- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The Senate rejected a bill Wednesday that would have allowed concealed-carry permit holders to take firearms into some public buildings.

Republican Sen. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills sponsored the proposal. It would not have allowed permit holders to carry weapons into courtrooms, federal buildings, high schools, universities or the Maricopa Medical Center.

It would have required operators of public establishments such as libraries and city halls to allow permit-holders to carry their firearms or to establish security guards and metal detectors at the facility.

Legislative analysts estimated it could have cost between $4 million and $6 million every year for the additional security in state buildings managed by the Arizona Department of Administration.

Senate Bill 1257 was rejected on a 14-14 vote. It could come back under rules that allow reconsideration.

Republican supporters of the measure say signs prohibiting firearms are woefully inadequate for protecting the public.

Sen. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, said she doesn’t think that “no firearms” stickers on buildings prevent people from entering with a concealed weapon.

“It’s not guns that harm people. It’s people with ill intent that harm people,” she said during the vote.

Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, who voted against the measure, said previously that it doesn’t leave a choice for cities and towns that would have to pick up the tab for security if they don’t want to let firearms into their buildings.

“Local governments are charged with representing the people of those jurisdictions, and we should have the trust in them to have the best fit for them,” Quezada said during a committee session.

Former Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the measure three times. A similar measure died last session.

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