Gun Safety Bill is Moving in Arizona

Gun Safety Bill is Moving in Arizona
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on school parking lots, driveways, and other areas,  under the control of an adult, had to be unloaded, was not repealed.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.

  • 16 thoughts on “Gun Safety Bill is Moving in Arizona

    1. 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 (who’s doing her best to follow the misguided law) will be blamed. The legislators and lobbyists who are looking for any way to make gun ownership less appealing, will say “See! I told you so!”

    2. 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 and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” and in the footnote “We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.”

      Since those restrictions were not at issue in the Heller case, the Heller opinion does not address them – neither to affirm nor to strike down. They are presumed to be lawful for the purposes of this opinion’s discussion. Under more exhaustive analysis of the Second Amendment’s protections, as required by some future case, they might or might not eventually be found in violation.

    3. 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 not plan to exit the vehicle? If that was so, my question would be: why unload your gun? If you were staying in the vehicle and were carrying concealed no one would know you are carrying. Isn’t that the whole point of concealed carry? However, trying to quickly unload a pistol in a moving vehicle when you did not plan to do so is probably a good recipie for a ND. Had that occurred while you were pulling onto the school campus, I think you might have made the local papers–but not in a good way. I realize we should all obey the law all the time, but I do know that when laws infringe upon our liberties and natural rights, they are no longer valid laws. But, I was not in your shoes, so maybe there was something about your particular circumstances that I missed. Take care & God Bless.

    4. 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.

    5. 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 go after his military service, but as a politician HE SUCKED!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully this will get the attention of just how it should do away with the goody two shoes thoughts about their soft target GUN FREE ZONES that they pushed that it would make those areas safer????? How’s that working out?? Where do these Mentally Challenged People go to create the Mass Shootings, soft targets with little resistance and know that response times are slow!!!!!! With response time, evaluation of situation and where active shooter is located, before most of assault team can move, which adds more time for them to do more damage, I know that the teams can’t go in guns blazing, but this is time that is not stopping the shooter!!!!!!! I know that some schools know parents that carry and do welcome it on a Q/T between these parents and Principals, and are thankful knowing that at that hectic time there is a little more security then. I still have this one question that no politician will answer ( WHAT IS THE PRICE OF ONE CHILD”S LIFE?????) they will give you all of the lip service but no straight answer!!!!!

    6. 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?

    7. 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 fit of rage shoot the parent that cut him off. Just can’t happen. It’s magic. There is a “LAW”.

      All law should mirror one fact. Is there a VICTIM? NO? Then there should be no “law” against whatever it is that you are doing. All laws should be tried against this common sense principle. Can I do this if there was NO GOVERNMENT without damaging someone in their life, liberty or property? If there was no government would it be OK for me to drive? To carry self defense weapons? To possess a “short barrel” rifle or a sound suppressor?

      Remember this simple precept…NO VICTIM, NO CRIME. NO CRIME…NOT GUILTY YOUR “HONOR”. Utilize the REASON the Jury System was put into our system of justice and NULLIFY ALL LAWS where there is NO VICTIM. PERIOD. I bet you weren’t taught THAT in the 10th Plank of the Communist Manifesto indoctrination center you were interned for 12 years of your life in.Where you? Oh what is THAT you ask…THE GOVERNMENT SCHOOL.

      10th Plank. FREE EDUCATION (should read indoctrination) for all children in GOVERNMENT (ie public) Schools paid for by the 1st PLANK the RENT on your so called paid off homes. We call it “property tax” they call it “rent”. BIG DIFFERENCE.

    8. 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!

      1. 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.

      1. 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?

        1. 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 reason to do so.

          Besides, these gun-ignorant lawmakers failed to consider just how little time it would take for someone to slip the mag back into the grip, rack the slide, and fire a round……. less than the five seconds it took Dean to unload and clear his own handgun, he could have it ready to fire in less time than that. So the “benefit” of this law is, just exactly what, now?

          Good to dump it.

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