Arizona’s latest guns in public buildings bill passes a major hurdle Thursday as the House passes the legislation. The bill’s sponsor, Payson Republican Brenda Barton, emphasizes the bill applies to gun owners who have concealed carry permits, who she says have been background checked and are law-abiding.
Barton says the whole point of the bill is public safety, enabling those upstanding citizens to be in a position to use their weapons if a dangerous situation erupts in a facility. But if local governments still ban firearms in a building, they would be required to provide security measures such metal detectors, guards or gun storage.
But opponents argue the price tag may be too staggering for those facilities to bear, calling it an unfunded mandate. They also point to the many entities objecting to the idea of presence of guns, ranging from the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, various business groups and chambers of commerce and the Attorney General’s office.
Ex Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed similar measures before, and Governor Doug Ducey’s views are unknown since he won’t comment on legislation in flux.
The bill now heads to the Senate.