Catalina, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- The AzCDL-requested and historic Constitutional Carry legislation that became law in 2010 was not the be-all-end-all of restoring the right to carry in Arizona.
It was a major milestone, but there are still a century’s worth of statutes that need to be excised or significantly altered in order to truly restore your right to bear arms in Arizona.
Our job is far from over.
AzCDL began working with legislators on proposed bills for the 2012 legislative session shortly after the 2011 session ended. As a result, a number of pro-rights bills have been filed. Listed below are key firearms, self-defense and hunting related bills, introduced this session, that we are monitoring. You can find these bills listed on our website’s Bill Tracking page.
We have a busy agenda this year. AzCDL’s representatives are working full time on these bills at the Capitol, but the success or failure of any of them depends on your participation. If you are an AzCDL member and are not getting our legislative email Alerts, either send an email to Fred ([email protected]) or leave a message at (623) 594-8521 and we’ll make sure you are added to the list.
Freedom To Carry
HB 2095 is an AzCDL-requested bill that would limit the restrictions that a Home Owners Association (HOA) can place on firearms. In modern day suburban Arizona, it is almost impossible to not live in a planned community controlled by an HOA. In the Phoenix area, there are HOA communities bigger than some towns. Unfortunately, the laudable idea of establishing residential standards to optimize property values has a dark side. Social engineering has crept into HOA governing documents. In the not too distant past, racial purity was required in home sales. Still embedded in many governing documents are requirements that residents must be unarmed as a condition of living in the community.
HB 2095 was drafted to allow the residents of HOA governed communities the same constitutionally protected right to bear arms they enjoy once they leave the boundaries of their neighborhood.
HB 2719 would declare that any person lawfully possessing a firearm outside the grounds of a school is considered to meet the requirements of 18 USC, Section 922, the federal law that says you need a CCW permit to have a fiream within 1,000 feet of a school. While there is no equivalent of the federal 1,000 foot school zone rule in Arizona law, and law-abiding adults generally don’t need a CCW permit to carry a firearm in Arizona, that doesn’t mean that federal law can’t be enforced. President Obama has promised “under the radar” gun control and TSA has expanded their mission to include using mobile Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams to set up check points at highways, sports events and even high school proms. Could federal school zone enforcement be next?
SB 1077 is AzCDL-requested legislation that would specifically exempt the “lawful possession or discharge of a firearm while hunting, while target shooting, in self-defense or in defense of another,” from the state lands trespass statute.
HJR 2001 is a resolution that would authorize opposition to the use of an international force on American soil that seeks to enforce any United Nations treaty. This resolution is primarily aimed at the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, which includes provisions for the regulation of private firearms ownership.
This year, there are two bills that have been introduced that would restore a limited right to bear arms on college and university campuses.
HB 2254 would allow faculty members, who have a valid CCW permit, to “possess a concealed firearm” on campus.
SB 1474 is a bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry discreetly on campus, but would allow the school governing bodies to prohibit weapons inside of buildings as long as “temporary and secure” storage is provided.
On the negative side, Senator’s Gallardo’s SB 1130 would add colleges and universities to the definition of “schools” in the weapons misconduct (ARS 13- 3102) statutes, expanding the places where weapons are prohibited. Currently ARS 31-3102 defines a school as Kindergarten through 12th grade.
“Public establishment” is a bureaucratic term describing state and local government property (i.e., paid for by your tax dollars). AzCDL’s opinion is that law abiding citizens should not have to disarm when entering public establishments unless the public establishment can guarantee the safety of those entering the property.
Until AzCDL got involved, public establishments could paste a “no weapons” sign on the door and arrest anyone who didn’t obey the cardboard notice. A few years back, AzCDL got the law changed to require public establishments banning weapons to provide accessible storage lockers.
We are constantly hearing stories of state agencies and local governments blatantly disregarding these requirements.
This year 3 bills have been introduced attempting to improve the issue of weapons in public establishments. HB 2729 would require public property, wishing to ban weapons, to restrict access to the property and provide armed guards, metal detectors and storage lockers. The bill also allows for legal action against the operator of public property when they don’t obey the law.
SB 1448 would require public establishments to have access “controlled or restricted by the presence of a state or other certified law enforcement officer, or an armed security officer” in order to ban the carrying of weapons.
SB 1479 would reduce the penalty for entering a public establishment that bans weapons to a Petty Offense, unless it is a secured facility (guards, metal detectors, etc.), then the penalty is a Misdemeanor.
