Arizona lawmaker cancels bulletproof vest info session
CREATED Apr. 9, 2013
Reporter: Justin Schecker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - An Arizona lawmaker's plan to hold an info session on buying bulletproof vests backfires.
Republican Rep. Bob Thorpe cancelled Wednesday's event after a lawyer advised him against making the sales pitch on state property.
Thorpe emailed members of the Arizona House and Senate last week, suggesting they wear body armor at public events.
"In the wake of Tucson shooting, I have been researching body armor in order to inform our members about the costs and options for those wishing to purchase a vest for their personal use, for example, at town halls, parades and other public events," Thorpe said in the email.
Representative Victoria Steele from Tucson told 9 On Your Side she's not looking to purchase a vest nor does she think it has reached the point where lawmakers need to suit up like law enforcement.
"This is from somebody who gets really nasty angry emails, I still don't think my life is in danger," Steele said on the phone. "And I don't think most of us feel that way. We need to quell this."
Steele said the focus should be preventing gun violence with programs such as the Mental Health First Aid Act of allocating additional funding to train more people to detect cases of mental illness.
Thorpe also supports this bi-partisan program that has stalled in the legislature.