Buying a Gun in Arizona is Easy, But It Could Get Easier

After the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and the murder of six others, at the hands of Jared Loughner, plus

the under-reported shooting death

of nine-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father in 2009 -- gun control is a hot issue in Arizona. Or so you would think. As we

mentioned this morning

, a recent investigation backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg found that buying a gun in the state remains easy as pie, even if you tell the seller that you "probably couldn't pass [a background check]." And if that's not frightening enough, the "Firearms Omnibus" bill could be coming soon.

The bill, currently working its way through the legislative process, would make it so Arizona earns the honorable distinction of becoming "the second state in the nation to require universities and communities to allow guns on campus and one of 10 that permit guns inside public government buildings such as the state Capitol."

But wait, there's more! Via Gawker: "If a state employee tried to stop you from bringing your semi-automatic Glock with its extended magazine into, say, the state Capitol, the state could make it up by letting you steal an elected official's car." That sounds like a joke, but it's all there in the bill.

As reported by AzCentral.com:

Allow people to sue if they feel they were illegally stopped from carrying a firearm into a government facility or event. If a person wins the lawsuit and the government agency doesn't pay within 72 hours, the person has the right to seize as payment "any municipal vehicles used or operated for the benefit of any elected office holder" in the relevant government agency.

And that's not all:

Change the wording of last year's concealed-weapons law to require an individual to answer "truthfully" when a law-enforcement officer asks whether the person is carrying a concealed weapon. The current wording requires the person to answer "accurately." Law-enforcement officials say the change could give leeway to a person who, for example, forgets a gun in a bag and inaccurately tells an officer he or she isn't carrying one.

And this not just in the wake of a gun-related national tragedy, but along with the Bloomberg investigation that shows it's not even hard to become armed in the first place. From the above undercover clip, via the New York Times:

Buyer: You're not one of those, you know, dealer guys, right?

Seller: No. No tax, no forms, you don't have to do transfers or nothing. Just need to see an Arizona ID and that's it with me.

Buyer: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So no background checks?

Seller: No.

Buyer: That's good, 'cause I probably couldn't pass one, know what I mean?

Then he buys a gun.

Hear No Evil, Suspect No Evil at an Arizona Gun Show [NYT] New Arizona legislation aims to loosen gun laws [AZ Central via Gawker]

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]


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