Hold onto your hats! Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, has vetoed a gun lobby bill which would have allowed anyone to walk their guns into City Hall.
And the reason? The (financial) cost.
The bill was pushed by the Arizona Citizens Defense League and would have allowed guns into any public buildings — retirement centers, swimming pools, police stations, council chambers — unless the property was secured by either a state or federal certified law-enforcement officer or an armed security guard and metal detectors.
That would have meant, Brewer complained, authorities having to spend from $5,000 to $113,800 per public entrance in the first year with ongoing costs of $54,400 to $108,800 per year in order to keep guns out of places deemed sensitive.
Brewer also said that the bill had not been widely discussed and there had been little consultation – and any new bill would require that cooperation if she were to consider changing her mind.
The local gun lobby and the NRA are not happy. Brewer has pushed back against their efforts to get guns into universities and schools before, and with this veto she made plain that any further bills would also be vetoed unless the lobby could show it had wider support.
“While I appreciate the efforts of the bill sponsor … there must be a more thorough and collaborative discussion of the proper place for guns in the public arena,” she said.
“Decisions made by government officials at the state, county and municipal level impact all areas of life and can have a profound impact upon an individuals’ family and livelihood. Emotions can run high,” Brewer also wrote, indirectly referring to past shootings involving officials.
Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, who was shot in 1997 following a board meeting, had urged Brewer, a former close colleague, to veto the bill. She said, “I’m grateful that common sense prevailed over the ideological views of a few. Government employees will sleep better tonight.”
An Arizona Citizens Defense League spokesperson called Brewer “an alleged friend of freedom,” and promised to push supporters to send complaints to her.
Hildy Saizow, president of the grassroots group Arizonans for Gun Safety, said:
“Finally, we’re getting some common sense in here saying, “No, this is bad public-safety policy, and we’re not going to allow this to happen. No guns on college campuses, no guns in public events, no guns around schools”. The gun lobby has hit its limit, and for good reason.
Nine states do allow guns to be walked into public buildings.