prohibition.

Federal law already requires such checks when a weapon is sold by a licensed dealer. But Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, said that covers only about 60 percent of all gun sales.

“I think we would all agree in this room, regardless of what side you’re on, that we don’t want certain people to be able to buy guns, people who are mentally ill, people who have a criminal record,” he said. “They should not be allowed to buy guns.”

Anyway, Farley said, lawmakers should wait for the outcome of Tuesday’s hearing at the Arizona Supreme Court where the justices heard arguments over whether cities have a legal right to set their own gun laws despite state laws. He said if the court sides with Tucson in that fight, SB 1122 would be unenforceable.

But Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, the sponsor of SB1122, said it would be wrong to see her legislation prohibiting cities and counties from requiring background checks as simply aimed at firearms.

She pointed out the language of the bill is broad enough to also encompass any other transfer of private property. For example, Griffin said, a city would not be able to force someone selling a car to first check with any state or federal database.

Farley, however, said that proves his point that a blanket prohibition is a bad idea.

For example, he said, a city might be having a rash of car thefts.

“And they decide it might be good for the people in their community to require a check to see whether that vehicle was stolen,” Farley explained. “That seems like a reasonable thing a city might want to do.”

Tucson at one point had an ordinance requiring background checks for weapons sold at gun shows at the city’s convention center. Gun show organizers dealt with that by moving out of that facility to a county-run site, where there is no such requirement.

Separately Tuesday, lawmakers also voted to grant immunity from civil lawsuits to business owners for deaths and injuries caused by patrons with guns — but only if they do not post their establishments as “gun-free zones.”

Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu, promoted SB1159 by saying there is no reason that business owners who want patrons to be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights should be liable if someone else acts irresponsibly.

Farley, however, had a different scenario in mind.

He pointed out that existing law makes bar owners liable if they serve someone too much alcohol and that person goes out, gets into a vehicle and kills someone else. Farley said this would immunize that same bar owner who overserves someone who pulls out a pistol and starts shooting.

The measure passed anyway by a 16-14 vote, with Brophy McGee being the only Republican to side with Democrats.

Brophy McGee also bolted party lines when the Senate approved SB1344. This measure limits the ability of cities and counties from regulating the ability of employees and contractors to possess firearms, even if these people are on city property.

UPDATE: State senators voted Wednesday to allow two new exemptions to Arizona laws which generally prohibit people from firing guns in populated areas. Exemptions made to Arizona gun laws:

HB 2022 sponsored by Rep. Jay Lawrence, R-Scottsdale, was approved by the Senate Government Committee spells out that people can use a special kind of small-caliber shot, one designed to kill snakes and small mammals at close range. Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said it provides residents with an option for self-defense or at least a method of pest control.

But the more far-reaching measure the same committee approved on the same 4-3 party-line vote would remove the chance that someone could be prosecuted for being criminally negligent in shooting off a weapon in city limits. Instead, under HB 2287 prosecutors would have to prove that someone “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” fired a gun.

Both would amend “Shannon’s Law” adopted in 2000 in the wake of the death of 14-year-old Shannon Smith.

The Phoenix teen died when she was hit by a bullet that had been fired in the air from some distance away. No one was ever arrested.

That law not only makes it a felony to fire off a gun within a mile of any occupied structure within city limits but also makes it illegal to act with criminal negligence. That is defined in Arizona law as acting in a way “that the failure to perceive (the risk) constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.”

Rep. Tony Rivero, R-Peoria, who crafted the measure, said that wording allows someone to be prosecuted for “accidental” discharge of firearms.

The legislation brought out Edith Smith, who was Shannon’s aunt, in a bid to quash the proposal. She said since the law was adopted the amount of random gunfire has dropped.

“So why change something that works?” Smith said. “Shannon’s Law has made the Valley and other urban areas in Arizona safer.”

Dave Kopp, lobbyist for the Arizona Citizens Defense League, however, said even if the law is amended it will still protect people from celebratory gunfire. He said people act knowingly or recklessly when they fire a gun into the air.

Mendez, however, said changing the law would give people who fire off weapons a way of escaping criminal charges by saying the gunfire was “just an accident.”

This exception will basically gut Shannon’s Law so that some fucking idiot can shoot off his gun in an urban area without threat of prosecution because “I’m an idiot, it was an accident! I didn’t intend to hurt nobody.” Is HB 2287 really necessary or sound public policy?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was just one legislative session in which not a single gun bill was introduced? Is it really necessary? Can’t we get a break from the annual gun nut day(s) at the Arizona legislature? Doesn’t our legislature have more pressing issues to work on, like funding education, health care, infrastructure and roads, etc?

