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Bill makes concealed-weapons permits optional

A House panel has approved legislation that would allow Arizonans to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

The bill, H2347, would not end Arizona’s concealed-weapons program. Instead, it would make participation optional.

Law enforcement groups oppose the idea. John Thomas, a lobbyist for the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, said making the concealed-weapons permit optional would put the public and law enforcement officers in danger.

“That means no training, no classes on what to expect, no training on the rules and regulations of Arizona,” he said.

But supporters of the bill told the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee the goal was to make firearms laws less restrictive.

“By no means do we want to see a police officer put in harm, but we want to protect individual rights,” said John Wentling, vice president of the Arizona Citizens Defense League.

Republican legislators on the committee said concealed-weapons training is worthless. Rep. Jerry Weiers, a Glendale Republican and chairman of the committee, said much of the training focuses on how a gun owner can be sued if he or she uses the weapon. State law requires applicants for a concealed weapons permit to fire only 10 shots at stationary targets.

“If that’s all people do to get their CCW, I think it’s a joke,” Weiers said.

Arizona already allows lawful gun owners to carry guns openly. It makes no sense to impose different rules on people who cover the gun – whether to intentionally hide it or accidentally by putting on a coat, said National Rifle Association lobbyist Matt Dogali.

“If I untuck my shirt, I need eight hours of training and fingerprints,” he said.

The bill was approved 5-2, but Weiers said it would likely undergo major revisions before it is debated on the floor by the entire House. A Senate committee passed a similar bill last week.

6 comments

  1. I would like to see an amendment to say that, All Retired Police Officers in good standing, would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. As it stands now, a retired Police Officer must take a concealed weapons course in order to carry a concealed weapan. It should be noted most Police agencys require officers to quailfy every month or so, for the 20+ years prior to retirement. I feel it is a waste of time and resources to make the retired officer go through the process again. After 20 years, retired Police officers are vary proficient with fire arms and understand all the legal ramifications of using a firearm.

  2. Such a crazy idea Sounds like a crazy person voted in an idiot to propose that bill

  3. What does it matter whether or not a person carries openly or concealed. The only time I hear people complain about a gun owner is when they see the gun openly carried. If a woman has a gun in her purse or otherwise concealed who cares; you don’t know its there right? If a guy has a has a gun concealed by his shirt or coat, you are not ever going to know. Why make such a big deal about how a person carries his or her gun, instead why not worry about the criminals out there who are counting on the gun control nuts to disarm us law abiding citizens? The law abiding citizen who comes into contact with a law enforcement officer he or she would normally inform said officer that they have the weapon. Again I say, whats the problem?

  4. One bad thing is from the Law Enforcement side. After a situation, they could detain suspects for concealing for further investigation if that was all they had from their first contact with the suspects.

    Most bad guys dont follow laws and conceal anyways.

    The extra training was Ok, but a person has to use GREAT judgement in a shoot situation. If two people are engaged in trading shots and a third person tries to help. Who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. Can you make the correct judgement call.

    People, guns are a great assett, but with greatness comes extreme responsibiliy. I carry and train all the time. I hope I will never have to use lethal force. But if the time comes to protect our great citizens of this country from those that want to do harm. I pray I make the correct judgement.

    I would rather want to have a gun when I need it, than need a gun if I do not have it.

    “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
    Benjamin Franklin—

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