An attempt at the Capitol to weaken the landmark Shannon’s Law is dead. The bill would have placed the burden of proving someone recklessly fired a gun within city limits on prosecutors before charging someone with a felony.
House Bill 2287 authored by Republican Representative Tony Rivero made it through both the House and Senate Government Committees before it was tabled Monday.
Rivero said he introduced his bill to ensure accidental shootings don’t lead to prosecution.
The bill had support by pro-gun Republicans, but Senate President Steve Yarbrough used his veto power as Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee to kill the bill.
He explained it would make it difficult to separate true accidents from criminal misconduct.
“I think the prosecutors are not, that I can discern, filing felony charges for anybody who has a compelling demonstration that they fired a gun accidentally,” Yarbrough said.
Lobbyists for the Arizona Citizens Defense League brought up a case of a man who, they claim, was wrongfully charged with a felony after miss firing a gun while trying to remove ammunition stuck in the chamber.
Yarbrough, who is also an attorney, called the current law good public safety in its current form.
“I’m just not willing to water it down,” he said about the law named after a was 19-year-old killed by a stray bullet in 1999.
Yarbrough did not block another bill that would amend Shannon’s Law and allow people to fire off low powered buck-shot, to kill a snake or rodent within city limits.