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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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1/30/2013 9:58:00 PM
Ariz. Senate bill would bar enforcement of new federal gun laws
Staff and wire reports


PHOENIX - A Republican-sponsored bill barring enforcement of new federal guns laws sparked passionate debate in an Arizona Senate committee that ultimately passed the bill Wednesday.

The party-line vote moved the first of several anti-gun control bills introduced in the Legislature to the floor on the same day the U.S. Congress heard a plea from former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to pass new gun control laws.

Senate Bill 1112 - co-sponsored by state Sen. Don Shooter, four other senators and several members of the House of Representatives - would bar enforcement of new federal laws affecting semi-automatic firearms or high-capacity magazines. It also makes any federal official trying to enforce such laws guilty of a felony and allows the state Attorney General to defend anyone prosecuted for violating federal gun laws if the gun was made in Arizona, among other provisions.

Wednesday's Senate Public Safety Committee debate pitted minority Democrats who believe the bill is unconstitutional against Republicans opposed to what they call an overreaching federal government. An identical bill has been introduced in the House, which also has seen several other gun-related bills introduced since the session began Jan 14.

The bills were prompted by President Barack Obama's push to reinstate an assault weapons ban and ban high-capacity magazines in the wake of December's school shooting in Connecticut.

Rep. Eddie Ableser, D-Tempe, set off the fireworks with his sharp questioning of principal bill sponsor Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, who said "basically it is a statement because I am very impassioned about Arizona state rights.

"I believe the federal government has taken liberties that they are not at liberty to take, especially in encroaching on our Second Amendment rights," Ward said.

Ableser called the bill a waste of time and asked exactly how a local law enforcement officer was going to stop a federal agent from enforcing the law.

That's prompted Shooter to interrupt.

"The country is called the United States, it's not called the federal government," Shooter said. "The states are sovereign."

The debate in the committee room echoed similar ones in several statehouses. Opponents of more federal gun control have introduced nearly identical bills in states including Wyoming, where a bill served as a template for the one introduced here. They've been prompted by worries among some conservatives that Obama may take executive action to ban some weapons.

In fact, a series of executive orders Obama issued Jan. 16 did not try to ban any guns or ammunition but mainly addressed health care rules, gun tracing and background checks and school safety. Obama's proposals that would outlaw new assault rifle sales and limit magazine size require congressional action.

If passed in both chambers and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, the bill considered Wednesday would likely set up Arizona for another fight with the federal government, like that it faced when it passed SB1070, the state's crackdown on illegal immigration. The federal government ultimately sued, arguing federal law was supreme, and most of the major parts of the law were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sen. Chester Crandell, the committee chairman, acknowledged as much.

"Eventually this whole gun discussion of Second Amendment rights is going to be taken to the Supreme Court," he said. "Because it's not just an issue here in Arizona."

Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said she opposes Obama's gun control proposal, supports the 2nd Amendment and applauds the statement that SB1112 is trying to make, but she can't vote for the bill.

"I am 100 percent in support of our 2nd Amendment rights and will defend those rights to the end," Fann said. "But as the bill stands right now, it basically is going to convict a public servant of a Class 6 felony for enforcing federal laws... We can't be putting officers in the middle of constitutional case arguments."

Rep. Andy Tobin of Paulden and Sen. Steve Pierce of Prescott were not available for comment Wednesday.



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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 01, 2013
Article comment by: Give'm Hell Harry

The Taliban Wing of the Republican Party in action again. Passing meaningless laws like this instead of addressing the highest high school dropout rate in the country. Who elected these bozos?

Posted: Friday, February 01, 2013
Article comment by: open book

@ John Galt: I was disappointed that you didn't address my question about President Reagan. I really am curious about the difference.

Posted: Friday, February 01, 2013
Article comment by: Extreemist Noise Hides True Purpose

Karen Fann is a member of ALEC. NRA is a corporate member of ALEC. That makes our representative a lobbyist for the NRA. I think you can discount the comments on behalf of the gun manufactures who fund ALEC and the political campaigns of their legislative members.

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: John Galt

@ O O - Well said

@ "extreemism..."(sic), open book, et al:
Political posturing? so a state legislature making a statement asserting states rights to decide an issue and protest an overreaching federal government is political posturing but Obama making a gun control speech using a stage full of children as props isn't?

If I had a nickel for every democrat speech that included the phrase "for the children" I'd be one of those filthy rich 1%-er's you guys hate so much.

(and not to get off topic, but if liberals were really concerned about children being killed by guns,they wouldn't be in favor of so many of them being killed in the womb by a vacuum cleaner)


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Extreemism in defese of Extreemism

The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution trumps state sovereignty. Congress can put down rebellions and insurrection and not be liable for damages in putting them down .

A well regulated militia being necessary, also implies that an unregulated militia is a threat to civil order. Nothing in the second amendment implies the right to rebellion or insurrection. Quite the opposite in the meaning of the framers, it was intended as a ready defensive force.

The right to own firearms can not be infringed.
The right to own any weapon no longer serves the defense of nation nor state at the ready, but organizes by Constitution a national defense force and the many state militia and the establishment of their armories. All militia are under the authority of the President when called upon.

