Senate panel votes to loosen laws banning gunfire in city limits

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A couple of gun bills passed a Senate committee. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A couple of gun bills passed a Senate committee. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Senate Government Committee approved HB 2287, which critics say weaken laws that prohibit random and celebratory gunfire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Senate Government Committee approved HB 2287, which critics say weaken laws that prohibit random and celebratory gunfire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The changes to "Shannon's Law" make it harder to prosecute someone for shooting their gun in cities and towns. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The changes to "Shannon's Law" make it harder to prosecute someone for shooting their gun in cities and towns. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The same Senate committee also approved HB 2022 that lets gun owners shoot small animals like rats and snakes within a city. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The same Senate committee also approved HB 2022 that lets gun owners shoot small animals like rats and snakes within a city. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Senate panel passed a pair of bills on Wednesday that gives gun owners more leeway to fire their weapons within city limits.

After a contentious debate, the Senate Government Committee approved HB 2287, which critics say weaken laws that prohibit random and celebratory gunfire.

The changes to "Shannon's Law" make it harder to prosecute someone for shooting their gun in cities and towns.

[RELATED: Proposal diluting 'Shannon's Law' on gunshots advances]

Rep. Tony Rivera, a Republican from Peoria, says he wrote the proposal to protect lawful guns owners from being charged for accidentally firing their weapons

Rivera cited two cases where this happened but could not immediately provide any specifics.

The Legislature passed Shannon's Law in 2000 after 14-year-old Shannon Smith was killed in her backyard by a stray bullet.

[READ MORE: More gunfire reported over New Year's Eve this year]

In addition, the same Senate committee also approved HB 2022 that lets gun owners shoot small animals like rats and snakes within a city.

Under the proposal, gun owners would have to use so-called "rat-shot" or "snake-shot."

[READ MORE: Senate panel OKs bill allowing 'snake shot' in cities]

Both bills still need full approval of the Senate and the governor's signature before they become law.

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


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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
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Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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