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Arizona Has Weakest Gun Laws

Submitted by on January 17, 2011 – 11:21 amNo Comment

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January 17, 2011

This article was written by Michel-Adrien Sheppard (reference librarian at the Supreme Court of Canada) and is reprinted with his permission.

In the wake of last weekend’s mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, I thought it might be useful to see what kinds of gun control laws exist in that state.

According to a number of sources, in the state of Arizona, pretty much anyone can buy pretty much anything that shoots. No questions asked.

The Legal Community Against Violence is a California-based public interest law centre dedicated to preventing gun violence. Last July, it published Gun Laws Matter: A Comparison of State Firearms Laws and Statistics. All 50 states were ranked according to 25 different polices. Arizona came last:

Arizona allows carrying firearms openly or concealed without a permit
Requires some property owners to allow firearms in vehicles in parking areas
Allows loaded guns in establishments that serve alcohol
Declares firearms and ammunition made and kept in the state not subject to federal law
Allows no substantial local regulation of firearms
Imposes almost no regulation on firearms (e.g. has not restricted military-style weapons, does not regulate ammunition or firearms dealers, does not require handgun safety features, waiting period, licensing, background checks for private sales, or locking devices, etc.)
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is named after James S. Brady, the White House Press Secretary who was shot in the head in 1981 in the attempt on US President Ronald Reagan’s life. Brady survived but was left partially paralyzed for life. The Campaign keeps a scorecard of US state gun laws. Arizona gets only 2 points out of a possible 100. In Arizona, dangerous and mentally deranged people can waltz into a gun show and buy anything they want without any background checks for cash. No questions asked.

Other sources include:

GunPolicy.org: hosted by the School of Public Health, Sydney, Australia, this site offers an RSS news feed, and features headlines, abstracts and Web links to gun policy-related articles and policies from around the world
Firearms Research Digest : database of social science, criminology, law reviews, medical and public health research concerning firearms (2002-2009), compiled by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. There is an advanced search page that allows for searching by keyword, title, author, topic (subject taxonomy), publication, and year range.

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