Arizona lawmakers, governor: No gun, ammo limits after Loughner rampage - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

Arizona lawmakers, governor: No gun, ammo limits after Loughner rampage

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Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 10:21 am, Thu Jan 20, 2011.

Jared Loughner is accused of emptying 31 rounds from his Glock 9 in front of the Safeway in Tucson, enabling him to hit 19 people before he had to reload.

It was when he needed that other clip, witnesses said, they were able to stop him.

But Gov. Jan Brewer told Capitol Media Services she sees no reason for Arizona to limit the sale of these high-capacity magazine. Neither does Senate President Russell Pearce.

And House Speaker Kirk Adams said through a spokesman he has no plans to alter any of Arizona's gun laws.

All three also defended last year's decision to let any adult carry a concealed weapon without a state permit, making Arizona the only state with large urban areas to do so. Vermont and Alaska are the other two.

And all three maintain their belief that more people carrying guns is the best thing for public safety.

The Tucson shootings also show no sign of slowing the move toward allowing people to carry guns even more places. Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, continues to push his legislation to open the campuses of community colleges and state universities to those who have the still-available permits to carry concealed weapons.

Brewer, who has an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association, is among the chief cheerleaders for broader gun rights.

"I think everybody knows where I stand in regards to the Second Amendment,'' she said.

Brewer said the sole blame for the shootings should be on the person who pulled the trigger.

"I don't think it has anything to do with the size of the magazine or the caliber of the gun,'' Brewer said.

"The guy is a mad man,'' she continued. "Our justice system will hold him accountable.''

The governor brushed aside questions of whether the shooter would not have been able to kill and wound as many as he did had his weapon held a fewer number of bullets.

"He'd have another gun, maybe,'' she said.

"He could have three guns in his pocket,'' Brewer said. "I believe in the Second Amendment, as did Gabby Giffords.''

Federal law banned the manufacture of magazines with more than 10 rounds from 1994 until 2004. But the sale of already existing clips remained legal.

Even after the federal ban expired, several states and a few cities have their own laws limiting how many bullets a gun can hold.

Pearce called the question of high-capacity magazines "a difficult issue.''

"But the real issue is about Second Amendment rights,'' Pearce said. And he said that it's wrong to look at the question of whether individuals need a weapon with 33 bullets to defend themselves.

"Our founders believed not only that it was your God-given right, an inalienable right to bear arms,'' said Pearce, who also maintains an A-plus rating from the NRA.

"They also believed as an adult citizen, 18 years old, you must be prepared to defend your nation,'' Pearce said, making that right about more than just self defense. "We all are obligated to protect and defend this republic.''

Pearce was the sponsor of last year's legislation to eliminate the requirement that those who want to carry a concealed weapon must first get a permit. That entailed not only a background check but also some basic training on when deadly physical force can be used.

The fact that the law allowed the alleged assailant was legally carrying a hidden weapon without a permit, Pearce said, is irrelevant.

"Bad guys are bad guys,'' he said, saying those seeking to kill and maim would not be deterred by a law making it a misdemeanor to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. "Whenever you pass those kind of restrictions, all you do is put citizens in jeopardy.''

In fact, Pearce said perhaps what was needed in Tucson was more people carrying guns.

"Somebody could have saved lives had they been armed and prepared to deal with that down in Tucson,'' he said. Pearce said an armed citizen "is the best security you can have anywhere.''

"Police come after the incident,'' he continued.

"You have a right to defend yourself and those around you,'' Pearce said. "I'm not going to un-arm citizens and allow them to be victims.''

Adams press aide Daniel Scarpinato said his boss, like Brewer and Pearce, is "a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and endorsed by the NRA.'' Scarpinato said that is reflected in the speaker's votes to ease restrictions on guns.

"His view is that Arizona protects the Second Amendment probably better than any other state in the country,'' he said.

"He doesn't want to change that and he's proud of having supported all of the laws that have contributed to Arizona being a pro-Second Amendment state.'' That includes the elimination of the requirement to obtain a state permit.

Scarpinato said Adams, rated A-minus by the NRA, was not prepared to address the question of high-capacity magazines -- or any of Arizona's existing gun laws -- right now.

"He also believes when we try to make policy decisions days after an event like this that we end up making emotional and reactionary decisions,'' he said.

