Gov. Brewer Vetoes SB 1467

The Arizona Republic reports that Governor Brewer has vetoed SB 1467, citing vagueness in defining “public right-of-way”.

That said, the definition is somewhat vague. A.R.S. § 9-461 defines “right-of-way” as “any public right-of-way and includes any area required for public use pursuant to any general or specific plan”. Somewhat circular reasoning.

Naturally, all the anti-rights folks (both on-campus and off) are focusing on unexplained statements1, emotional claims, and irrelevant refererences to the incident where Congresswoman Giffords and others were shot2 as that incident and empowering the law-abiding to lawfully carry, if they choose, on public areas of a campus have essentially nothing to do with each other. Go figure.

The Arizona Republic also provided some interesting information:

Brewer’s office was inundated with calls about the bill.

Between April 7 and April 13, the Governor’s Office of Constituent Services received 904 calls, letters and faxes in support of SB 1467 and 951 in opposition to it, a Brewer spokeswoman said.

It’s rare to get actual quantitative information about support/opposition to a bill. While it’s unlikely that the absolute number of support/opposition letters had any direct bearing on the governor’s decision, it’s still nice to get some numbers of what was received by her office. Although I oppose the governor’s veto, the fact that this information was released is a good thing. Well done!

In addition, the governor vetoed the absurd “birther” bill that the legislature sent to her desk. Again, well done. The fact that such a bill was not only proposed, but actually passed out of the legislature is quite embarrassing and reflects poorly on the state and the legislature.

  1. For example, “Guns have no place in school!”, without explaining how it’s fine for people to carry guns on a public sidewalk on any non-campus street in the state, but is somehow worse to have the same people carrying the same guns on a public sidewalk on-campus. []
  2. It’s already illegal to commit murder and attempted murder, yet that law didn’t seem to stop the shooter. How are stickers declaring a campus to be a “weapon free zone” going to be any better? Criminals would ignore them; only the law-abiding would obey those rules. []

More SB 1467 Information

I’ve been getting a lot of traffic recently to my post about SB 1467 so I thought it would be prudent to do a follow-up with some (hopefully) useful information.

First off, while the bill is often publicized as allowing “guns in the classroom”, that is not the case. Rather, the bill simply adds a section to the existing law which says:

Notwithstanding subsection D of this section and section 15‑341, the governing board of an educational institution shall not adopt or enforce any policy or rule that prohibits the lawful possession or carrying of a weapon on a public right-of-way.

In short, if one can legally possess or carry a firearm off-campus, one would then be able to possess or carry a firearm on a sidewalk, street, or other public place on-campus. Possession of firearms in the classroom would continue to be prohibited.

According to the Arizona State Legislature’s fact sheet about the bill, there are two caveats:

  1. The bill does not “preclude school districts from conducting approved gun safety programs on school campuses” which would presumably be held in classrooms and presumably involve the presence of actual (albeit unloaded) firearms.
  2. The bill does not “apply to private universities, colleges, high schools or common schools or other private educational institutions (A.R.S. § 13-2911).”

Honestly, I can’t really see how this would be remotely controversial — law-abiding people can already carry in public places in Arizona, why should they be prohibited from carrying in a public place on campus? If one can legally walk down a sidewalk on a public street while discretely armed, why can’t one do the same on a sidewalk on a public university? It makes no sense for the same action to be legal on one side of a street, but illegal on the other side.

All the official information about the bill itself can be found at the Arizona State Legislature website for the bill.

Shooty Goodness

I finally got some rangetime this weekend, after a hiatus of several months.

If I wasn’t moving soon, I’d be seriously considering getting reactive/moving targets. Punching holes in paper is getting a bit boring.