Arizona about to end permit requirement for concealed handguns in state

Arizona is about to join Alaska, Montana (virtually all of the state), and Vermont in not requiring that people get a permit to carry a concealed handgun. If you are able to legally own a handgun, you will be able to legally carry it. From Fox Phoenix:

A bill making its way to the Governor could change the way people in Arizona carry guns. As it stands now, if you want to carry a concealed weapon, you have to get a permit.

But the new bill will allow any Arizona resident over 21 to carry a concealed weapon, and they wouldn't have to take the training classes currently required.

Under this law proposal, the 8-hour training class would be optional -- only required if you want to take your concealed weapon to other states.

Victoria Johnson lives in Sun City. She never owned a gun until recently, when she got her concealed weapons permit. She took the 8-hour class required by law, which covered serious legal issues.

She says, "I think that there are things that people need to know, that wouldn't know if they didn't take the class."

Jim Gibbs with Shooter's World worries that if this law passes, there could be a whole group of people carrying concealed weapons who may not use them responsibly.

"Now all of a sudden you have a bunch of people carrying guns and they are going to be carrying where they are not supposed to be," says Gibbs.

The state Senator who introduced the bill is confident the Governor will sign it. Russell Pearce and other lawmakers have tried this before, and Napolitano vetoed it.

Pearce doesn't buy the argument that this bill could create problems. "It is illogical to assume that these laws will prevent bad guys from doing bad things. They restrict good people from defending themselves, from defending you." . . .

The Arizona Republic isn't happy:

Arizona is about to fling aside its concealed-weapon requirements. The Legislature passed a bill that would let anyone 21 or older carry a gun tucked into a waistband, purse or other hidden spot. No more training. No more background check. No more mandatory permit.

The only sanity check at this point is Gov. Jan Brewer. She should refuse to toss out the existing concealed-carry permit system. She should ignore the hysterical arguments that Arizona's rational requirements are an assault on gun rights.

Arizonans have long recognized a difference between carrying a gun openly, putting others on notice that you're armed, and carrying it out of sight.

The state didn't allow the general public to get permits for concealed weapons until 1994. The requirements adopted then included a course in handling it and the legal responsibilities when using it. (In fact, there's a good argument that all gun owners should have the same knowledge.) Arizona now has 153,765 active permits. . . .

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