National Rifle Association ratings of current lawmakers:

Arizona Senate:

Paula Aboud, D-Tucson -- F

Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake -- A

Frank Antenori, R-Tucson -- A-plus

Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix -- A

Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert -- A-minus

Scott Bundgaard, R-Peoria -- A

Olivia Cajero Bedford, D-Tucson -- ?

Rich Crandall, R-Mesa -- B-plus

Adam Driggs, R-Phoenix -- A-minus

Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix -- ?

Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City -- A-plus

Linda Gray, R-Glendale -- A-plus

Gail Griffin, R-Hereford -- A

Jack Jackson Jr., D-Window Rock -- F

Lori Klein, R-Anthem -- ?

Leah Landrum Taylor, D-Phoenix -- F

Linda Lopez, D-Tucson -- F

John McComish, R-Phoenix -- A

Al Melvin, R-Tucson -- A-minus

Robert Meza, D-Phoenix -- ?

Rick Murphy, R-Glendale -- A

John Nelson, R-Litchfield Park -- A-minus

Russell Pearce, R-Mesa --

Steve Pierce, R-Prescott -- B-minus

Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale -- A

Don Shooter, R-Yuma -- AQ

David Schapira, D-Tempe -- F

Kyrsten Sinema -- D-Phoenix -- F

Steve Smith, R-Maricopa -- AQ

Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler -- A-minus

Arizona House:

Ed Ableser, D-Tempe -- D

Kirk Adams, R-Mesa -- A-minus

Lela Alston, D-Phoenix -- ?

Ben Arredondo, D-Tempe -- ?

Cecil Ash, R-Mesa -- A-minus

Brenda Barton, R-Safford -- AQ

Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix -- A-minus

Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley -- A-plus

Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix -- D

Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek -- B

Tom Chabin, D-Flagstaff -- F

Steve Court, R-Mesa -- A-minus

Chester Crandell, R-Heber -- ?

Jeff Dial, R-Chandler -- AQ

Karen Fann, R-Prescott -- A-minus

Steve Farley, D-Tucson -- F

Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert -- A

John Fillmore, R-Mesa -- AQ

Tom Forese, R-Gilbert -- ?

Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix -- ?

Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson -- ?

Doris Goodale, R-Kingman -- A-minus

David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista -- A-plus

Rick Gray, R-Sun City -- AQ

Albert Hale, D-Window Rock -- ?

Jack Harper, R-Surprise -- A-plus

Matt Heinz, D-Tucson -- C-minus

Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix -- ?

Russ Jones, R-Yuma -- B-plus

Peggy Judd, R-Willcox -- AQ

John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills -- A-plus

Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale -- A

Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix -- F

Nancy McLain, R-Bullhead City -- A-minus

J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler -- AQ

Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley -- ?

Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix -- ?

Richard Miranda, D-Phoenix -- ?

Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park -- A-plus

Justin Olson, R-Mesa -- AQ

Lynne Pancrazi, D-Yuma -- B-minus

Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson -- B-minus

Frank Pratt, R-Casa Grande -- A-minus

Terri Proud, R-Tucson -- AQ

Amanda Reeve, R-Phoenix -- A

Bob Robson, R-Chandler -- B-plus

Macario Saldate, D-Tucson -- ?

Carl Seel, R-Phoenix -- A-plus

David Smith, R-Scottsdale -- AQ

David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista -- A

Andy Tobin, R-Paulden -- A-minus

Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson -- F

Michele Ugenti, R-Scottsdale -- ?

Steve Urie, R-Gilbert -- AQ

Ted Vogt, R-Tucson -- A

Jerry Weiers, R-Glendale -- A-plus

Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix -- A

Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson -- A-minus

Vic Williams, R-Tucson -- A-minus

Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix -- AQ

Ratings definition:

A-plus -- Excellent voting record on NRA issues and "vigorous effort'' to promote and defend Second Amendment.

A -- Solidly pro-gun candidate who has supported NRA on key issues.

AQ -- A pro-gun candidate whose has no voting record but is rated based solely on answers to questionnaire.

B -- A generally pro-gun candidate who may have supported some restrictive legislation.

C -- A candidate with a mixed record on gun-related issues.

D -- An anti-gun candidate who usually supports restrictive legislation.

F -- A consistent anti-gun candidate who is a "true enemy of gun owners' rights.''

? -- Refused to answer questionnaire which is considered indifference or hostility to rights of gun owners.

-- Source for ratings and definitions: National Rifle Association.

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