Arizona lawmakers kill ‘rat shot’ bill

Lawmakers in the Arizona Senate shot down a bill this week that would have allowed the use of “rat shot” ammo to kill snakes and rats within city limits.

The measure, House Bill 2022, failed on a 15-15 Senate vote Monday, with most Republicans in support and all Democrats opposed, the Arizona Republic reported.

The proposal would have amended Arizona state law to allow the use of rat or snake shot as a form of pest control. Under current state law, only blanks are allowed to be used to control pests within city limits.

As evidenced in the vote, Democrats were not at all happy with the measure, and two Republican senators joined the opposition as well. Republicans Kate Brophy McGee and Bob Worsley both voted against the bill.

Worsley called the measure “silly,” while Brophy McGee read a letter from a retired sheriff’s deputy, who argued the risks of using rat shot were greater than the threats posed by the pests themselves.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jay Lawrence, argued it was a gun rights bill, not a persecution of snakes or rats, and said he had proposed the measure after a constituent had urged him to do so.

Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club applauded the bill’s failure, calling the decision, “One for the snakes and the kitties.”

Presumably, all the snakes and cats will now have more rats to eat.