GOP State Lawmakers Nationwide Trying To Legalize Guns in Parks, Public Buildings, Hurricane Shelters
In numerous states nationwide, Republican lawmakers are sponsoring and moving legislation to further expand the ability of gun owners to bring their weapons virtually anywhere.
Here are a few flashpoints:
- Arizona: In Arizona, the Senate Appropriations Committee has moved a bill that would “allow hundreds of thousands of Arizonans to take their guns into public buildings”; the County Supervisors Association is concerned about the legislation, worried it would allow weapons into sensitive areas including “court hearings and even zoning cases.”
- Florida: In Florida, the Senate by a 29-10 vote passed a bill that would allow “people to carry a concealed gun without a permit if they are subject to a mandatory evacuation during a hurricane or other emergency”; opponents of the bill say people simply don't need guns in hurricane shelters during an emergency.
- Tennessee: The state's House Finance, Ways and Means Committee supported a bill that would allow those who hold permits to carry handguns into public parks, overruling any regulations local governments have. “I've had calls from young ladies. One of the parks where they do a lot of running here, they feel unsafe going out there if they go after a certain period of time,” explained GOP Rep. Mike Harrison.
- Texas: Texas Republican Rep. Stuart Spitzer wants to ban doctors from even asking their patients whether they own a firearm, and empower the Texas Medical Board to punish them for asking the question.
Colorado Republicans, meanwhile, are trying to repeal background checks that the Democratic majority passed just two years ago. Their actions prove that these lawmakers want not only to expand the number of places where one can bring a gun, but to make it easier for those who may have criminal backgrounds to obtain a weapon in the first place.