Change in gun in vehicle rule makes sense
We would guess that a fair number of Arizonans regularly - probably unknowingly - break a law concerning the concealment of a gun in a vehicle.
Under Arizona law, drivers who want to have a gun in their vehicle when they travel have to be careful where they put it. It's OK to have it anyplace where it is visible, for example laying on the car seat. It's also OK to have a loaded gun in the glove box, map box or trunk of the car. But you better not have it under your seat unless you have a concealed weapons permit.
Clearly, this is a confusing law which the law-abiding citizen might inadvertently violate. That is why State Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, wants to change it so individuals can put their gun wherever they choose in the vehicle, concealed or not.
It makes a great deal of good sense, yet the proposed law is being opposed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which is concerned its officers may face increased danger during traffic stops.
The concern for officers is understandable since traffic stops can be dangerous situations, yet we don't see how blocking this law would make them safer.
The reality is that lawbreakers don't care what the the restrictions are on hiding guns in vehicles and will hide them anyway. The lawbreakers are the danger to officers, not law-abiding drivers who simply want to safeguard themselves by having a weapon in the car.
The purpose of our laws should be to punish criminals, not to make criminals out of innocent citizens who simply want to exercise their rights, one of which is the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, said he finds the opposition of DPS to the new law dubious. "If they're (criminals) willing to kill a police officer, they're willing to hide the gun under the seat" even if the law says they can't.
This is a reasonable change. It will not encourage more criminality, but rather will benefit the vast majority of Arizonans who want to be able to keep and use their guns in a law-abiding way.