Thank You to Those Who Made Their Voices Heard this Session!
The 2011 Arizona legislative session adjourned sine die on April 20 with four pro-gun bills passing in the state legislature and sent to Governor Jan Brewer’s desk. The NRA was responsible for introducing Senate Bill 1467, Senate Bill 1469, and House Bill 2645, while voicing strong support for Senate Bill 1201. SB 1469 and HB 2645 were signed into law by Governor Brewer, however, SB 1467 and SB 1201 were vetoed by her.
SB 1469 will strengthen the current “Castle Doctrine” self-defense law by broadening the definition of reasonable use of force, including deadly force, to provide greater protection for those forced to defend themselves or family from an attacker. This legislation is critical to those would-be victims thrust into a life or death situation and would further protect the victim from becoming prosecuted as a criminal.
HB 2645 is designed to meet the requirements of the federal NICS Improvement Amendments Act by enabling persons who have lost their firearm rights because of a mental health-related commitment or adjudication to petition a court to have them restored. Before granting a petition, the court will have to find that the person is not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to public safety and that granting the requested relief would not be contrary to the public interest. This bill will ensure that people who can safely and responsibly possess firearms are not unnecessarily deprived of their rights.
Vetoed by Governor Brewer, SB 1467 would have prohibited educational institutions from adopting or enforcing any policy prohibiting the possession of a concealed weapon or regulating the lawful transportation or storage of a firearm. Although, it would not have prevented colleges or universities from prohibiting the carrying of a firearm inside campus buildings.
Also vetoed was SB 1201, which among other things, would have removed arbitrary bans across the state on carrying a firearm for self-defense. This pro-gun comprehensive firearms reform measure would have made a number of improvements to Arizona’s carry laws. Most importantly, it would have helped put an end to “gun free” signs limiting your Right-to-Carry in most currently prohibited places and unsecured buildings.
Despite the NRA’s backing and your vocal support, Governor Brewer used her executive power and vetoed these self-defense bills. With this legislative session now adjourned, these issues will be addressed next session.