This is the dumbest move that I’ve seen yet. No background checks? No protection from totally insane people carrying a concealed weapon. Snopes doesn’t have anything on it. CBS and other news agencies have reported it as being true. The bill has been signed and will be in effect by July or August of 2010.
Everyone knows that I’m kind of right-wing, Second-Amendment-supporting kind of guy. But this is NUTS! Today’s laws in at least 36 states require 12 hours of training in gun safety to be sure that you know how to handle your pistol, they check almost ALL law-enforcement agencies to be sure that you are not some kind of felon or generally nasty guy, and – about 8 weeks later – you get a four year permit. To renew it for another four years you just attend a four-hour course to bring you up-to-date on changes to the laws.
Personally, this will shut down any reciprocity agreements with other states and label AZ as the nuttiest state in the USA. Other nutty states can now say, “Yeah, we’re a little crazy out here BUT have you heard what AZ is doing?” VT and Alaska are the only states (maybe VA as well) that don’t require a concealed permit for concealed carry. Honestly, this is just NUTS. I firmly believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe that to carry a concealed (or out in the open) weapon of ANY kind you should have been checked out and have passed a minimum course of training of SOME kind! Alaska is a long way away and VT is a tiny piece of real estate on the northeast – not quite as big as the DFW area.
Well, those are my feelings. I think we got it right in Texas. You can’t carry in a bar (where bar is defined as any establishment that gets more than 50% of its income from the sale of alcoholic beverages), government office building, schools (any school), churches / synagogues / temples / mosques, hospitals, drug stores, etc. AND, a business can put up a sign (in a very specific way and language) that says even permit holders can not carry guns / weapons in their place of business. (I don’t go to those places and I leave them a note telling they why.) Personally, I think that if you have a permit, you probably should be allowed to carry IF THE OWNER / PASTOR / PRIEST / WHATEVER gives you permission even in a bar, church or even a school. Faculty in a university (or even a grade school) should be allowed (required?) to carry. Naaaahhh – just allow it. If they don’t want to carry let them be the victim along with the students the next time some nut comes in (without a permit, of course) and shoots up the place.
Back to AZ. Think about it. They are right on the border with Mexico and the Mexican drug wars can now spill over across the border and the people of AZ can’t do a bloody thing about it. Me? If I ever have to go to AZ it will be to drive through without stopping and carry a much firepower as I can – just in case. I think I would rather get in the rattlesnake pit during the Rattlesnake Roundup here (Sweetwater) than to spend a night in AZ. And all of this coming from a right-wing, independent, gun-toting Texan.