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Arizona to Allow Concealed Weapons

A study by GAO found out that there has been an increasing trend of states to allow concealed carry permits. The study established that the number had reached at least 8 million by the 31st of December 2011. This law has attracted a lot of controversy in most states based on the fact that, though there are certain requirements that any individual applying for the permits must meet, such requirements leave loopholes that criminals can take advantage. As noted by Rau (2010) in his report, Arizona is one of such states that have allowed its citizens concealed weapons without permit. This write up will present both a summary and a response of this report.

According to Rau’s article, “Arizona to allow concealed weapons without permit”, the1108 Bill was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer to allow the citizens of the U.S. who are 21 years and above carrying concealed firearms without permit. He reports that the new law holds that gun owners do not have to carry permit, but must answer honestly if asked by the police whether in possession of a weapon. From Rau’s report, the other states that have allowed the carrying of concealed weapons without permits include Alaska and Vermont. The bill was sponsored by R-Mesa, Sen. Russell Pearce who supported it on grounds that the freedom of carrying concealed guns by people who have no criminal history does not constitute a menace to the general public. It received support from Matt Dogali, a lobbyist of National Rifle Association, who defended the bill stating that the bill is good due to the absence of federal requirement for the permission.

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The first indication of the controversy surrounding this law is the fact that Brewer’s security policy seems to have contradicted the policies of his predecessor. Unlike Brewer, Napolitano rejected several bills on weapons that came to her desk (Rau, 2010). Many have therefore asked questions on why Brewer would pass the bill into law without considering the many contrary opinions. For instance, the new law has been accused of neither restricting those who need permits to have specific hours of training nor requiring those who do not own permit to have any education or training.

From the report, one would also question the universality of such a law. For instance, the reaction by Dan Furbee, a retired Police officer, who in his business offers teaching permit as well as other classes on gun safety, fails to support this law. I agree with Dan Furbee that the law has failed to consider the fact that hundreds of business firms in Arizona which offer firearms instructions will be hurt. He concludes his remarks noting that, it is of real concern and an act of irresponsibility if citizens of Arizona are going to carry guns without taking classes and learning the law.

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Based on the fact that a new law has been met with resistance from some quarters within Arizona, this bill requires to be amended. This would help address the concerns of such people as the president of the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, Sgt. John Ortolona, who, as Rau notes, still feel that the law was passed to appease the gun lobby. From Rau’s report, it is also true that the law would allow some people to carry guns without bothering to know how to use them. The result would be fatal since this would lead to many accidents due to lack of knowledge on operation of guns. Rau therefore seems to be pointing to the need for amendments to provide for a safety training requirement.

It is thus obvious to me that, the new law has also failed despite the fact that the state law allows those with permits to go to bars and restaurants serving alcohol with concealed guns. For, instance, bar owners in the entire East Valley do not have No-guns Policy in place. Consequently, most of those who own bars have stated that they will not allow anyone with a gun in their bars except for police officers on duty. This points to the fact that the law will not be universally applicable.

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In conclusion, Rau has come clear on the law stating why people are either in its support or opposing it. His article is thus useful for the policy makers since it stresses on the need to have wide consultations in any process of making laws especially with the people who will be directly affected by it. With such consultations, serious security issue like the simple argument that allowing good people to carry guns does not lead to crimes, may not have arose.

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