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Lawmakers debate two controversial gun regulation bills one day after Uvalde shooting

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 5:51 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona is one of the least restrictive states when it comes to gun laws. Anyone who can legally possess a firearm can carry it without a permit and the permits that do exist are easy to get.

Republican lawmakers are looking to pass two more bills that could expand that. Both bills passed 31-28 in the House with no Democratic support.

The first, House Bill 2316. The bill would allow a person who has a valid concealed weapons permit to carry a concealed weapon in a public establishment or at a public event.

However, this would not apply to courthouses, prisons, and other secure buildings. Representative John Kavanagh, author of the bill, and he did not have time for an interview on this topic.

State Senator Victoria Steele was able to speak and said the timing of this bill is wrong. “We should not be extending more firearm access in more places and particularly on school grounds,” she said.

While she is talking about concealed carry, she also mentioned her disapproval for House Bill 2414.

The bill would allow permit holders to keep fully-loaded guns in their cars on school campuses. Right now, the firearms must be unloaded.

“If we continue choosing inaction every time our school kids are hunted down in their classrooms we are sending the message that the lives and well-being of our kiddos are not as important as unfettered action to firearms,” Steele said of this legislation.

Republicans argue HB 2414 bill would increase safety by removing the time and need for people to unload their guns before they go on a campus.

Representative Jacqueline Parker, the author of that bill, did not respond to an interview request.

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