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Thread: Open Carry Bill on Governor's desk

  1. #1
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    SB 1301, which rewrites ARS 13-3102.F to clarify that if any portion of a weapon or holster is visible, the weapon is openly carried, passed the Senate “Final Read” on April 23, 2007 by a vote of 21-5-4, and was transmitted to the Governor. On April 9, 2007, the House passed SB 1301 by a vote of 40-16-4.

    The current law has several problems. Foremost, open carry is limited in statute to a belt holster, and the holster, NOT the weapon, must be "wholly or partially visible." SB 1301 specifies that either the weapon or the holster can be visible, and removes the "belt holster" restriction. Another problem is the interpretation of “concealed” by a 1994 Appellate court decision, which held that it has to be obvious to “ordinary observation” that you're carrying a weapon. SB 1301 replaces the "wholly or partially visible" language in ARS 13-3102.F, and refers to "any portion" of a weapon or holster being visible.

    An amendment was added to SB 1301 during the House Committee of the Whole (COW) debate clarifying that a concealed weapons permit is not required to carry in your home, business, or real property owned, leased or rented by you, including in “common areas”. The amendment also makes it clear that this exemption applies to carrying concealed in vehicles on your own property as well. People have been arrested for carrying a firearm in the common areas of apartment complexes where they live. The amended language gives law enforcement clearer guidelines in such cases.

    It is important to contact the Governor and urge here to sign SB 1301 into law. You can use your own message or you can use the cut-and-paste message below. Her email address is azgov@az.gov. Please send a courtesy copy of your message to president@AzCDL.org. You can also fax a letter to her at 602-542-1381.

    Or you can mail it to her at the following address:

    The Honorable Janet Napolitano
    Governor of Arizona
    1700 West Washington
    Phoenix, Arizona 85007


    [line]


    Subject: Please sign SB 1301

    Governor Napolitano:

    The Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL) has informed me that SB 1301 is awaiting your signature. I urge you to sign SB 1301 into law.

    The current law that defines how weapons may be legally carried without a concealed weapons permit has several problems. First, open (i.e., not concealed) carry is limited in statute to a belt holster, and the holster, NOT the weapon, must be "wholly or partially visible." Modern methods of carrying a firearm, like the popular “In the Waist Band” (IWB) holster, may be considered illegal because the holster cannot be seen, even though the firearm is in plain view. SB 1301 specifies that either the weapon or the holster can be visible, and removes the "belt holster" restriction.

    An additional problem is the interpretation of current statutory law by a 1994 Appellate Court decision, State v. Adams, which held that it has to be obvious to “ordinary observation” that you are carrying a weapon. Under Adams, citizens have been arrested because the law enforcement officer could not see their openly carried firearm that was in full view of everyone else.

    In “Legal Issues Relating to the Use of Deadly Force” by Michael P. Anthony, used by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) as part of the course of instruction for CCW instructors, carrying a weapon without a permit is covered on pages 20-24. Mr. Anthony states on page 22 that, “A person can avoid the problems and pitfalls of carrying and transporting firearms in Arizona by possessing an Arizona CCW permit whenever carrying or transporting a firearm, concealed or otherwise, in Arizona.”[/i]

    In short, because of the way the courts have interpreted statute, “open carry” is all but outlawed, and whether a person will be arrested is solely dependent on the mood of whatever law enforcement officer they might interact with.

    The proposed corrections to ARS 13-3102.F would assist law enforcement officers in properly identifying legal instances of open carry.These changes reduce the burden on both law enforcement and the law-abiding public.

    Again, I urge you to sign SB 1301 into law.


    Sincerely,
    Your Name
    Street Address
    City, AZ zip-code
    telephone number


    [line]


    You can also go to the Governor’s website http://azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp where you will find a fill-in-the-blanks form to register your opinion. For "subject", scroll down and select "Legislation." For "topic", fill in “SB 1301.”

    You can add your own polite message urging her to sign SB 1301 in the "message/comment" area, or you can use the cut-and-paste message above.

    You can call her office toll free using this number: 1-800-253-0883

    Information on this and other bills can be found at the AzCDL website: http://www.azcdl.org/html/legislation.html

    As legislation progresses, we will keep you up to date via these Alerts and at our website.

    These alerts are a project of the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL), an all volunteer, non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization. Join today!

    AzCDL – Protecting Your Freedom
    http://www.azcdl.org/html/join_us_.html

    Copyright © 2007 Arizona Citizens Defense League, Inc., all rights reserved.

  2. #2
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    As someone who has to deal with FAR too many emails at work every day, I think you lose the effect after the first line or so. I'm guessing that (if anything) all she sees is a tally of for/against. I kept mine short and sweet:

    Code:
    Topic:Support for SB1301
    Message/ Comment:
    Subject says it all.  I think that SB1301 goes a long way toward 
    clarifying citizens' rights in Arizona; both for citizens and for law 
    enforcement.  I hope that you will sign this bill.  Thank you.
    Thanks for the heads-up on this one. I check the news every day on AZCDL, so I would have seen it there, as well.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the update, I sent off a short to the point email in support for this change

  4. #4
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    I see on the AZCDL news page that she vetoed this bill. Man, I thought it was a slam dunk, as quickly as it passed the Senate and the House.

    Any chance of a veto override on this? It looked like it passed by more than a 2/3 majority in both the Senate and the House.

  5. #5
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    mzbk2l wrote:
    I see on the AZCDL news page that she vetoed this bill. Man, I thought it was a slam dunk, as quickly as it passed the Senate and the House.

    Any chance of a veto override on this? It looked like it passed by more than a 2/3 majority in both the Senate and the House.
    Yeah - we though it pretty much a slam dunk also. Surprised the hell out of us when she vetoed it. Her veto letter was "let them eat cake" - or as she put it: if you want to carry get a permit. Here's her veto letter:
    http://www.azleg.gov/govlettr/48leg/1R/SB1301.pdf
    She made some untruthful statements in here letter about what the bill would do.
    No, there is no chance SB 1301 will be overridden. The votes aren't there, not to mention that an override bill would jeapordize some other legislation heading her way. Politics is very ugly.

    Coming right behind SB 1301 is SB 1629 which drops CCW without a permit to a petty offense unless you're a bad guy in which case it jumps to a felony. Now, it's a "crime bill" not just a gun bill. We'll see how she deals with it.

    Fred

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    so you can still open carry as long as the holster is visible correct?

  7. #7
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    Ghost wrote:
    so you can still open carry as long as the holster is visible correct?
    It's soley up to the discretion of the cop you encounter. The law says it has to be in a belt holster (not IWB, not shoulder holster, not stuffed in your pants) and the holster, not the gun, must be "wholly or partially" visible.

    In 1994 a couple of Appellate court decisions interpreted "wholly or partially visible" as meaning that it must be obvious to casual observation that you are carrying a gun.

    So, if you are wearing your belt holstered gun openly on your right side and a cop approaches you on your left and does not see the gun - you are carrying concleaed according to the court's interpretation of the law, and if you don't have a permit you can be arrested if the cop feels like arresting you. And, yes, people have been arrested for wearing a gun openly but standing at an angle where a cop can't see it. And, no, intent doesn't have to be shown. It's like a drug arrest. You got the pot in your car, you go to jail. If the cop says he couldn't see the gun you are carrying concleaed and can go to jail.

    Sadly the only safe way to carry openly is to have a CCW permit.

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