By Chris Baca ’11 & Brian D. Brannon ’11
Recent turmoil surrounding the tragic event of the Tucson shootings has left many Arizona citizens questioning the validity of the state’s gun laws.
Opponents of Arizona’s firearm-friendly laws cite the easy accessibility to handguns and the ability to easily conceal weapons as possible factors in the shooting.
The facts brought up to support such claims do not necessarily hold ground though as Arizona’s gun laws protect its citizens and their second amendment rights.
Arizona’s gun laws stipulate that a pistol may be purchased only if the buyer is 21 or older; a person may purchase a shotgun or rifle if they are 18 or older.
Additionally, a person who is 21 years old or older may conceal a firearm on their person and carry it for defensive purposes.
The process required to purchase a firearm in Arizona includes a mandatory background check for all buyers from a local store.
This step helps to ensure that “prohibited possessors” of firearms, who are outlined in Arizona’s State constitution, are not able to buy them.
The opinions on the role of firearms in an Arizona citizen’s life vary from person to person.
Brophy students Nick Dresh ’11 and Will Yuen ’11 are firearm enthusiasts who have varying opinions on Arizona’s gun laws.
“I think that Arizona could do a little bit better of a job in terms of being more proactive in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals,” Yuen said.
Yuen’s concern about illegal gun sales were made more evident with Bloomberg magazine’s recent undercover probe into local firearm shows.
The investigative reporter found several dealers who were willing to sell to criminals.
These dealers themselves should not be generalized with most firearm vendors as the majority follow state and federal guidelines when selling.
When asked if stronger laws would fix such problems, Dresh said tighter restrictions would be ineffective.
The tragedy in Tucson was a horrific event, one that was caused by a deranged individual and not by Arizona’s firearm regulations.
“I believe that the attack was easily done due to a lack of security,” Yuen said.
The current world we live in demands that we defend ourselves at all costs and that we be vigilant in the security of our leaders without violating the rights or security of the citizen.
Tighter restriction of firearms in Arizona would only raise the crime rate and lower the amount of confidence Arizona citizens have in their security.