Brewer 'not sure' laws need revisiting

She OK'd expansions of gun rights; urges focus on school safety
2012-12-18T00:00:00Z 2012-12-18T07:57:18Z Brewer 'not sure' laws need revisitingHoward Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
December 18, 2012 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer said Monday she's "not sure" whether the "absolutely horrific" Connecticut shootings mean Arizona should revisit the laws she has signed that expand the right to carry weapons in public.

"Everybody's heart is broken," Brewer said.

She said such incidents always lead to talk about individuals' rights to bear arms. "And I'm not sure it's something that needs to be addressed in that respect," she said, pointing out that the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers used box cutters.

The governor said if there is an area people should focus on in the wake of the shootings it should be on making schools safer. "I hope that people across the country come together and figure out what it is to make that environment safer. But I will just always believe that there are evil people, and I don't know what the solution is, how you're ever going to stop it."

She said a better mental health system may be part of the answer, helping people with problems "address those issues before they get out of control." Still, she said, no amount of counseling can prevent every problem. "I've been told at least that some incident can take them over the edge," she said.

Brewer has signed a variety of measures expanding the rights of people to carry guns since becoming governor in 2009.

The most sweeping one lets any adult carry a concealed weapon. Before that, only individuals who had undergone a background check and some special training could hide a gun on themselves.

She also signed a law to let those who do have a state-issued permit carry their guns into bars or restaurants where beer, wine or liquor is sold, though they are not permitted to drink.

Brewer also agreed to let people bring their weapons into parking lots and garages of public colleges and universities as long as they leave them in their vehicles.

And she signed a law allowing anyone who feels threatened to "display" a gun without being charged with intimidation.

But earlier this year she vetoed, for a second time, legislation that would have permitted individuals to bring weapons into most public buildings.

And last year she rejected a measure that would have allowed people to bring weapons onto the campuses of public colleges and universities, though not into classrooms. In that case, however, she said her objection was not to having guns on campus but to what she said was the flawed wording of the legislation.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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