Bill Makes Stealing Someone’s Gun An Aggravated Assault

March 14, 2014

(Photo courtesy of the Arizona State Legislature)
Rep. Brenda Barton said the bill helps to distinguish between farm animals and pets.

It’s already a crime in Arizona to steal someone’s gun, but the state House wants to also make it aggravated assault, which carries a presumptive a two-and-a-half year prison term. Rep. Brenda Barton said it is a preventative measure.

“When we think about home invasions when you're trying to protect your home, and in the event that the perpetrator attempts to take away your weapon, it gives the police something else to use when they go through the judicial proceedings,” Barton said.

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said the three-and-a-half-year presumptive term for burglary should be a big enough deterrent. He questioned why guns should be singled out above other potentially dangerous weapons.

“I bet many people in this state have a baseball bat by the side of their bed as a protection against a home invasion,” Campbell said. “They have all kinds of non-firearm types of weapons to provide themselves with self-defense.”

Campbell suggested the bill needed to be expanded well beyond firearms. The bill now goes to the Arizona Senate.