Gun Safety Bill is Moving in Arizona

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Gun Safety Bill is Moving in Arizona

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- A rational gun safety bill is moving forward in the Arizona legislature. The bill would repeal the requirement for armed Arizonans to unload, then reload, their firearms every time they drive onto school grounds to pick up their child. From tucson.com:

He pointed out that existing law already permits adults — anyone 18 and older — to drive onto public school campuses with a gun in the vehicle. And if the person leaves the vehicle, the firearm has to be stored out of sight and the vehicle must be locked.

The only difference, Farnsworth said, is that current law requires that the gun be unloaded before reaching the school, a requirement HB 2693 would eliminate.

As legislatures across the country move to repeal infringements on the Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms, the process is messy and intermittent. Arizona restored Constitutional Carry in 2010. As with most such bills, compromises were made to repeal 98% of the restrictions.

The Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Heller defined “schools” as “sensitive areas” where arms could be regulated. This unfortunate inclusion, attributed to former Justice Kennedy,  gave force to arguments to keep some infringements in place.  The requirement that guns in vehicles on school parking lots, driveways, and other areas,  under the control of an adult, had to be unloaded, was not repealed.

The law creates a bizarre dynamic. If you exercise your Second Amendment rights in Arizona, and are going to pick up your kids at school, you have to stop, unload your self defense gun, then pick them up. After they are picked up, if you wish to exercise your rights, you have to stop, load your self defense gun, then continue.

The situation was thrust upon me one day. I was visiting a friend, who said he had to run some errands. Would I like to continue the conversation and ride with him? I said yes. We stopped at a store; we continued driving. He said: I have to pick up the kids. I had about five seconds to draw my Glock 17 and unload it before we were on school property.

It was plenty of time. Most people probably would not have bothered. As an instructor, I knew the legal jeopardy I would be in. I knew I could, as a passenger, draw the Glock safely and unload it.

While fatal gun accident rates have decreased 94% over the last 90 years, it is desirable to continue that trend. Carrying a gun is a very safe activity, especially in a holster. Loading and unloading a gun is safe as well;  but many more accidents occur while loading and unloading than while simply carrying.

It is safer to carry the pistols loaded rather than mandate numerous unnecessary reloads.

Look at this from the side of the consciously unarmed. They see more restrictions on those exercising their Second Amendment rights as a positive. Making it difficult for people excise their rights, especially making it legally risky, is not seen as a problem for them. They have made the decision to be unarmed. They do not see infringements on the right to bear arms as costing them anything. They are unwilling to admit that more armed citizens help to keep them safe.

HB 2693 is a one of the simplest bills I have seen.  It removes five words from Arizona statute 13-3102, the phrase  “is not loaded and that”, which removes the requirement that firearms be unloaded in a means of transportation, under the control of an adult, on school grounds.

Arizona Citizens Defense League has been the moving force behind this bill, with able assistance from the NRA.  Full disclosure: I am a lifetime member of both the AZCDL and the NRA.

 Many parents with school age children are armed in Arizona. Most of them probably ignore the unsafe requirements of  the existing law. 


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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    BobSTimR L DiehlJBPhilip Van Cleave Recent comment authors
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    BobS
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    BobS

    In Oregon, SB 925 would remove state pre-emption protection from schools and airports. Oregon’s CHL holders can currently not only drop their kids at the curb, but participate in the parental and community activities inside. We can currently help our passengers inside with their luggage, kissing them goodbye at the Blue Glove Squad checkpoint. With the intended results of SB 925, we would need to disarm in the buildings, on the grounds adjacent, and in the parking areas. All that administrative handling can only increase the probability of a Negligent Discharge. Somebody’s gonna get hurt, and only the CHL holder… Read more »

    BobS
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    BobS

    You said “The Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Heller defined “schools” as “sensitive areas” where arms could be regulated.” No, they said they weren’t deciding about the lawfulness of any measures other than the specific, narrow question raised in the case. The opinion says “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools… Read more »

    Tim
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    Tim

    I’m sure all bad guys make sure to unload their weapons before entering school grounds.

