AZ Gov. Vetoes “Petty Offense” bill

From the AZCDL:

HB 2630, an AzCDL requested bill that reduces the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit to a petty offense, was vetoed by the Governor on April 29, 2008. You can read her veto letter here: http://www.azleg.gov/govlettr/48leg/2R/HB2630.pdf .

HB 2630 would have reclassified carrying a concealed weapon without a permit as a petty offense, unless the violation occurred in the commission of, or attempted commission of, a “serious offense or violent crime”, in which case the CCW offense would have been a class 6 felony, or any other felony offense, in which case it would have remained a class 1 misdemeanor. In a nutshell, if you’re a bad guy carrying a concealed weapon, penalties would have been stiffened. If you’re a law-abiding citizen, it would have become a petty offense.

For those who don’t know, Arizona is an “open carry” state and no permit is required for openly carrying. However, if one’s shirt accidentally covers the gun, one is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. Similarly, if the openly-carried gun is concealed from view in a car (I’m left-handed — if I’m stopped by a police officer, the gun is not readily visible from either side of the vehicle as it’s blocked by the door on the left and my body on the right), that’s a crime.

Heaven forbid that good guys who make an honest mistake be differentiated from criminals committing violent crime.

Oh well. Maybe it’ll pass the next time around.

Frankly, I don’t even see why permits should be necessary to carry. Vermont and Alaska don’t have permits (AK issues them for reciprocity with other states) and they don’t have any trouble. If people can open carry in AZ without any issues, why should carrying concealed be any different? The mere carriage of a firearm harms nobody.

National Park Carry Update

The National Park Service has proposed a new rule to allow for concealed carry in National Parks. Nifty. I suggest that my Gentle Readers follow the link to the federal register to post comments. Please be civil, as comments will reflect upon the entire shooting community.

Slow Week

My apologies for the intermittent posting this week — it’s rapidly approaching the end of the semester, and final exams are looming. Not the most amount of fun.

Meta: Blog Spam

One of the issues with maintaining a presence online, such as a public email address or blog, is spam. Comment spams are particularly obnoxious, and I’m doing what I can to reduce or eliminate them entirely on this site.

I use several methods to help prevent spam on this blog:

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XD Spare Parts Now Available

PistolGear.com is now selling Springfield XD spare parts. While not everything (like the extractor) is available, a considerable amount of stuff is.

If Springfield allows for all non-regulated OEM parts to be sold online like how GLOCK has parts available from Lone Wolf, this will clear up my last roadblock to fully supporting the platform as a full-fledged competitor to GLOCK.

Yes, Springfield has a lifetime warranty which is fantastic, but if a tiny part breaks on the day of a match, you don’t want to have to wait a month for them to fix it when you could have replaced it with a $2 part on the spot. The availability of spare parts is one advantage that GLOCK has over the XD, and one that keeps me from recommending it as a SHTF gun. If OEM parts become widely available, I will not hesitate to recommend the XD to anyone.

Followup: UA-SCCC Empty Holster Protest Mentioned In Newspaper

Today’s Arizona Daily Wildcat contained this gem:

Guns on campus ‘ridiculous!’

This is ridiculous! Why would anyone want guns legalized on campus? Say a concealed-carry law did get passed, and people started carrying guns. Realistically, what do you think is going to happen? That your safety will increase and you will be able to feel less defenseless!? What about the safety of everyone else? Are you going to protect everyone around you if something happens? Are you so full of yourself that you believe you can? What training will you undertake? What kind of training is possible for college kids to handle a classroom shootout? How will you know what’s sufficient? A couple seminars where you sit at a desk and listen to some dude tell you about how responsible you are for having a gun? A few months at the range? Police or military training? If you want gun safety, wear kevlar!

Knut Norstog
senior majoring in molecular and cellular biology

Normally, I’d attempt to write a response to this, but one of my Gentle Readers and fellow blogger Ben Kalafut response more eloquently and concisely than I thusly:

If Norstog wants to know “realistically” what will happen if CCW is allowed on campus, he should look to the State of Arizona’s 14 years of shall-issue CCW, or perhaps Colorado State University’s several years of experience with campus CCW.

These problems he brings up are the product of a hyperactive imagination, someone who gets his ideas of firearms more from television and fancy than from real life. The hypothesis that the CCW permit holder is a danger to others is not borne out by the facts.

Chicago Tribue Wonders Why We Keep Winning

The Chicago Tribune editorial staff wonders why the anti-rights side keeps losing:

Gun-control advocates are weak. Whether they’re badly outnumbered by gun-rights advocates, lazier than gun-rights advocates or simply don’t have the statistical or philosophical ammunition to keep up with gun-rights advocates I’m not totally sure.

Is there a choice for “all of the above”?

Somehow, I suspect they keep losing because:

  • We have over hundreds of years of precedent (both in terms of the Second Amendment, but also simply the fact that We, The People have owned arms continuiously for that period).
  • We, The People genuinely believe that we have a right to arms.
  • We have repeated court rulings in our favor.
  • We have common sense on our side. (How can people be expected to defend their rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness if they don’t have the means to defend their lives?)
  • We have The United States Constitution on our side. That is, or should be, the “nuclear option” that trumps any argument short of a Constitutional Amendment.

