Arizona Senate rejects bill to allow guns in public buildings

The Arizona Senate on Tuesday voted against a bill that would have allowed lawful gun owners holding concealed carry permits to carry guns into many public buildings.

According to the Associated Press, all 13 Democrats and three Republicans voted against the bill, prior versions of which have been proposed in the Arizona Legislature for at least six years.

The version shot down Tuesday, Senate Bill 1243 sponsored by Sen. John Kavanagh, would have allowed concealed carry permit holders to carry their guns into public buildings unless those buildings have security guards and metal detectors at entrances.

“It only failed by one vote last year,” Kavanagh said. “I was hoping that it would pass this year. It didn’t, but there’s always next year because the 2nd Amendment doesn’t go away.”

Opponents, including Republican Sen. Frank Pratt, argued there are many buildings that do not have security guards and metal detectors where guns should not be allowed.

“I did not support the bill,” said Pratt. “Cost to the communities would be one thing. I just didn’t think it was good policy.”

Two other pro-gun bills, Senate Bills 1159 and 1344, were passed in the Senate and now head to the House for consideration.

Senate Bill 1159 would prevent persons or entities from being liable for damages if someone else should use a weapon in areas that are not gun-free zones.

Senate Bill 1344 would exempt independent contractors from firearm possession regulations.