The Arizona Library Association has issued a formal position of opposition to HB 2320:
Bill Title: Firearms; Permit Holders; Public Places.
The entire proposed bill is available for review, introduced by Rep. Brenda Barton (LD-6.)
HB 2320 states that a government (state, state agency and political subdivision) cannot deny entry to persons carrying a firearm with a valid concealed weapons permit into public buildings and events, unless they install screening equipment and have security personnel.
About the Bill
In the state of Arizona it is not considered misconduct to carry a deadly weapon into a public establishment or event if the person possesses a valid concealed weapons permit. HB 2320 (currently in the Arizona House of Representatives for committee review.) would exempt “Carrying Concealed Weapons” permit holders from being disarmed when entering state and local government property unless every person entering is screened for weapons (IE: the establishment has security personnel and electronic weapons screening devices) according to the Arizona Citizens’ Defense League, (2015.)
This proposed Legislation would directly impact all libraries; the safety of our customers and the necessary funding needed to implement and sustain this proposed new law.
All of Arizona’s libraries are used frequently by children and indeed, the library community is fulfilling the great need of providing a safe place for children to go after school. Many city libraries have designated teen spaces set aside for this very purpose. If passed, HB 2320 could place many Arizona families and children in harm’s way and potentially disrupt the purpose of libraries as a place where our communities gather safely.
The language in this bill says the alternative to allowing firearms into our public libraries is to put specific security measures in place including screening equipment and security guards. These measures are costly and burdensome to the already cash-strapped budgets of cities and counties. Libraries across nearly every county and city in Arizona have had to cut their hours back in an effort to reduce expenses on their budgets.
The Arizona Library Association is opposed to HB 2320.
03/24/15: The bill passed out of Appropriations. Likely the bill will go to the floor next week for vote after caucus.
02/12/15: The bill passed the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee by a vote of 6-3.
02/16/15: from House Rules, okay
03/02/15: House COW approved
03/12/15: passed House 33-25
03/24/15: bill scheduled to be heard in Senate Appropriations
AzLA Legislative Chair