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Bill that would outlaw brass knuckles moves forward at Arizona Capitol

A bill that would outlaw brass knuckles in Arizona is moving forward at the state Capitol.

The Senate judiciary committee approved the measure at a meeting Thursday.

The bill would make it a high-level misdemeanor to own or sell brass knuckles in Arizona. 

Seventeen-year-old Connor Jarnigan was attacked by a group of teenagers outside an In-N-Out in Gilbert in 2022. He testified in favor of the bill, saying he’d been punched in the back of the head with brass knuckles.

“I ended up having to get staples in my head and doctors told me that if the injury had just been an inch to the left, I could’ve been paralyzed or killed," Jarnigan said. "While filing a police report, I was disturbed to find out from Gilbert police that this was the fifth incident with brass knuckles, at that In-N-Out, that month alone.”

Committee Chairman Anthony Kern proposed an amendment that would make the weapon illegal only for minors, but it was withdrawn after discussion. 

Though members passed the bill unanimously, some are concerned it won’t achieve its desired outcome.

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Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.