Buz Mills, Firearms Training School Owner and Gubernatorial Candidate, Supports Concealed-Carry Bill; Right-Winger's Biz Would Lose Income


It's really no surprise that Owen "Buz" Mills supports Arizona's becoming the third state in the country to allow citizens to carry concealed guns without a permit.

The candidate for governor calls himself a fiscal and social conservative, and, in sort of a "Who would Jesus shoot?" moment, informs us that the right to self-defense was endowed by "The Creator."

But Mills also owns Gunsite, a 2,000-acre weapons-training facility in Paulden. The bill, which awaits approval by the Arizona House and Governor Jan Brewer, would cut into some of his firm's income. (And that of hundreds of other businesses, as we reported earlier today).

It may be a bad business move, but Mills says he firmly believes that law-abiding citizens should be able to pack hidden heat, if they want to.

As others have pointed out, Mills says prohibitions against carrying guns sprang up along with Jim Crow laws following the Civil War. In his estimation, the proposed law merely restores rights intended by the Founding Fathers.

Few citizens will take advantage of the law, should Brewer sign it, he predicted.

 Mills says he frequently runs into former students who took CCW classes at his school, but "99.9999 percent of the time," they're not carrying.

Mills began his career as an entrepreneur by developing 911 emergency communications centers, according to his Web site. A virtual unknown to most Arizonans a year ago, Mills has been throwing lots of his own money around, buying TV time to get his name and conservative message out to potential voters.

So far, it seems to be paying off: Poll results released week put Mills -- and State Treasurer Dean Martin -- ahead of Democrat Terry Goddard, a two-term Attorney General and former Phoenix mayor.

It seems that Governor Brewer, who trails the three other candidates for her seat, has an ulterior motive for signing the concealed weapons bill -- maybe she figures it'll dip into Mills' advertising budget.

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