SB 1479 also allows for legal action when public establishments don’t obey the law. Meanwhile, Senator Gallardo (D 13) has filed SB 1175 which would make it a crime to enter “any state building, including the House of Representatives wing and the Senate wing of the State Capitol, carrying a deadly weapon.” Preemption Related to “public establishment” laws is state preemption over local laws.
Currently the public establishment laws reside in the weapons misconduct criminal statutes. HB 2729 and SB 1479 would move these provisions to the preemption section which enables enforcement against government entities not obeying the law. Another preemption related bill is SB 1304 which would remove the authority of local governments to pass ordinances regarding the discharge of firearms within 1/4 mile of an occupied structure. Under the current loophole in the preemption statutes, a person could be arrested under a local law for “discharging a firearm” during a legitimate act of self-defense. 2012 Legislation
SB 1241 would remove local control over the disposition of forfeited weapons, which usually results in their destruction. Under this bill, forfeited weapons must be sold within one year to “any business authorized to receive and dispose of the article under federal and state law,” unless otherwise prohibited. Self-Defense In his book “After You Shoot,” author, and AzCDL life member, Alan Korwin discusses the issue of self-incrimination during that 9-1-1 call people make after being involved in a self-defense shooting. (You can find Alan’s books at: http://www.gunlaws.com/).
HB 2652 has been introduced to establish a balance between the need for reporting and your right to remain silent. If you are involved in “an act that involved the threatened or actual use of deadly force” and report it to obtain emergency medical or police services, HB 2652 would make your “statement” (that recorded 9-1-1 call) “not admissible in a criminal prosecution or a civil action,” except for the purposes of impeachment. Hunting Hunting laws are getting a lot of attention in this session. Here are the highlights. HB 2457 would allow a person to carry an otherwise “prohibited” weapon (i.e., for self-defense) while hunting, as long as that weapon isn’t used to take game.
HB 2536 would ban computer assisted remote hunting. The language is overly broad and the term “any other equipment” isn’t defined. Would a range finder be considered “other equipment?” HB 2537 would make the taking of an endangered species a Class 6 Felony. This issue is already covered by federal law and the bill appears to be aimed at discouraging efforts to have certain species (e.g., gray wolves) delisted as an endangered species.
HB 2538 and HB 2540 seem to have the combined goal of turning the Game and Fish Commission into a state version of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). HB 2538 would eliminate the Arizona Game and Fish Appointment Recommendation Board, which allows sportsmen and hunting groups to have a major voice in the selection of game and fish commissioners.
HB 2540 would change the name of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to the Arizona Wildlife Conservation Service. If these two bills were enacted into law, the new organization would most likely evolve into an agency unfriendly to hunters and sportsmen. HB 2539 would eliminate the discretion of the Game and Fish Commission to authorize hunting in non-daylight hours. “Daylight” is not defined in statute.
When are Sunrise and Sunset, which are optimal times for taking game, considered “daylight?” HB 2536, 2537, 2538, 2539 and 2540 were introduced by Representative Daniel Patterson (D 29).
HB 2639 and SB 1305 are twin Game and Fish Omnibus Acts introduced by Representative Jerry Weiers (R 12) and Senator Frank Antenori (R 30).
HB 2640 would prohibit the Game and Fish Commission from limiting or restricting firearm magazine capacity. HB 2728 would prohibit the Game and Fish Commission from banning the lawful possession or use of sound suppressors when hunting.
Senator Gallardo (D13) who introduced SB 1130 (further criminalizes campus carry) and SB 1175 (no guns at the Capitol) has also introduced SB 1174.
SB 1174 would require NICS background checks to be conducted on private sales at gun shows (broadly defined to encompass almost any gathering of gun owners). This bill would criminalize private firearms sales. Arizona State Guard Though not directly firearms related, there is a lot of interest in this issue.
SB 1083 would establish the Arizona State Guard, a volunteer military force under the control of the Governor, for the purpose of “securing the safety and protection of the lives and property of the citizens of this state.”
Edmund Burke is credited with the quote that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Lobbying for good bills (and against bad bills) is not a spectator sport. AzCDL has two full-time lobbyists working daily at the Capitol, meeting with legislators and testifying at hearings. But, progress is only made when we can back up our words at the Capitol with action from our members.
The passage of legislation largely depends on how willing you are to get involved. You can make a difference.
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