Talking Points & Bill Text
"If you create a gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it
causes." "If you create a gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it
(NOTE: Copy of the bill follows.)
Originally called the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act, this bill recognizes that
gun-free zones, recklessly made and typically with no alternative security
provided, are known to be extremely dangerous.
We have seen this recently in the Wakefield, Mass., slayings, the Luby's
Massacre, and even the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, where pilots and
passengers were defenseless, in the false name of security. Congress responded
to that with the "Arm The Pilots" law.
The Defenseless Victim Act basically says that, in public places, if you
create a dangerous gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it causes.
The idea that gun-free zones are safe is fraudulent.
The unfortunate fact that many people believe gun-free zones are safe is a
testament to the stunning power of American media, its well documented biases
and the ease with which large numbers of people can be misled and manipulated.
It is a mythology perpetrated by anti-rights activists and left-wing elites
who can often be recognized by their beliefs that:
1 - self defense should be illegal,
2 - guns should be confiscated,
3 - no one but "authorities" should have guns,
4 - government can take care of you better than you can,
and they're actively pursuing these goals.
The anti-self-defense lobby would tell you to rely upon the police for your
safety, but they always omit the inconvenient facts that:
1 - police have no legal duty to protect you, and
2 - they routinely respond only after an event to pick up the pieces.
In the three examples above and countless others, the police don't draw their
guns, they draw chalk lines when you're gone.*
A person who would deny your right or ability to self defense is as violent
and wrong as the person who assaults you.
Self-defense against criminal assault is guaranteed in all 50 states and
federally, as it should be, and is as old as the first written laws of
civilization. Denying the fundamental right to self preservation is unjust,
immoral, dangerous and should not be tolerated.
The notion that gun-free zones are safe is fraud perpetrated on the public
a) Only innocent victims like you and me are affected. Armed criminals
ignore no-guns signs and could care less -- they're laughing at you.
b) No alternate form of security is provided. You are knowingly and
recklessly made vulnerable, while property management accepts no
responsibility for your safety or their negligent behavior. The bill addresses
only anti-gun-rights bigots who would callously disarm you and ignore your
c) Despite bias in news coverage and the fear-mongering left, privately
held firearms have been repeatedly shown to deter and prevent crime in one
scholarly study after another. Since the nation's inception we have known and
embraced the freedom-giving truth that guns protect the innocent, and that
this is good.
Initial reactions to the Defenseless Victim Act have been highly supportive
by knowledgeable people in the gun-rights movement. It shows all the signs of
becoming a major national rallying point. This could turn into one of the key
gun issues of the decade (literally the right to bear), especially if terrorist
attacks continue and defenseless innocent victims are slaughtered. The PR value
alone, forcing the other side to support helplessness and victimization, are
worth the effort. Now is a good time to bring this issue into the spotlight.
The bill has been introduced as HB2456, sponsored by a dozen representatives,
in the 45th session in Arizona (2002). The legislators say it gives them
something to sink their teeth into. Give your legislators something this good --
ask them to introduce the Defenseless Victim Act in your state, for all the
Some additional observations appear after the following bill text.
This is good law, supportive of our fundamental rights, a deterrent to
criminals who would perpetrate attacks, a winner in the publicity battle over
gun rights, and it places responsibility squarely on those who would cause harm
by their direct actions. It deserves to be enacted. Please give it your support.
Ask your representatives to introduce and vote for the Defenseless Victim Act of
Author The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide (20th
THE DEFENSELESS VICTIM ACT OF 2002
Establishes liability for harm caused by criminal conduct, when such conduct
is wholly or partially enabled by limiting an individual's right
or ability to self defense.
REFERENCE TITLE: Defenseless Victim Act
State of Arizona (sponsoring house) Forty-Fifth Legislature Second Regular
__.B. _____ Introduced by ________________________
AN ACT AMENDING TITLE 13, CHAPTER 31, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES BY ADDING A
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Title 13, Chapter 31, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by
adding new section 13-3117:
A.R.S. §13-3117. Gun-Free-Zone Liability.
A. Any person, organization or entity, or any agency of government that
creates a gun-free zone shall be liable for damages resulting from criminal
conduct that occurs against an individual in such gun-free zone, if a reasonable
person would believe that possession of a firearm could have helped the
individual defend against such conduct. In the event the conduct is a result of
a terrorist attack as federally defined, or adversely affects a disabled person,
a senior citizen or a child under 16 years of age, treble damages shall apply.
