AZ bill would allow guns in public buildings - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

AZ bill would allow guns in public buildings

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A new gun rights bill is making its way through the Arizona Legislature.

House Bill 2339 would give anyone with a concealed weapons permit the right to carry their gun into public buildings across the state, even if there's a sign out front that says, "no guns allowed."

State Rep. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa,  told CBS5 that the bill will make the public safer.

Smith is one of the sponsors of HB 2339.

The bill that would allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry a gun into a public buildings, unless the facility has a metal detector and security guard.

"Why should a person's Second Amendment right stop at the door of a building?" Smith asked. "If you are not going to do anything to potentially keep firearms out of criminals hands, other than put up a sign they won't listen to, why should a citizen lose their right?"

But not everyone is convinced allowing guns in more public places is a good idea.

Hildy Saizow, with Arizonans for Gun Safety, said a recent survey showed that the majority of people across the state do not want guns in libraries and senior centers.

"It's just a bad idea for families who frequent community centers, community pools and  libraries, where people take their children," said Saizow. "They don't want to have to consider someone 'packing' when they go to these facilities."

And public safety isn't the only issue.

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is worried that the bill will force communities to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy new metal detectors and hire additional security personnel.

"Cities and towns are just now climbing out of the recession," said Dale Wiebusch, with the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. "Another unfunded mandate at this time is just burdensome."

Among the facilities that would be impacted by HB 2339 include the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division, senior centers, public libraries and all state buildings and offices.

The bill would not impact stadiums, events that serve alcohol and Valley malls. 

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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