Senate gives tentative approval to watered down gun bill

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

State senators voted Tuesday for what was crafted as a comprehensive school and public safety plan — but not before Republicans removed a key provision designed to take guns away from dangerous people.

SB 1519, given preliminary approval on a voice vote, still allows police to ask a judge to have someone brought in for mental evaluation. And judges remain able to order temporary removal of weapons if there is “clear and convincing evidence” the person is a danger to self or others.

But Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, took out language which also would have allowed family members, school administrators, probation officers, behavioral health professionals, roommates and “significant others” to go to court to seek what are known as Severe Threat Orders of Protection.

“This amendment guts this bill, period,” said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson.

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