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Two gun bills passed by Senate panel

A bill that makes significant changes to the state’s laws regarding concealed weapons was passed by a party-line vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 1

Republicans on the committee voted to pass S1102, while Democrats voted against it.

The bill would loosen restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon. As originally written, it would have allowed people to carry concealed weapons without having the permit with them. It also would have allowed people to have a concealed weapons permit without completing gun safety training.

The bill’s concealed weapons provisions, however, were heavily amended before it was voted through by the committee. The bill was held the first time it was presented.

Sen. Russell Pearce, the bill’s sponsor, offered an amendment to restore the firearms safety training requirements in order to obtain the permit. The amendment also restored a provision saying that a person who fails to show the permit when requested by a law enforcerment officer could have his or her permit suspended.

Additionally, the amendment prescribes a fine of not more than $300 for anyone who fails to present the permit within 60 days after the suspension. The amendment, however, adds that a law enforcement officer cannot seize a gun from a person whose permit has been suspended, but an officer may take temporary custody of the firearm during an “investigatory stop.”

The amended bill still makes several changes to the Arizona’s gun laws:

*It exempts a person who has a concealed weapons permit from facing a petty offense if he or she caries a gun concealed and fails to present the permit when requested by a law enforcement officer.

*It prohibits the carrying of a concealed weapon by people under 21 and classifies it as a petty offense. The offense, however, doesn’t apply if the person is at home or is a member of the U.S. military.

*It allows a concealed weapons permit holder to enter a public establishment or attend any public event carrying a gun, except when prohibited by law and the establishment is a secured police facility.

*It adds the defensive display of a firearm to acts that justify the threat or use of deadly force.

The committee turned down a proposal by Sen. Ken Cheuvront, a Phoenix Democrat, to classify as misconduct the selling or transferring of a firearm to a buyer during a firearm show without requiring proof of citizenship.

The committee also approved a measure, S1098, that would exclude a personal firearm, accessory or ammunition manufactured in Arizona from federal regulations if the gun remains within the state’s borders. The bill would require that a firearm manufactured and sold in this state must be stamped with “Made in Arizona.”

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