CCW without a Permit in Arizona? Almost!
Arizona –-(AmmoLand.com)-Attempts were made this year to either make the CCW permit optional (ala Alaska) or reduce the penalty for lawabiding citizens (only!) carrying concealed without a permit. Both bills survived and thrived during most of the legislative session but got trampled in the stampede at the end.
It started with SB 1270, the AzCDLrequested Constitutional Carry bill that removed the penalty for the lawful carrying of a concealed weapon without a permit. SB 1270 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but stalled in the Senate Rules Committee because of an amendment, added in the Senate Judiciary Committee, dealing with smuggling firearms across the border.
As an alternative, AzCDL was able to get another bill, HB 2439, amended to include the “Petty Offense” language that passed the Legislature in the last two sessions, by wide margins, but was vetoed by former Governor Janet Napolitano. The Petty Offense language, less controversial than Constitutional Carry, reduced the penalty for carrying concealed without a permit from a misdemeanor to a petty offense for those not committing serious or violent crimes.
HB 2439 started out as an AzCDLrequested CCW training reform bill. It was amended to include Petty Offense and Defensive Display language and sailed through the Senate by a vote of 18-5 around 2 AM on the last day of the Legislative session (July 1st). Since it had already been through the House, all it needed was concurrence and House Final Read votes and it would be sent to the Governor.
AzCDL’s representatives worked at the Capitol, conferring with legislators all night long, and we were confident we had the votes needed for HB 2439 to pass.
Unfortunately, around 5 AM, when HB 2439 was voted on in the House Final Read, it failed by one vote (the vote was 30-10, it needed 31 votes) because 20 (Yes, twenty!) members had left before the final batch of bills, including HB 2439, was voted on. Five of those who were not present for the vote were Republicans who had indicated to us that they would vote for HB 2439. If they had been present and voted, HB 2439 would have easily passed.
The Republicans missing during the final vote were Nancy Barto (R-7), Rich Crandall (R-19), Adam Driggs (R-11), Bill Konopnicki (R-5), Lucy Mason (R- 1), and Doug Quelland (R-10).