Funny business related to SB 660,
by Sen. Trent Garner (R-NRA) to expand the public places in which concealed weapons may be carried.

It failed to clear a Senate committee Tuesday, but Garner amended it Wednesday and it was “signed” out of a committee that did not meet and is on the Senate calendar today.

Opponents aren’t happy, because they wanted to oppose the bill in committee. Why?

For one thing, it preserves and buttresses the ability of college students to have guns in dorm rooms. More important: It provides the broad ability to carry a weapon in public buildings, defined this way, with some limited exceptions:

“Publicly owned building or facility” means a structure or enclosed area that is owned, operated, or administered by the United States Government, state government, or a county, local, regional, or municipal government for public use.

Think city halls. County office buildings. State office buildings. Think public facilities such as Verizon Arena or other convention centers, at many of which alcoholic beverages are sold.

Firearms and firewater do not mix. This law, opponents say, also removes the ability of private groups that lease public facilities to restrict guns. So if the NRA were to lease the Robinson Center for its annual convention it would not be able to impose its normal no-guns rules.

This bill is not good for tourism. Or other living things. But it has been greased onto the Senate floor. Duck and cover.

UPDATE: The committee met this morning and I’m informed Garner called the bill up and asked that it be sent to interim study, or killed for this session. Good move. A firestorm was building in the tourism industry. The bill will be withdrawn on the Senate floor today, he said.