Monday, March 07, 2011

Arizonans agree GOP lacks common sense on guns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democrats are holding government accountable by showing that most Arizonans don’t agree with Republicans’ wrong focus — more lenient gun laws.

Instead, House Democrats are focused on jobs, the economy and education and say Republicans should be too.

“I am a gun-toting Arizonan and I am a proud owner of an Interarms .40-caliber handgun,” said House Minority Leader Chad Campbell. “I respect and believe in the Second Amendment. I also believe in common sense. And right now, Republicans at the legislature are not taking a balanced, common-sense approach, and it’s time we hold them accountable.”

A recent poll showed that Republican priorities don’t match those of Arizona. The poll, carried out by Republican polling firms and published in the Arizona Daily Star, showed that 47 percent of Arizonans live in a household where guns are owned.

Of those living in gun-owning Arizona households, only 8 percent favored more lenient gun laws, 56 percent said they want gun laws to stay the same, and 35 percent said they want stricter gun laws.

“Right now, our state’s unemployment rate is still 9.6 percent, we still have one of the top foreclosure rates in the country and nearly 100 Arizonans’ lives are at stake because Republicans eliminated their life-saving transplants,” Campbell said. “Our priority at the capitol should be improving citizens’ quality of life, not looser gun bills we don’t really need now.”

Republicans are sponsoring the following gun bills:
SB 1201: Prevents the banning of firearms in public buildings and public events, including places where people are drinking alcohol. (Gould)
SB 1335: Allows jackrabbits, raccoons and predatory animals to be hunted during nighttime hours, which is dangerous and should be the decision of the Arizona Game & Fish Department. (Antenori)
HB 2563: Would make it easier for mentally ill people to get their gun rights restored. (Harper)
HB 2001: Would allow community colleges and university faculty to carry concealed weapons on Arizona college campuses if they have a proper permit. (Harper)
HB 2014: Would allow gun holders with valid permits to carry guns on ASU campuses. (Harper)
HB 2392: Allows a person who lawfully owns a gun to carry it immediately outside school grounds. (Seel)
HB 2479: Prohibits the governing board of an education institution to restrict firearms on campuses. (Gowan)
Just last year Republicans passed bills that allow guns in bars and college-aged students to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, which means they are no longer required to take gun safety classes and target practice, and therefore, may have little knowledge of using a gun.

“Arizona gun owners believe in the Second Amendment and they too believe in common sense,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 16), a former Marine who fought in Iraq. “These same people don’t support these bills. But what they do support is fixing Arizona’s broken system, preserving our communities and creating world-class education for our children. It’s time to hold Republicans accountable so that we can finally have honesty and effectiveness in government.”


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