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Senate panel approves guns in public buildings bill

February 1, 2017 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — A divided Senate panel dominated by Republicans has advanced a proposal to allow concealed-carry permit holders to carry guns into some public buildings.

The Senate Government Committee voted 4-3 along party lines Wednesday to approve Senate Bill 1243 by Republican Sen. John Kavanagh. It now goes to the full Senate.

Republicans have repeatedly pushed the proposal in recent years. Former Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed similar legislation in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

The legislation requires operators of public establishments to allow permit-holders to carry their firearms unless they have airport-style security at entrances. Courtrooms, federal buildings, high schools and universities and the Maricopa Medical Center are exempt.

Kavanagh said Wednesday that no harm can come from allowing permit holders to carry weapons. Democrat argued the costs to cities would be unacceptable.