I’m not really sure what sort of person can reasonably think that individuals don’t have the right to arms when there are nearly 100 million gun owners in the US, with hundreds of millions of guns in private possession.

How can one argue that individuals can’t own guns when there are gun stores in essentially every village, town, and city in the country?

Hat tip to Jeff, both for letting me know about the editorial, but also for linking to this blog. Thanks Jeff!

Followup: Why Premption Exists

Previously I wrote about how Lower Chichester Township in Pennsylvania was considering an ordinance that would require new residents to submit a listing of all the firearms, ammunition, and powder that would be stored in their new homes. Of course, this is a violation of Pennsylvania’s preemption laws.

Well, that ordinance has been tabled and will not be taking effect. Many thanks to the NRA and NRA members for voicing their opposition to the measure.

TGSCOM Offering Guns At Cost

TGSCOM, who runs sites like TopGlock.com, is offering guns at cost for the next two weeks. See the press release here.

While TGSCOM has long provided excellent service, a wide selection, and good prices, the company has been more widely known amongst the non-gunny public as being the vendor who sold the Walther P22 used by the VT shooter and magazines to the NIU shooter. Of course, magazines are perfectly legal to order through the mail, and the gun was shipped to a Virginia FFL who did the required background check, so TGSCOM is not in the least bit responsible for the tragedies that followed. It’s just their bad luck.

Eric Thompson, the owner, hopes that by selling guns at cost (he doesn’t make any profit at all from this sale) he’ll be able to equip more private citizens so they’ll be able to defend themselves against criminal attack.

A worthy goal indeed, and something that my Gentle Readers should seriously consider taking Mr. Thompson up on.

UA-SCCC Empty Holster Protest Mentioned In Newspaper

The University of Arizona chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus has been participating in nationwide empty holster protest.

Today, we got mentioned in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, the university newspaper. They interviewed the campus leader for SCCC:

UA-SCCC chapter head
Photo credit: Andrew Russell, UA Daily Wildcat

This week, the organization is holding an “empty holster” protest nationwide, where students wear empty holsters to campus to raise awareness of gun laws, and for students and faculty to be able to protest the defenselessness they may feel by not being able to carry on campus, [the UA campus leader for SCCC] said.

“The empty holster is symbolic for current policies tying our hands behind our backs,” [the UA campus leader for SCCC] said. “With students that carry everywhere else, why should the campus be any different?”

About 20 students are participating in the empty holster protest, which hasn’t garnered much attention from students, [the UA campus leader for SCCC] said.

“Surprisingly, no students have asked me about it,” he said. “Most people look at it and don’t even do a double take.”

I’ve noticed that very thing — when wearing my holster on campus, nobody seems to notice.

When open carrying a firearm off-campus, nobody seems not notice either. No double takes, no panic, no nothing. I’ve had one or two people glance at the gun and go about their business, but most people simply don’t even notice it…and I’m not even trying to conceal it.

Somehow, I think that if SB 1214 were to have passed and people could carry concealed on campus, nobody would notice.

Other good news:

Even though [University President] Shelton may disagree with [the UA campus leader for SCCC], [he] said Shelton was the only campus administrator that took the time to thoroughly listen to his concerns.

President Shelton has publicly spoken against allowing permit holders to carry on campus, so it’s good that he’s listened thoroughly and has the potential to change his mind.

And students don’t want to carry weapons on campus just to protect themselves from school shootings, but other crimes like a mugging or a personal assault, [the UA campus leader for SCCC] said.

“There are many situations where you can’t just submit to the criminal and just be OK,” he said. “You have to fight and to fight effectively in self-defense.”

Ah, that’s a key issue that I keep bringing up in conversations with friends. Virginia Tech-like school shootings are exceedingly rare (but extremely hyped up by the media), and very few people I know carry (or want to carry) to protect against this rare event (though they’d be prepared to do so, if needed).

Rather, they want to protect themselves against more common crime like assault, rape, and so on — just like they’re able to do off-campus. “Ordinary” crime is not uncommon on campus (or off campus, for that matter).

[T]he empty holster protest, which will go through the end of this week, is a powerful image to convey to the campus community, [NRA Board Member and Tucson resident Todd] Rathner said.

“It’s a really good way to convey the student sense of defenselessness.”

And that’s the point we’re trying to make: the law and university policy doesn’t protect anyone; how could it, when it disarms law-abiding “good guys” who simply want to protect themselves?

Permit holders have been carrying for years in just about every public place in Arizona (and most other states) without incident. Why would a college campus be any different?

Kudos to Dustin for reporting this before I did, even though I knew about the upcoming publication before he did. That’s what I get for sleeping in. :)

Update (9/7/2010): The UA campus leader for SCCC contacted me today to ask that I redact his name from this post. I’m happy to do so.

the UA campus leader for SCCCl