16 Responses to Gun nuts day at the Arizona legislature (updated)

  1. For Sure Not Tom

    Seeing some fat old white guy walking around the Circle-K down the street with his Glock slung from his XXXL sized belt never gets old.

    Because you can never be too safe on the mean, mean streets of Ahwatukee!

    Gun fetishists are funny!

    I get it, it’s better to have a gun and not need it, than need a gun and not have it.

    Likewise, it’s better to have a ham sandwich and not need a ham sandwich than need a ham sandwich and not have a ham sandwich.

    Same for socks, paper clips, a old copy of People magazine, toe nail clippers, fresh basil….

    • “Likewise, it’s better to have a ham sandwich and not need a ham sandwich than need a ham sandwich and not have a ham sandwich. / Same for socks, paper clips, a old copy of People magazine, toe nail clippers, fresh basil….”

      Oh, come on, Tom…you can do better than that. All those other things you mentioned are conveniences and nothing more. If you don’t have them when you need them, nothing happens that is bad. My personal experience is that when you need a gun and don’t have one, bad things can and do happen.

      “Seeing some fat old white guy walking around the Circle-K down the street with his Glock slung from his XXXL sized belt never gets old.”

      Yes, it is embarassing sometimes seeing the people who carry guns so conspicuously, but as long as they can legally do so, more power to them.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        I love it when you make my point for me.

        Gracias.

        • “I love it when you make my point for me.”

          I don’t mind making your point for you at all when the point is that when you need a gun, there is no substitute. I, too, appreciate your making my point for me, as well!

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Nope. You missed the point.

            My point is that the 2A fetishists spread bumper-sticker-level philosophy about needing to defend your self from all kinds of imaginary monsters.

            For example, the best way to defend yourself against a bad guy with a gun isn’t a good guy with a gun, that actually makes people less safe, because there are a crapload of idiots with guns who are not combat trained.

            A good guy with a gun nearly killed an innocent bystander at the Giffords shooting.

            The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to make it very, very difficult for bad guys to own guns.

            I will never in my life need to shoot someone.

            Ever.

            More guns = more dead people, Huppenthal even admitted that in another post.

          • “I will never in my life need to shoot someone.”

            Tom, I truly, honestly hope you never do. It is something you carry with you for the rest of your life. Enough said…

    • John Huppenthal

      There is a jewelry shop in Ahwatukee that some real bad dudes with guns decided to rob.

      Bad decision. There was one of those guys with a glock slung on his belt in the store.

      Bad dudes went running out of the store, one of them with multiple bullet holes in his body.

      The bad dude who made it out unscathed was telling the story to other bad dudes within a 1/2 hour of the transgression, making it a learning experience for a lot of bad dudes. The other bad dude collapsed from blood loss and pain, but he too survived to tell the story and educate all the bad dudes in prison.

      The murder rate in Arizona is down 47% since Arizona legalized concealed carry of firearms in 1993.

      Bad dudes aren’t quite as stupid as we believe them to be.

      There were more than 100% more murders in Chicago last year than in all of Arizona despite Chicago having less than half the population of Arizona.

      The benefits of all that neighborhood organization by Alinsky.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        And if I lived in the country, or owned a jewelry store, or handled a lot of cash, I’d be armed.

        There are places where a firearm is needed. And then there is the daily life of 99.9999999999999% of Americans.

        And FYI, all murder rates are down since the 1990’s, and you’re not going to like the reason some people think is why.

        The early 1990’s are 20 years after the SCOTUS decision on Roe v. Wade.

        • I think I remember reading that half of the drop in crime since the 1980’s can be attributed to removing lead from our paint, pipes, and gasoline. But that doesn’t jive as well with people who profit from ‘tough on crime’ politicians.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            As usual Edward, you are correct. When sociologists looked back to understand what could have caused the massive downturn in violent crime, a woman’s right to choose was included – along with environmental laws.

            I singled out a woman’s right to choose because I sometimes enjoy trolling Falcon9 and will bet he’s anti-freedom.

            BTW, environmental laws are also credited with trillions of dollars in savings on healthcare, so if Trump is successful in dismantling the EPA and ending the ACA, I wonder what the sociologists will say 20 years from now.