B. For the purposes of this section, criminal conduct shall include offenses
specified under this title in Chapter 11 (Homicide), Chapter 12 (Assault and
Related Offenses), Chapter 13 (Kidnapping), Chapter 14 (Sexual Offenses),
Chapter 15 (Criminal Trespass and Burglary), Chapter 17 (Arson), Chapter 19
(Robbery), Chapter 25 (Escape and Related Offenses) and Chapter 29 (Offenses
Against Public Order).
C. For the purposes of this section, the term "gun-free zone" shall
mean any building, place, area or curtilage that is open to the public, or in or
upon any public conveyance, where a person's right or ability to possess
firearms is infringed, restricted or diminished in any way by statute, policy,
rule, regulation, ordinance, utterance or posted signs.
OTHER IMPORTANT POINTS
• It's critically important that pro-rights individuals put forth bills to
keep the unfriendlies off balance and busy swatting at all the flies (like they
do to us so effectively). Force the antis into defensiveness. If you want some
ideas for outrageous affronts to the anti-rights crowd, check out Sunshine Gun
Laws, under Position Papers at http://www.gunlaws.com.
• If you have a problem with holding people accountable for death and
mayhem they cause by enabling crime, then of course you'll be against the
Defenseless Victim Act. That's the position I expect anti-rights bigots to take.
Bring 'em on. If nothing happens, i.e., the bigots are correct and gun-free
zones are pleasant, safe and crime free, then the bill has ZERO affect on
anything. Personally, I think that facet is particularly edifying. Sort of like,
what harm could it do?
• Despite what some people have claimed, property rights are UNAFFECTED by
the Defenseless Victim Act. Read it yourself and see. Gun-free zones are
allowed, entirely at a property owner's free discretion just as they are now,
property rights remain 100% intact. You can keep guns, ban guns, allow only 9mm,
I don't care, and the new law is silent on this. There is NO coercion (and also
no government spending!) in this bill at all. That's a big part of its beauty.
In fact, only people who would ban your rights and ignore your plight are
affected in any way, and then only if you're attacked on their grounds.
• Also note that truly private property like your home or ranch are exempt
from the bill. ONLY public property or property open to the public is affected.
There is a clear difference (well, some diehard libertarians might not agree,
but you can't please everyone) between truly private property (like your home)
and a place that is open to the public and privately run, like a mall, or
WalMart. Public places have a well established duty to provide a reasonably safe
environment, and they have been getting a free ride on this issue, at your
expense. They can still ban guns remember, and you can still go shop elsewhere.
• All this does is make clear that whoever creates an obviously dangerous
situation, by forcing the disarmament of innocent people entering,
("legitimate" coercion by the property owner) -- which they're fully
entitled to do under the bill -- there's a consequence for that risky action. As
there should be for creating such a self-evidently unsafe situation. And it only
matters if the danger manifests, and some psychopath turns the hair parlor into
a victim zone. If there's no assault, then there's no problem, and liberals can
sleep tight thinking we're all a bunch of paranoids. Then they can pretend
they're not quaking, while they wonder if they'll squeak through tomorrow too
with their criminally misguided notions of safety.
• You may find that your legislators object on grounds that are hard to
justify. I've had some tell me the bill would be fine if it only limited
businesses, and left government gun-free zones, like parks and buses, intact
(talk about hubris!). Other legislators, including an attorney whose clients are
in business, say businesses should be excluded but government must be
controlled! Just tell 'em that gun-free zones are dangerous -- who sets them up
is not the issue.
• Try thinking of this as the Luby's Massacre Act. Maybe that will help
emphasize the blatant and profound fraud of proposing gun-free zones as safety
nets. The heartless, insensitive, hate-filled perpetrators of defenseless victim
zones should be ashamed of themselves.
• It's so much better when public places just let people come and go as
they please, without signs and bans, to simply go about their business. This is
how most public places act, and it is responsible and even patriotic. Think
about it -- on a day-to-day basis, places without these deceptive gun-bans
operate just fine.
• After years in which we've been forced to defend assault, lethal
capacity, accessibility and so on, it's time for us to have the moral high
ground for a change. Think about what the antis will have to sound like to say
they don't want any liability for murdered victims they had disarmed. They have
to stand up for defenselessness. It's a good time for the Defenseless Victim
* This phrase from a Cartridge Family song is used with permission. http://CartridgeFamilyBand.com
Permission to reproduce or circulate this message is granted provided credit
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Alan Korwin is the author of seven best-selling books on gun law, including
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TX, VA. This paper is part of an ongoing series, click Position Papers on our
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"If you knew all your rights, you might demand
them." --Steve Maniscalco
"After a shooting spree, they always want to take the
guns away from the people who didn't do it." --William Burroughs