Brewer rejects bill allowing guns in public buildings - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Brewer rejects bill allowing guns in public buildings

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Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 8:08 am | Updated: 4:29 pm, Mon May 2, 2011.

Saying the measure has ``too many loopholes and flaws," Gov. Jan Brewer late Friday vetoed legislation which would have allowed guns into virtually all public buildings.

``We need to thoughtfully consider sensitive situations where guns may not be appropriate or are regulated by federal law," Brewer wrote in rejecting the bill. The governor also said SB 1201 was filled with too many different changes to laws regulating weapons.

The veto was one of 14 the governor issued in cleaning up the last of the measures on her desk which were sent to her by lawmakers. That brings her total this session to 29, more than twice as many as last year; she signed the other 357.

Other bills Brewer rejected include:

- Tear down a part of the 9-11 Memorial near the Capitol to remove phrases some legislators say are ``offensive,'' a decision Brewer said would offend the family of a sikh whose name is mentioned there because he was killed by someone mistaking him for an Arab.

- Eliminate merit protections for employees in all counties except Maricopa.

- Remove the ability of local city councils to regulate sparklers and other ``consumer fireworks,'' saying each community should be able to determine its own rules.

- Create new property tax breaks for businesses that Brewer said could result in higher taxes for others.

- Require disclaimers on public advertising to say it is paid for with public funds, something Brewer called unnecessary.

- Preclude lobbying or political by public employees while on the job, a situation Brewer said already is addressed by state law.

But the governor did sign legislation which reduces the amount of time someone convicted of drunk driving has to install an ignition interlock on any vehicle operated, from one year to six months. The interlock prevents a vehicle from starting and can turn it off unless the driver provides a clean breath sample.

The same law also eliminates the right to a jury trial for first-time offenders.

Brewer's veto of the gun measure came despite the fact that more than 750 people contacted her office in support, versus fewer than 120 opposed.

Existing law allows operators of public buildings to post signs making weapons off limits. They also have to provide storage lockers for guests who show up with their guns.

This legislation would have added the additional requirements of metal detectors and security guards. Proponents argued that criminals ignore such signs, leaving the law-abiding occupants of public buildings defenseless.

Many community officials urged a veto because of the additional costs.

Brewer did not address that in her veto message, instead saying there were too many problems. For example, she said the legislation created confusion on when people could carry weapons onto the grounds of public schools.

Other bills Brewer signed will:

- Phase out the ability of existing cities in Pima County to veto new communities incorporating on their periphery.

- Permit hunting within city limits if not within a quarter-mile of an occupied structure.

- Provide guidelines for employers to use when dealing with workers who have legal permission to use medical marijuana.

- Allow university clubs to refuse to admit members based on religious beliefs but still be entitled to official recognition and funding.

- Create a $500 fine for minors who use fake ID to get tobacco products.

- Give judges more power to rein in attorneys and others who collect large fees for handling the affairs of incapacitated persons.

- Make major changes to the retirement systems for public employees, including increasing worker contributions and in some cases requiring new employees to work longer before qualifying for pensions.

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