PHOENIX — To the surprise of the bill’s sponsor, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a
bill Tuesday that that would have allowed concealed-carry permit holders to take
their guns into government buildings.
Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, said she was disappointed and surprised because
she believes she addressed many of the issues that the governor had with a
similar bill during a prior legislative session. But Brewer stated in her veto
letter that the new bill still did not meet concerns she had with similar
legislation in the 2011 and 2012 sessions.
House Bill 2339 would have allowed people with concealed-carry permits to bring
weapons into government buildings unless security measures — including armed
guards, metal detectors and gun lockers — are in place. The measure excluded
public K-12 schools, community colleges and universities.
“I am a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, and I have signed into law
numerous pieces of legislation to advance and protect gun rights. However, I
cannot support this measure in its proposed form,” Brewer wrote.
She said the bill would have placed a financial burden on cities and towns that
would have been forced to pay for extra security measures if they did not want
guns in government buildings.
Also on Tuesday, Brewer vetoed a Republican-sponsored gun bill that would have
imposed fines on cities, towns and their lawmakers if they enforce gun
ordinances that are more strict than the state’s laws. That bill, House Bill
2517, was sponsored by Rep. Steve Smith of Maricopa.
Brewer wrote in her veto letter that a citizen or organization can already take
legal action if they believe a local ordinance is illegal.
“Furthermore, I am troubled by the vague and punitive provision that a person
in violation of the statute is ‘subject to termination from employment,'” she
Brewer, a Republican, has been supportive of other gun bills.
Last week, she signed into law House Bill 2483, which bans cities, counties and
towns from restricting the shooting of guns on private property as long as the
nearest occupied structure is more than a quarter-mile away.