            Concealed carry as a reason for a decrease in violent crime makes no sense. I have never shied away from waving a righteous finger at the guy who cut me off in traffic because I thought he may have a gun.

            Open carry would make more sense, but you can’t argue facts, logic, and sense with some conservatives.

        • John Huppenthal

          About 10 too many 9’s there. There were over 15,000 murders in the United States last year, the largest surge in 50 years.

          Your false assertion should be 99.996%

          Evidently, Planned Parenthood wasn’t active enough in 1996?

          Too much lead paint in millennial bedrooms?

          The entire violent crime surge appears to have taken place in democrat governed cities with gun control.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Oh noes! I was being glib with my 9’s and I have been exposed!

            More guns = more dead people.

            You can quote Wayne Five-Million-Dollar -a-Year-Paycheck LaPierre all you want. He’s a lobbyist and paid well to lie.

            More guns = more dead people.

            Now that Obama is no longer coming fer’ yer’ guns, the NRA is saying you need to stock up ’cause them lefties are coming for your blood!

            The same lefties having peace rallies and demanding healthcare for the sick are coming to kill you? Really?

            I passed my Ohio Safe Hunter test while in the Boy Scouts in 1969, I am not anti-2A, I am for sane gun ownership and responsible and truthful rhetoric from politicians and sockpuppetmasters.

            More guns = more dead people.

          • “More guns = more dead people.”

            Actually, more guns = fewer dead innocents.

            “I am not anti-2A, I am for sane gun ownership and responsible and truthful rhetoric from politicians and sockpuppetmasters.”

            Who isn’t in favor of that, Tom? This is an incendiary subject and trying to be honest about it gets you nowhere. People wind up being forced to the extremes. Otherwise, trying to be reasonable gets you tossed aside as irelevent and wimpy. I don’t like being pushed to the extreme. I think the tules we have in place now are quite reasonable (outside of a few places like California, New York, Chicago, New York City, etc.) and they work quite well. I would like to see existing gun laws enforced more instead of always demanding new ones. But given the failure of reason, I will fight tooth and nails against any further encroachments on the 2nd Amendment.

            As to why the murder rate dropped: It is the result of many factors, and not just the availability of guns to law abiding people. But don’t discount that factor, either. Unfortunately, that is what always happens. People latch on to a factor they like and try give it all the credit for good changes. It is much more complex than that.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Do you realize what you just admitted?

            The homicide rate is still near 50 year lows, but it did make an uptick last year.

            And that’s after so many Red States relaxed gun laws.

            So you, Falcon9 are saying, that after a few years of Teabaggers easing gun laws and enacting Stand Your Ground laws, the murder rate is climbing.

            Wow. Finally we get some truth from you.

  2. “State senators voted Tuesday to forever block cities from requiring background checks when people sell weapons at gun shows [aka the “gun show loophole.”].”

    It is not a “loophole”. A loophole implies it was an oversight that is being misused. In fact, it was a deliberate action left to allow citizens to buy and sell personal firearms with a lot of red tape interfering.

    “But Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, said that covers only about 60 percent of all gun sales.”

    Senator Farley pulled that figure out of his butt. The BATF estimates it covers about 82% of sales.

    “Tucson at one point had an ordinance requiring background checks for weapons sold at gun shows at the city’s convention center. Gun show organizers dealt with that by moving out of that facility to a county-run site, where there is no such requirement.”

    Which demonsrates how stupid it is for cities to try and legislate activities because it simply drives businesses outside the city limits. That is true whether it is minimum wage, gender identification or gun control regulations.

    “He pointed out that existing law makes bar owners liable if they serve someone too much alcohol and that person goes out, gets into a vehicle and kills someone else. Farley said this would immunize that same bar owner who overserves someone who pulls out a pistol and starts shooting.”

    And why shouldn’t it immunize the bar owner against someone pulling out a pistol and shooting others. The bar owner has no idea someone is carrying a weapon, whether it is a gun or a knife or a stick of dynamite. The bar owner does know a patron will be driving when he leaves to bar. There is no comparison between the two which says a lot about Senator Farleys logic.

    “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was just one legislative session in which not a single gun bill was introduced?”

    I agree with you about that! If that happened gun rights would not be eroded by idiots who think they have good intentions. I would love to see legislators leave guns alone, but that is not likely to happen.

  3. American Vendetta

    No. No they don’t.