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Arizona Gov. vetoes bill allowing guns in public buildings

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has vetoed a bill that would have allowed gun owners to carry their firearms into state government facilities.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 28, 2012. (Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has vetoed a bill that would have allowed gun owners to carry their firearms into state government facilities, the Associated Press reported.

Arizona allows individuals to carry concealed weapons without a permit, according to the Arizona Republic. But, currently, public locations such as libraries, swimming pools, senior centers and city halls can ban guns by posting a sign at their entrances, Reuters reported.

"Decisions made by government officials at the state, county and municipal level impact all areas of life and can have a profound impact upon an individuals' family and livelihood," Brewer wrote in her veto letter, according to the Arizona Republic. “The decisions to permit or prohibit guns in these extremely sensitive locations, whether a City Council chamber or branch office staffed with state workers, should be cooperatively reached and supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders, including citizens, law enforcement officials and local government leaders."

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This is the second year in a row Brewer has vetoed the legislation, Reuters reported. She said the bill that crossed her desk in 2011 was poorly written, and this year’s version didn’t address her concerns, the Arizona Republic reported.

The bill allowed buildings to prevent weapons being carried on their premises if they were protected by a police officer or an armed security guard with metal detectors or X-ray machines and had secure gun lockers available, the Arizona Republic reported. But opponents said that would have forced cities and towns to spend money ramping up security in public buildings, the AP reported.
Maricopa County estimated that the bill would cost it $11.3 million for equipment and $19.5 million annually, according to Reuters.

The bill did not apply to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, the Arizona Republic reported.

Nine states allow individuals to carry guns in public buildings, the AP reported.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120418/arizona-gov-vetoes-bill-guns-public-buildings-jan-brewer