Arizona House passes bill to allow loaded guns in school parking lots

The state House passed a bill Monday to allow parents and others to drive onto school campuses with loaded firearms in their vehicles. The 31 -to-27 party-line vote for HB-2693, in the Republican controlled chamber came amid pleas from some lawmakers who said they feel safer for themselves and their children when dropping them off and picking them up from school.

Representative Regina Cobb, a Republican from Kingman, said she can attest to that based on personal experience.

“I know that if others have felt that where you felt harassment or you felt that others were going to violate their order of protection, you wanted to be able to protect yourself,” she said. “I was also that person that was dropping my kids off at school every day.”

Arizona law currently allows unloaded weapons in cars of parents picking their kids up from school. Republicans say that the measure would reduce the risk of accidental shooting with parents unloading and loading their guns. They say it will also protect parents from accidentally breaking the law if they forget to unload their guns when picking up their children.

Democrats say the law would make campuses less safe. They say the goal should be to reduce guns on campus.

The issue is having an unloaded weapon on a school campus – you need to defend yourself – and having to leave campus to load your weapon to be lawful. Nothing in HB 2693 permits guns, loaded or otherwise, into school buildings.

The measure now goes to the Senate.