    JB
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    JB

    Sir, I have read several of your previous articles and can say that I think you are spot-on with your observations. Thank you for speaking responsibly on behalf of the 2A and responsible American gun owners. However, I must comment about your recent account of unloading your carry pistol while a vehicle passenger enroute to a “gun-free school zone”. As a fellow NRA Life Member & NRA Certified Instructor I’m sure that you felt you were doing the responsible thing by attempting to obey an un-Constitutional “law” in AZ. By what I read in your account, I’m assuming you did… Read more »

    Philip Van Cleave
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    Philip Van Cleave

    Virginia has had this for at least 10 years now. If you have a CHP, stay in the vehicle, you can have the loaded, concealed handgun in the vehicle. It’s only if you plan to exit the vehicle that it must be unloaded and encased.

    willy d
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    willy d

    This is the major problem with the lib’s moving from California, they don’t leave their California mentality behind!!!!!!!!! They screwed up California and now are moving out instead of fixing it, but the mentality follows them and they are causing the virus to spread to the states they are moving to!!!! Oregon, Washington, Nevada, also the virus is in the East Coast, Maine, Mass, Conn, RI, NY, NJ, Md, Del, DC, and it is spreading into Vt, Pa, and Va!!! Good for Arizona maybe there is hope and you are right about McCain’s rule, I as a veteran will not… Read more »

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    Arizona gets another point on the board. Congratulations to all that supported this. The article did not say if they have the stupidly ridiculous gun free zone signs or not. I haven’t heard of any mass shootings at Arizona schools. Do you think this might be the way to go rather than snatching guns away from honest people?

    R L Diehl
    Guest
    R L Diehl

    Az is the most gun-friendly state! No concealed carry permit required.

    Mark
    Guest
    Mark

    Let me see…all mass shooters on school grounds followed all gun laws. RIGHT? NO? So murder IS against the law? Shooting unarmed and defenseless children and teachers IS against the law? When I read this I thought “What is wrong with these people who make these “laws” (really just edicts of the ruling elite) that show they have NO common sense whatsoever. NONE, ZILCH, NADA… Let’s see, what this was supposed to prevent.? Oh, I know…road rage… a parent cuts off another parent, and fortunately the armed parent who has unloaded his firearm doesn’t load it then and in a… Read more »

    stocks
    Guest
    stocks

    Coonfingering your gun…TWICE! Just to dive up anf get a kid in our out of a vehicle.

    What a great idea!

    Gas Block in WA
    Guest
    Gas Block in WA

    Finally a good firearms bill. Thanks AZ conservatives (not McCain’s).

    Jim
    Guest
    Jim

    THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING FOR ARIZONA! Eventually the left wing nut cakes who have fled and are fleeing north east states to Arizona and especially California due to their running from taxes and their goofy laws will out number the conservative “original” Arizona residents (like they have in Colorado for example) enough to impact Arizona like they did the state they ran from. Liberalism is a non-thinking, emotional, destructive virus! The Democrat party is the petri dish for growing this virus!

    Notalima
    Guest
    Notalima

    This is what has occurred in Nevada. NE slave state refugees and those fleeing the PRC dumpster fire have finally tipped the scales in NV. It may as well now be know as East California.

    Robert J. Lucas
    Guest
    Robert J. Lucas

    Californication commies have brought their agenda to Arizona…

    MB
    Guest
    MB

    This is not a bad thing, and lessens the chances of a ND. Why would you want to unload your gun every day? This is first step to allowing CCW/LTC on school grounds. Maybe you should re-read the article before posting?

    Tionico
    Guest
    Tionico

    any chance he means to indicate that the REASON this law is there needing repeal is that the CalComs brought their California “values” to Arizona along with them? This minor fix makes perfect sense….. when my gun is in its holster I KNOW it will not discharge until I remove it and do certain things. The trigger is well guarded inside the carry rig, so nothing can yank on it. On the other hand, whenever I have it OUT of the holster the possibility it will be discharged increases dramatically and thus I only remove it when there is good… Read more »