Arizona gun violence survivors, mayors and moms today applauded Governor Jan Brewer’s veto of HB 2339 and HB 2517, two dangerous gun bills that would have become law without her veto. HB 2339, the Guns in Public Buildings Bill, would have forced local governments to allow loaded, hidden guns in public buildings or pay for costly security—forcing them to choose between public safety and spending more taxpayer money. HB 2517, the Preemption Bill, would have made local officials subject to firing for enacting basic public safety rules in their communities. Today’s vetoes come after five Arizona mayors wrote a letter urging Governor Brewer to veto the Guns in Public Buildings Bill, HB 2339; and after gun violence survivors, along with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, rallied at the Capitol on Monday urging Governor Brewer to veto both bills.
“Arizona law already restricts local governments from passing gun laws—which is why HB 2517 was an unnecessary, draconian attack on our public officials,” said Daniel Hernandez, a survivor of the 2011 Tucson shooting. “This bill would have subjected public officials to firing and a $5,000 fine for enacting basic public safety rules, and I’m thankful Governor Brewer did right by our communities by vetoing it.”
“Today’s vetoes were a victory for Arizonans’ public safety— and their pocketbooks. HB 2339 would have overridden our ability as mayors to make the decisions we deem necessary to keep our employees and residents safe,” said Avondale Mayor Marie Rogers, who is also the Immediate Past President of the National League of Cities and Towns. “There are times and places when concealed, loaded weapons pose a danger to public safety—and this legislation would have forced local governments to choose between public safety and onerous, expensive security measures.”
“Without a veto on HB 2339, loaded, hidden guns would have been forced into Arizona’s public buildings and at public events unless officials found a way to pay for extra, costly security measures,” said Kara Pelletier, Arizona State Chapter Lead for Moms Demand Action. “Forcing public officials to choose between public safety and imposing more taxes upon their communities was the wrong thing to do—and we’re glad Governor Brewer listened to what we had to say.”
A number of Arizonans joined the mayors in opposing the Guns in Public Buildings Bill, HB 2339, including: Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, Arizona Police Association, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, County Supervisors Association of Arizona, Arizona Library Association, the Pima County’s Attorney’s Office, the City of Tucson, the Buckeye Valley and Tucson Metro Chambers of Commerce.