Reason prevails! Arizona Senate shoots down firearms and snakes bill

Apr 11, 2017, 1:39 PM | Updated: May 2, 2018, 10:19 am

(AP File Photo)...

(AP File Photo)

(AP File Photo)

Well, your Arizona Senate did it!

The legislators struck down a bill that seemed to be on its way to Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk. A bill authored by state Rep. Jay Lawrence, a KTAR alumnus. A bill that would allow residents to shoot a firearm within city limits to save them from, wait for it …snakes!

Now if you haven’t been told, it is illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits unless your life is in danger and you’re protecting yourself.

This is part of the 2000 Shannon’s Law.

If you don’t remember Shannon’s Law, it is a law that was named after Shannon Smith, a 14-year-old who was struck and killed by a bullet that was fired into the air. Just filling you in here, what goes up must come down. Discharging a firearm into the air within city limits is extremely dangerous.

This might come as a shock to some of you that know me as the outdoor guy, as the firearms guy, as the Second Amendment supporter, but I am in full support of Shannon’s Law and against any legislation that allows discharging of firearms within city limits for any purpose other than home and personal defense.

As firearms owners, I think we were all OK with the law that prohibited citizens and residents from discharging a firearm within city limits for anything other than self protection.

Being that we are the most gun-friendly state in the nation, according to some publications, it seems that our legislators who are looking for a quick victory always submit legislation that has to do with firearms.

This piece of legislation is no different. It serves no purpose. It’s a solution looking for a problem.

We live in the desert. We live around snakes, rats, scorpions, javelina, mountain lions and all other sorts of things they can bite or sting you. Here’s a sure-fire way to not get bit or stung… Leave these animals alone.

If there’s a snake in your backyard, the standard way of dispatching that snake has always been a shovel or a hoe. Or the safest way to get rid of a snake in your backyard is by calling a herpetological society and having someone knowledegeable remove it for you. For free.

Rats that were mentioned in the piece of legislation … they are a whole lot easier. I would stick with the tried-and-true method called a rat trap.

I believe in the rights of American citizens to keep and bear arms for self-protection, for sport, and for hunting. I also support a ban on discharging firearms within city limits for anything other than self-protection.

There are too many variables at stake. There are too many accidents that could happen.

Here’s one thing that might have got me on board with this piece of legislation — a permit.

If residents had to take a safety course or a “varmint dispatching” course to obtain a permit to shoot snakes and rats in their backyard, I might’ve given it some thought.

But to just open the floodgates and allow the discharging of a firearm within city limits is just unsafe. And it’s simply pandering to a voter base.

Great job, Arizona State Senate!

Michael Russell

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Reason prevails! Arizona Senate shoots down firearms and snakes bill