Senate Easily Passes Bill Expanding Protection Under State Terrorism Laws

February 14, 2022

By Terri Jo Neff |

A Senate Bill which expands the definition of a public establishment under Arizona’s terrorism laws cleared its third reading in the Senate on a 28 to 0 vote Monday and has been transmitted to the House for action.

SB1332 sponsored by Sen. Warren Petersen (R-LD12) would amend Arizona Revised Statute 13-2301(C)(10) which defines what a public establishment is for purposes of prosecuting someone for criminal acts of terrorism.

The current definition is limited to “a structure, vehicle or craft that is owned, leased or operated by” the State or a political subdivision of the State including school districts; a public agency; the federal government; or a health care institution. Petersen’s bill seeks to add a private educational institution to the entities considered to be a public establishment under Arizona’s criminal code.

The strong bipartisan support for SB1332 is evident by its unanimous passage in the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month. It received a Proper for Consideration report from the Senate Rules Committee on Feb. 7 and went through both Senate caucuses the next day.

Under ARS 13-2301(C)(12)(b), terrorism includes any completed or preparatory offense which involves the use of a deadly weapon or a weapon of mass destruction or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury with the intent to cause “substantial damage to or substantial interruption of public communications, communication service providers, public transportation, common carriers, public utilities, public establishments, or other public services.”

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