Arizona Gun Bill Will Make It A Felony To Not Check Citizenship During A Private Firearm Sale
An accidental violation of this paperwork error would be a Class 4 felony crime, just like child abusers, drug dealers, kidnappers and arsonists.
Glendale, AZ – -(AmmoLand.com)- By now many of you have begun receiving responses from Senators Pierce and Tibshraeny about their votes to support the Cheuvront amendment, making it a class 4 felony to not check citizenship during a private firearm sale.
First we want to compliment the Senators for taking the time to respond to the over 500 emails they received over the weekend. However, we will continue to oppose the Cheuvront floor amendment to SB 1102.
Think about this for a minute.
For years there has been a constant drumbeat, mainly from Democrat legislators, to oppose all attempts to allow state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws, and civilian border watchers are demonized for reporting illegal border crossings.
Now those same legislators, who want to hamstring local law enforcement, are eager to transform everyday citizens into de facto immigration agents when they privately sell a firearm.
Does that make sense to you? Could there be another motive, like ending the private sales of firearms?
Regulation of gun shows has been a Brady Center priority for years. Ultimately, what the Brady Bunch wants is the total elimination of gun shows, but requiring any regulation of private sales is an acceptable first step: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/bcam/stategunlaws/scorecard/2010releases/AZ.pdf.
The text of the Cheuvront amendment creates a new “misconduct involving weapons” violation for “selling or transferring a firearm at a firearm show without requiring the purchaser or transferee to provide proof of citizenship” and defines both “firearm show” and “proof of citizenship“. A violation of this paperwork error would be a Class 4 felony crime, just like child abusers, drug dealers, kidnappers and arsonists.
Note that we aren't just talking about purchases here.
A “transfer” is just letting another person take possession of a firearm. Is that foreign looking guy about to pick up a gun on your table to look over? Handing your pistol to your buddy at the show so he can check it out? Better check for ID first, or you're a felon.
“Firearm show” is defined as “an event that is sponsored, whether for profit or not, by an individual, national, state or local organization, association or other entity devoted to the collection, competitive use, sporting use or any other legal use of firearms and either of the following applies: (a) ten or more firearm exhibitors are participating. (b) a total of twenty-five or more pistols or revolvers are offered for sale or transfer.”
“Proof of citizenship means any of the following: (a) an Arizona driver license or nonoperating identification license issued after October 1, 1996. (b) a legible photocopy of a birth certificate that verifies citizenship and supporting legal documentation, including a marriage certificate, if the name on the birth certificate is not the same as the person's legal name. (c) a legible photocopy of pertinent pages of a United States passport identifying the person. (d) United States naturalization documents. (e) the person's Bureau of Indian Affairs card number or tribal treaty card number. (f) a legible photocopy of a driver license or nonoperating identification license from another state within the United States if the license indicates that the person has provided satisfactory proof of citizenship. (g) a legible photocopy of a tribal certificate of Indian blood or tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs affidavit of birth.”
Let's think about a few of these details for a moment. We are not only talking about the traditional “gun show,” where we take the family to the fairgrounds and look at the wares on display from the vendors most are licensed dealers required by federal law to perform background checks. No, if an “individual” decides to sell “twenty-five or more pistols” that her late husband collected over the course of a lifetime, she'd better be ready to check the citizenship status of everyone who comes looking to buy one, or it's off to jail she goes, along with the drug dealers and child beaters.
How about that proof of citizenship?
Arizona issues driver licenses to legal resident aliens. So how does it qualify as proof of citizenship? How are you to know the difference? Isn't profiling a bad thing? Then why are these legislators encouraging it? How about those other proofs? I don't know about you, but I don't have the foggiest clue what most of those documents actually look like. Someone could print one up in his basement that morning, and I would be none the wiser. Is the same government that would make me a felon for not checking for these documents going to bear some responsibility for educating me as to what I'm supposed to be checking for?
While the Senators are correct in stating that Arizona businesses must check the citizenship status of all employees, there are a few details they neglect to mention. One is that employers have access to a federal database to do such checks. Another is that is if businesses are discovered to have hired an illegal alien, they are subject to the loss of their business license. There are no criminal penalties involved. They certainly aren't risking seven years in prison and a felony record.
Despite all the folderol about stopping the flow of guns across the border, the reality is that making felons out of people who are conducting a perfectly legitimate activity (i.e. the private sale of firearms), one that has taken place in this country for hundreds of years without any of this nonsense surrounding it, will do absolutely nothing to solve the crime problem, either in Mexico or in Arizona.
It sure does go a long way towards killing a good bill (SB 1102) that would restore the right of the people of Arizona to keep and bear arms any way they choose, just as the Founders intended.
Almost makes you wonder if that was the plan all along, doesn't it?
That's why this is very much a rights issue, not an immigration issue. If it was an immigration issue, there are plenty of immigration bills out there that they can attach this nightmare to.
Now, for some good news!
- SB 1153, the knife preemption bill, passed in the Senate Third Read today (February 22, 2010) by a vote of 20-9 with one member not voting. It has been transmitted to the House.
- SB 1168, the firearms preemption bill, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a vote of 4-3 with a recommendation for passage by the full Senate.
In related news, SB 2543, the House version of the firearms preemption bill, passed out of the House Military Affairs and Public Safety (MAPS) Committee on February 17, 2010, by a vote of 7-1 with a recommendation for passage by the full House.
Both firearms preemption bills will be reviewed in their respective Rules Committees before proceeding to Committee of the Whole (COW) debates.
Stay tuned! When critical legislation moves, we will notify you via these Alerts.
AzCDL's Political Action Committee (PAC) is also on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/FacebookAzCDLPAC .
AzCDL – Protecting Your Freedom
AzCDL believes that the emphasis of gun laws should be on criminal misuse and that law-abiding citizens should be able to own and carry firearms unaffected by unnecessary laws or regulations. AzCDL was founded by a group of local activists who recognized that a sustained, coordinated, statewide effort was critical to protecting and expanding the rights of law-abiding gun owners. As a like-minded coalition of activists, the AzCDL founders were instrumental in the successful passage of the first major improvement to Arizona’s CCW (concealed carry) laws since they were instituted in 1994. Visit: www.azcdl.org