Arizona Senate Committee Passes Legislation Barring Enforcement of Federal Gun Measures
On Wednesday, the Arizona State Senate Public Safety committee passed legislation on party line with 4 Republicans supporting the legislation, 2 Democrats voting “no”, and 1 Democrat “not voting.”
SB1112 (Arizona firearms; prohibited enforcement) was introduced largely in response to President Obama’s 23 gun-related Executive Orders issued on January 16th. While Obama’s Executive Orders did not specifically ban any types of ammunition or guns, the legislation is intended to serve as a preemptive action against any further orders that might push outright bans (which would still require Congressional approval). According to the official fact sheet prepared by Senate staff, SB1112:
Prohibits public servants and federally licensed firearms dealers from enforcing any U.S. government act, law, statute, rule or regulation. Establishes an offense for U.S. government officials, agents or employees to enforce firearm-related acts, orders, laws, statutes, rules or regulations. Allows the Attorney General (AG) to defend Arizona citizens prosecuted by the federal government for a firearm-related violation, and declares certain firearm-related laws and regulations unenforceable in Arizona.
Essentially, the bill would prohibit the government from enforcing any new laws passed related to bans of any type of gun or high-capacity magazines. Wednesday’s hearing hosted a contentious debate between committee members as Democrats criticized the necessity of the legislation, questioning whether the state even had the constitutional authority to disregard federal law. That prompted Republican Senator Don Shooter to remark:
“The country is called the United States, it’s not called the federal government. The states are sovereign.”
The bill now awaits a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee. An identical bill (HB2291) has been introduced in the House.
Arizona is not the only state that has introduced measures exempting local governments from federal gun control measures. The Franklin County Commission in Indiana recently passed an ordinance exempting from federal laws, and the Wyoming House just approved a measure to block any federal bans.
To date, 14 pieces of firearm-related legislation and one SCR have been introduced in the House and the Senate, including some bills that restrict firearm usage or further regulate firearms in this state (“anti” gun or further restricting bills are noted below).
A full listing of introduced firearm related bills (with links) are listed below:
- HB2234 (firearm; definition)
- HB2288 (state regulation of firearms)
- HB2291 (Arizona firearms; prohibited enforcement)
- HB2326 (firearms; records; prohibited acts)
- HB2378 (destruction; forfeited or unclaimed firearms) - Anti gun
- HB2381 (firearms sales; transfers; background checks) - Anti gun
- HB2431 (state guard; firearm; equipment)
- HB2455 (unclaimed property; firearms; disposition)
- HB2516 (peace officers; firearms; court)
- SB1049 (firearms; prohibition; postsecondary institutions)
- SB1112 (Arizona firearms; prohibited enforcement)
- SB1228 (destruction; forfeited or unclaimed firearms) – Anti gun
- SB1309 (firearms sales; transfers; background checks) – Anti gun
- SB1325 (concealed firearms; schools; authorization requirements)
- SCR1015 (support; second amendment)