Lawmakers in the Arizona House of Representatives have adopted a bill that, if signed by the state’s governor, will allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit, making the currently required background checks and classes unnecessary.
The bill was passed in a 36-19 vote, and if Governor Jan Brewer signs it, as some commentators expect she will, Arizona will join Alaska and Vermont as the only three states that do not require permits to carry concealed weapons. Two states ban them altogether, and the remaining 45 require such permits.
In response to critics who say this may increase access to guns for law-breakers, Republican Representative David Gowan, one of the sponsors of the bill, said that "what’s dangerous is when they’re [only] in criminals’ hands, not citizens’ hands."
The vote comes as Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), a support organization, is winding down its week-long protest against laws and policies banning licensed concealed guns on school premises.
According to SCCC, during the five-day event college students across America strapped on empty holsters in an act of silent protest.