Citing Scalia, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes Guns In Public Buildings Bill

For the second time, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) rebuffed gun lobbyists’ efforts to enable people to bring firearms into public buildings by vetoing one of their pet bills:

Brewer’s veto of the bill, which could have let guns into city halls, police stations, county courts, senior centers, swimming pools, libraries and the state Capitol, was the latest setback for a push to expand the right to carry guns in public places in Arizona. . . .

Citing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in her veto letter, Brewer, who vetoed a similar bill last year, recognized the legitimacy of laws banning guns in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.

“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,” Brewer wrote in her veto letter.

Brewer’s citation to Scalia might seem counterintuitive, but it is not particularly surprising. As Scalia wrote in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Second Amendment should not be read “to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.”

Indeed, the fact that even staunch conservatives like Jan Brewer and Antonin Scalia find the gun lobby’s reading of the Second Amendment to be a bridge too far indicates just how radical those groups have become — and how out of touch their supporters in elected office are as well.


In a column discussing the four decade-long decline in gun ownership, the Economist echoes a similar theme. “The NRA is growing out of touch with modern Americans and even with its own members—who, according to surveys, now tend to support restrictions such as mandatory background checks on buyers of weapons at gun shows.”

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