Last Thursday, the Arizona Senate voted 19 to 11 in favor of House Bill 2729, allowing concealed weapons in public buildings that lack adequate security measures. The state House passed HB 2729 by a 37 to 21 vote on March 6. The bill is now with Governor Brewer for her consideration.
HB 2729, sponsored by state Representative David Gowan (R-30), would amend various sections of the Arizona Revised Statutes to remove the current prohibition on entering a public establishment or attending any public event while carrying a weapon on one’s person. Instead it would provide for regulation of firearms and ammunition on public property only if specific criteria are met.
Under HB 2729 any new ordinance or rule must meet the following criteria:
- The public property is a secure facility;
- Access is controlled or restricted to the general public by the presence of either a state or federal certified law enforcement officer OR an armed security officer and metal detection, x-ray, screening, or other weapon detection equipment;
- There are signs prohibiting the possession of firearms clearly posted at all public entrances;
- Secure firearms lockers are provided within reasonable proximity to the main public entrance, are under control of the operator of the property, and allow for immediate retrieval of the firearm upon exiting.
HB 2729 would also make a number of other significant positive changes for gun owners, including a prohibition on the state or any agency from enacting firearms regulations that are more prohibitive than or that have a greater penalty than current state law. This clarification would prevent a political subdivision from prohibiting the lawful transportation or storage of firearms and includes a provision to allow a person to institute legal action against the operator of public property if the requirements set forth are not complied with.
Please e-mail Governor Jan Brewer and respectfully encourage her to sign HB 2729 into law.