Monday, January 31, 2011

Arizona Strives to be Number One in yet Another Mind-boggling but Somehow Unsurprising Way

Well, the final fatality in the January 8 shootings was buried at the end of last week, so the time was ripe for some Lake Havasu mope in the state legislature to bust out with SB1201. Heavens to Betsy, the circulation must have gone plumb out of his hands after sitting on them for three whole weeks before giving Arizona yet another gift that will keep on giving, the Firearms Omnibus Bill.

Senate Bill 1201, sponsored by Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, would do a number of things, including:

- Allow people to carry firearms into all government-run facilities and many public events. The only places or events that could ban firearms would be those that post the correct sign, provide firearm lockers and have armed security and a metal detector. The law would apply to university classrooms, city buses and community festivals that get government permits. It would not apply to K-12 schools.

- Change the wording of last year's concealed-weapons law to require an individual to answer "truthfully" when a law-enforcement officer asks whether the person is carrying a concealed weapon. The current wording requires the person to answer "accurately." Law-enforcement officials say the change could give leeway to a person who, for example, forgets a gun in a bag and inaccurately tells an officer he or she isn't carrying one.

- Change the wording of Shannon's Law to make it a crime to "knowingly" discharge a firearm within city limits. It's currently a crime for someone to discharge a firearm with "criminal negligence." Bill opponents said the change would mean people could be convicted of violating this law only if the prosecution could prove they knew that shooting the gun could result in someone's death or injury.

- Allow people to sue if they feel they were illegally stopped from carrying a firearm into a government facility or event. If a person wins the lawsuit and the government agency doesn't pay within 72 hours, the person has the right to seize as payment "any municipal vehicles used or operated for the benefit of any elected office holder" in the relevant government agency.

Hoo-eee! That last provision is pure gold. I am sorely tempted to mosey over to Black Weapons Armory for an AR-15 that I will then carry on to city buses, into MVD offices, and through county-sponsored Oktoberfests until I've won enough lawsuits from sluggish agencies to have seized so many cars that I will need to build my own personal parking deck. If I play this right, Jan Brewer's Escalade will be mine within the year. I got yer return on a $1,499.99 investment right here! Boom!

But seriously? Seriously, Jesus Christ. We're looking to let untrained and barely vetted people carry guns just about everywhere, make it easier to avoid consequences for lying to cops about having a gun, make it easier to avoid consequences for being an idiot with a gun, and make public agencies skittish about appealing punitive awards against them for saying is it too much to ask that you not bring your goddamn Glock and pocketsful of extended-capacity magazines into the D.A.R.E. Family Fun Fair? Too soon? It's Arizona. Apparently here it's never too soon.

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