State's top lawman says gun measures not a high priority

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by Dennis Welch | 3TV Political Editor

Bio | Email | Follow: @Dennis_Welch

azfamily.com

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 20 at 7:18 PM

PHOENIX -- In the wake of one of the deadliest mass shootings in the nation's history, the state's top lawman says he's not going to push for tougher gun laws next year because there are more important issues to deal with.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne was asked over the weekend if he'd seek stricter gun laws once the legislature convenes next month and he said he wouldn't because, "I actually have a pretty full plate of legislation."

"A tragedy like this happens, we all want to do something effective about it," Horne said Sunday on 3TV's Politics Unplugged. "The danger is not doing something that won't be effective and that will do more harm."

Horne says his top priority is dealing Colorado City, Ariz., a small town on the Utah border that is home to a polygamist Mormon sect. Last year, Horne introduced a bill that would have abolished the small town's police department.

That measure failed to pass, leading Horne to renew his push once state leaders meet again at the Capitol in a few weeks. Horne's comments come as it appears there is very little political will for any type of gun control measures.

Arizona is home to some of the most open gun laws in the country. Arizona Democrats are promising to craft bills that restrict access to certain weapons as well and other gun control related measures.

But the Republicans who run the state government here don't appear willing to go along. On Monday, Gov. Jan Brewer said she wasn't sure how to prevent the types of shootings that left 20 young children and six adults dead last week in Newtown, Conn.

But Brewer said she didn't think there was a need limit access to weapons at the state level. Instead, Brewer a better mental health system might do more to prevent these tragedies in the future.

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