CCW news from around the nation

AZ: Guns-in-bars bill vetoed

Gov. Janet Napolitano said no on Monday to mixing guns and alcohol in Arizona nightspots.

Napolitano rejected a bill that would have allowed patrons to carry loaded guns into bars, nightclubs and restaurants as long as the patrons didn't imbibe. She delivered that veto along with eight others, rejecting more bills in one day since the 16 budget measures she vetoed last month.

The governor risks angering the National Rifle Association, which claims 100,000 members in Arizona and has lobbied for two years so gun owners could dine in restaurants that served alcohol without leaving their guns behind.

Napolitano said she is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but she chose to side with Arizona's tourism and hospitality industry…

Although Republicans hold majorities in the House and Senate, overriding the veto would seem unlikely. Lawmakers would need 40 of 90 House votes and 20 of 30 in the Senate. The bill passed with 36 House votes and 17 in the Senate.

Todd Rathner of Tucson, a member of the NRA's national board of directors, said that the bill will return next year and that he doesn't envision any attempt to water it down. He also said the veto could harm Napolitano's chances for re-election in 2006, adding that "law-abiding gun owners in Arizona have a very long memory."

"She says she supports the Second Amendment and supports law-abiding gun owners," Rathner said of Napolitano. "This was her first real test on that, and she failed it miserably."

FL: Gov. Bush Signs "Castle Doctrine" Self-Defense Law

Tuesday, in a ceremony at the state capitol, Gov. Jeb Bush signed Florida’s “Castle Doctrine” (SB-436) into law. Sponsored by Senator Durell Peaden and Representative Dennis Baxley, the bill unanimously passed the Senate and overwhelmingly passed in the House, 94-20.

Prior to signing the National Rifle Association (NRA) supported bill, Gov. Jeb Bush stated, "It`s a good, commonsense, anti-crime issue."

The "Castle Doctrine" simply says that if a criminal breaks into your home, your occupied vehicle or your place of business, you may presume he is there to do bodily harm and you may use any force against him.

It also removes the “duty to retreat” if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be.

Furthermore, this law provides protection from criminal prosecution and civil litigation for those who defend themselves from criminal attack.

Past National Rifle Association (NRA) president and current Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, Marion P. Hammer, stated, "Existing law is on the side of the criminal. The new law is on the side of the law-abiding victim."

UPDATE: Toledo Blade editorial: Duel at high noon?

MN: Right-To-Carry Bill Will Probably Pass

A tweaked version of a handgun-permitting law that was invalidated by Minnesota's courts picked up momentum in the Legislature on Wednesday, and could be back on the books by the time lawmakers adjourn in May.

Critics of the bill said they'd have a hard time stopping it, and Senate DFL Majority Leader Dean Johnson of Willmar said he doesn't plan to block a vote.

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