Ariz. govenor criticized over vetoing weapons legislation
PHOENIX — The sponsor of laws to broaden the right to carry guns in Arizona lashed out Monday at Gov. Jan Brewer for vetoing them.
Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, said he did not believe the governor's claims that the measures were flawed and had to be rejected. He said she was just “looking for cover,” trying to find any excuse at all to veto them.
But the governor said Monday there were legitimate reasons for her actions. She said both were badly crafted.
Brewer, however, refused to commit to signing a version of the measures that was clearer.
One bill would have permitted people to carry guns on the public rights of way through the campuses of community colleges and state universities. And just last Friday Brewer rejected another measure which would have said people could bring their weapons into public buildings unless entrances have metal detectors and security guards.
“On the guns on campus bill she sided with education bureaucrats and their irrational fear of guns,” he said. And Gould said the governor “sided with government over the people” on weapons in public buildings.
Brewer denied that's the case.
“I thought they were not written properly,” the governor said.
“Some of them, of course, conflicted with federal law,” Brewer continued. “And they were so ambiguous that people would actually never really, really know where they could and couldn't carry weapons.”
Gould wasn't buying it.
“A lot of times, if you don't agree with the policy, you bad-mouth the bill so that you create wiggle room for yourself so you theoretically don't take a hit for killing something that the conservative base supports,” he said.
Brewer said that's not the case.
“You know, I'm a big proponent of the Second Amendment,” she said. And she did sign legislation last year making Arizona only the third state in the country, after Alaska and Vermont, to allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon, with or without training or a background check.
“She can try to spin it any way she wants to spin it,” Gould said.
“And she can claim that she's a conservative and she can claim that she supports gun rights,” he said. “But she didn't support gun rights last week.”
Despite her argument that drafting problems were the only issues she had with the legislation letting guns in buildings, the governor sidestepped questions about what she would do with a future — and presumably better-crafted — measure.
“That's somewhat of a hypothetical question,” she said. “I will comment on bills when they arrive on my desk.”