Fight to carry guns in public buildings resurfaces with concerns

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File (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) File (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
House Bill 1248 passed a Senate panel this week. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) House Bill 1248 passed a Senate panel this week. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Maricopa County Elections Department. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Maricopa County Elections Department. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The fight to carry guns in public buildings is not new in Arizona but this year's Legislature may be a little more open to it.

There are concerns, however, about one office in particular.          

Supporters of pro-gun legislation say they have a right to protect themselves and they say this legislation allows them to do that in public buildings with little or no security.

For the fourth time in six years, Republican lawmakers are trying allow guns into more public buildings.

House Bill 1248 passed a Senate panel this week. It would let anyone with a concealed-weapons permit to enter a public building unless it installed security systems, like State House of Representatives, which also offers a gun locker.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Kavanagh, exempts many government buildings.

But Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo is concerned about one county office in particular.

"Maricopa County Elections Department. Here's an office that's in charge of having free open elections with no intimidation," he said.

The county office does not allow firearms but it doesn’t offer any type of security screening, the kind of public space House Bill 1248 would allow 300,000 people who carry a concealed-weapons permit to walk into packing.

“Under this bill, someone is able to walk into a polling location with a firearm. This is not the type of law we need in the state of Arizona,” Gallardo said.

There are also concerns about the costs. A 2012 estimate says it would cost Maricopa County more than $11 million to install security in every building where guns are prohibited.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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