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Bill to allow loaded guns in cars on school grounds advances to full Senate

Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 13:52:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Proposed House Bill 2693 advances to the full Arizona Senate after passing the committee, Thursday.

Current Arizona law allows gun owner to have an unloaded gun on school property. This bill changes that by allowing gun owners to have a loaded gun on school grounds if it is in their vehicle and out of site.

The bill came out of concern for gun owners, who might forget to unload their guns when picking up and dropping off their children at school.

Charles Heller, a co-founder of the Arizona Citizen's Defense League, a nonprofit organization that promotes the right to bear arms said the old law is more dangerous.

"In order to compile with the law, you have to stop, unload your firearm in the vehicle, and then proceed on to the school grounds," Heller said. "Well, that means you're administratively handling a gun either while driving or while pulled over in a parking place."

He adds this new bill could help promote gun safety.

"Leave the gun alone is what this bill really is, it's just leave it in its holster or leave it in the car, and just don't disturb it," Heller said.

However, not everyone agrees.

Kelley Ireland with Moms Demand Action Tucson, an organization that promotes common sense gun reform, explains why she doesn't back the bill.

"If they are responsible gun owners and they know how to handle guns, then it shouldn't make a difference," Ireland said.

The bill passed 4-3 Thursday in the Senate committee and is now being moved to the full Senate. The next stop after that would be final approval from Governor Doug Ducey.