Casey Harper


Arizona’s house majority leader introduced a bill to provide tax breaks for concealed carriers.

Republican House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro is pushing for House Bill 2494, legislation that would reimburse residents up to $80, the cost of getting a concealed carry permit.

“Law enforcement have told us time and again that the first line of defense are those that carry CCW permits,” Montenegro said. “In essence, what it does is it’s bringing a level of awareness that we want to make sure that we can say maybe the next generation of those that want to have or possess firearms, they understand that we as a state value making sure that people are educated in how to use weapons or how to carry weapons.”

Montenegro justifies the bill, which he introduced Jan. 14, and said it will promote public safety, but critics say it goes too far. People who already have the permit can’t get the tax break. It’s only for new applicants.

About 250,000 Arizonans already have the permit, and about 3 million more would be eligible.

“It is extremely disappointing to see the Legislature once again pandering to the gun lobby instead of focusing on the critical issues of Arizona,” Geraldine Hills, founder of Arizonans for Gun Safety, told Tucson News Now Wednesday. “A permit is not required to carry in this state. If you do want to take a class, people can get a Groupon deal for $40 per person.”

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