Arizona Woman Calls for End to Pro-Gun Protest

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

( - An Arizona woman who was forbidden from taking her gun to work for personal protection is calling for an end to protests at the home of a top state official.

Shannon Flynn, an employee with the Arizona Department of Revenue, carries a 9mm pistol because she fears the release of her father from prison. However, she has been forced to leave her sidearm in her car rather than carry it with her to her state office.

The decision sparked protests at the home of state Revenue Department head Mark Killian, but Flynn wants the protests to stop.

"They are placing signs that are really inappropriate. I do want people to know that I don't back that situation," she told "I don't think it's appropriate and it's not professional and it needs to stop."

Arizona state law currently bans gun carrying by state employees in their offices, and Killian has told employees they can't carry a gun into the building, according to his spokesman Jeff Kros.

Citing her own personal fear, Flynn said, "This isn't a personal issue between Mark Killian and I. I just need to protect myself and I don't want his family to feel the same kind of hurt that I feel.

"I don't know who is doing this but they need to be professional and need to stop," she said.

As for her personal safety situation, Flynn said she is not completely unarmed in her office. "They've given me my mace and my pocketknife and that's about all they are going to do right now," said Flynn.

Meanwhile, she received something of a boost in efforts to carry a legal firearm to work in state office buildings.

Former Rep. Matt Salmon, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in Arizona, called Flynn a "victim," and wants to let workers carry firearms to their state jobs.

Salmon spokesman Vernon Parker said the candidate's answer is installing lockers in state buildings so employees can store their firearms upon arrival at the office. However, Parker said Salmon believes the lockers should be privately funded with no taxpayer money involved.

"If people carry firearms, legally... they would have to check these guns with proper authorities when they come into the workplace," he said.

Parker also said Flynn explained her case to Salmon during a recent meeting in Phoenix and the candidate assured her the current gun policy would change if he is elected governor.

Flynn said as a result of her meeting with Salmon, she's backing him in his bid for governor because she believes he is sincere in his promises.

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