On August 6th, the Arizona state legislature put into effect House Bill 2338 which allowed concealed carry firearms into all places considered a “Government right-of-way”. Included in that description, according to the bill would be “a highway, street, road, thoroughfare, path, alley or other right-of-way that is publicly accessible and that is established by a government entity.”
Also included in the bill, would be public schools, as they fall under the umbrella of locations mentioned in the text, which you can read right here. Not only is there the allowance of concealed carry now available in public schools, but the law actually supersedes any restrictions schools would enforce that would prohibit a person from lawfully possessing a concealed weapon on a public right-of-way.
According to Todd Rathner, a national director of the NRA, the law states that “Essentially what the bill says is that if a public right-of-way transects a school campus, then the school cannot regulate firearms on that public right of way.” He also says that these moves are positive ones. “It’s definitely a step in making schools safer,” Rathner said.
However as with any legislature, there is the other side of it. The opposition to this legislature is headed by Steve Kozachik, who said allowing guns into a campus environment doesn’t make anyone safer. Adding that “Students can now walk across campus from Campbell over to Park, with guns in their hands,” he said. “I can tell you the professors on campus aren’t thrilled about this and the administration is not thrilled about this.”
However, while Mr. Kozachik does appear to have an anti- concealed carry mindset, he believes that this should be the case in only some of the state. Steve does not believe that this precedent should be taking over in more urban areas where gun violence is more prevalent, but is fine with it in more rural areas, where fewer shootings take place. Saying that an issue such as this does not have a one size fits all solution.
The solution now, though, seems to be that Arizona schools that are a part of public right of ways can no longer deny those with concealed carry permits and firearms from entering their premises.