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Guns in bars decision up to governor


By Andrea Kelly
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
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PHOENIX - It is now up to Gov. Janet Napolitano to decide whether guns should be allowed in bars, as the state Legislature has forwarded a bill with House and Senate support to her desk for the final say.

The Arizona Senate passed the bill yesterday, which would allow gun owners to bring their firearms into bars as long as they didn't drink at the same time.

The bill was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives after much debate and a few amendments. If it becomes law, it would let bar owners post a sign at each entrance if they did not want to allow guns in their establishment.

The National Rifle Association supports the bill and legislators who voted for it said the bill restores the Second Amendment rights to Arizonans.

The Arizona Restaurant and Hospitality Association and many law enforcement agencies in the state opposed the bill as it made its way through the legislative process. Legislators who felt the same said it was not fair to put the right to bear arms ahead of the right to public safety and welfare.

Sen. Jack Harper, R-Sun City West, was the sponsor of SB1363 and said 33 states already have similar laws, and Tennessee is considering similar legislation.

Harper said this bill is actually more strict than most of the laws in those states, and that only one other state requires a person carrying a firearm to refrain from drinking while in the bar.

The bill passed the Senate by a 17-12 vote yesterday and passed the House by 36-22 votes April 12.



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