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Bill takes aim at lax gun show laws


In a recent appearance on MSNBC, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released videos taken by undercover agents attending a gun show in Phoenix last month. The agents were able to purchase firearms without a background check after admitting to sellers they probably wouldn’t pass.

In the wake of the Tucson shooting, Arizona Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, has introduced a bill that would require background checks on people purchasing firearms at gun shows.

Senate Bill 1586 would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to sell a gun at a gun show to anyone who doesn’t pass a background check.

“We should not wait until we have a Columbine or a Virginia Tech massacre to implement background checks at gun shows,” Gallardo said. “Let’s close the gun show loophole before then.”

Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement released Monday that she doesn’t feel Arizona gun laws need to be fixed.

“We believe our laws are fair and just in the state of Arizona,” Brewer said. “We believe in the Constitution and we certainly support the Second Amendment.”

Gallardo said his proposed bill addresses a hole in current gun control legislation that allows people who can’t pass background checks to purchase a gun that they couldn’t otherwise purchase in stores, where background checks are required.

“Right now anyone can walk into a gun show, put down cash and be able to walk out with a firearm — no questions asked,” Gallardo said. “I think this is the problem that needs to be addressed.”

Hildy Saizow, president of Arizonans for Gun Safety, implores the state of Arizona to take action against the gun show loophole.

“We believe that our state must have a more thoughtful and measured approach to preventing people who should not own a gun from purchasing one,” Saizow said. “Sen. Gallardo’s proposed legislation is one step closer to a solution.”

Gallardo said he expects opposition to the bill but hopes his fellow legislators are willing to discuss the gun show loophole. Additionally, he hopes the legislature will discuss how to stop people who shouldn’t have firearms from getting them.

“All we are saying is that anyone who wants to buy a gun in the state of Arizona should have to go through a background check,” Gallardo said. “Our policy should be no background check, no gun, no excuses.”

Contact the reporter at beth.easterbrook@asu.edu


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