Such a proposed state law, regardless how it is cloaked in claims of an unconstuional federal law, would be a waste of time as a matter of our budget priories, and as a matter of law.

But, that's not the purpose. It's all about making extreme conservative noise, . And, yeah. They think we are that dumb!



Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: An Observer

@ Paula Gize,
Answer from: An Observer(In Parenthesis).

Oh, I get it.(No, you donít).

I don't care how many shootings occur,
(Of coarse you do not care. If you did, you would have some empathy for the victims. You and your Paranoid Bunch are portraying yourselves as VICTIMS by the BAD OBAMA).
taking away everyone's right to defend themselves is unconstitutional and should not be tolerated even for a moment's consideration.
(You are too brainwashed by the Right).

The government itself is the only one causing such catastrophe in their attempts to control us with Obamacare, mass immigration, taxes, and entitlements. To make their point they would have us defenseless on open prey to every passing nut job, and protections that protect no one.(I feel more defenseless against you Gun Nuts).

In this way I am telling people like you to take the first step, go turn in your guns to the police and show us how it's done. Turn them all in like a good little socialist. Show us how brave your are. Do the right thing. Do it now. (I am not a Socialist. I have 3 guns and 4 rifles.
But what is the sense in even discussing this with an ..........You fill in the blank).


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: open book

@ David Jordan: Will I then also know why President Reagan was anti-gun? Why were you folks not all upset about government tyranny when he was President? He raised taxes, granted amnesty, and supported two gun-control bills in 1993 and 1994. I am really curious.

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: O O

Why should Arizona enforce federal gun laws, when they are not allowed to enforce federal immigration laws?

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: David Jordan

It should be patently obvious, even to the most stupid Democrat, that the second Amendment was put in place, to give citizens a chance to fight against possible government tyranny....read George Washington's letters on the subject, then you'll know why Obama is so anti-gun....

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Why? OH Why........

would anyone with common sense vote to re-elect Obama? Why?

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: J K

This is a good example of the problems we face and it is our fault. We elect ideologues to our legislature, not problem solvers. It is why no problems actually get solved.
They are very good at political posturing and are rewarded for it by getting reelected for doing nothing.
It would be like sending a soldier into battle because he is good at saying the pledge of allegiance . Thankfully our military doesn't operate that way.


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: John Galt

This is a relevant and reasonable discussion to have and for once I applaud the Arizona legislature for doing the right thing.

This issue, and many others, IS a states rights issue. The individual states should have more control over their destiny and laws than the federal government does. Whatever your opinion on gun control, Obamacare or a number of other isses, the people of Arizona have different interests and opinions than the people of, say, Massachusetts. One size does not fit all and the feds should not be able to ram any and all mandates down the throats of the states and expect that we'll just take it.

It is right for Arizona and other states to stand up for certain things and say, "No. we won't let you dictate that to us. Our state will decide that for itself." This is one of those times.


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Good For

you Republicans in Phoenix standing up for the Constitution as are Marxist President and his Dumbocrap followers do everything they can to destroy it

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: The Rev

Very confused. Not by Phoenix but the commenters denouncing our noble representation. How will such a silly state law make us any different from Washington or Colorado who ditched Anslinger's federal reasonableness just this year? Other than being Blue what places those states above most of our outrage on states rights?

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: ronald raygun

How embarrassing!

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Midge Baker

Another waste of taxpayers' money on another soon-to-be-challenged unconstitutional bill -- sheesh!!!

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: What a waste of time! Arizona is the laughing stock of the nation!

This bill is a stupid waste of time. I can't believe that our state legislature waste time on stupid things like this which they know they cannot enforce. Keep on pushing and watch what happens with Federal funding.

You don't need a tank, 30 round clip, etc. and no one is trying to take your guns away. Grow up and get a life. I am embarrassed by the stupidity of the legislature passing something like this. It is no wonder the nation laughs at Arizona. And, no I don't need any snarky comments.


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Paula Gize

TO: An Observer

Oh, I get it.

I don't care how many shootings occur, taking away everyone's right to defend themselves is unconstitutional and should not be tolerated even for a moment's consideration.

The government itself is the only one causing such catastrophe in their attempts to control us with Obamacare, mass immigration, taxes, and entitlements. To make their point they would have us defenseless on open prey to every passing nut job, and protections that protect no one.

In this way I am telling people like you to take the first step, go turn in your guns to the police and show us how it's done. Turn them all in like a good little socialist. Show us how brave your are. Do the right thing. Do it now.


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Government Is Getting In Our Faces

Our government is totally getting into our faces, personally and privately. Leave the states decide on the laws. Stay out of our personal lives too, like abortion and gay rights, which has nothingt to do with governing this country. Do the job you're supposed to do and enforce the laws already in existence. Stop creating new laws everytime there are protestors.

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Clement R.

I believe the President should withdraw as many Airmen, Soldiers, and Marines out of the State of Arizona as possible. We certainly don't want them in a foreign country.

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

I spit my coffee all over the screen when I read this. OMG these people are professional time wasters and money wasters. They'll not do jack about school funding but they sure will waste millions on this garbage. I mean why even bother with something like this. Keeps the lawyers busy I guess. Jeez.

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Complete and utter stupidity

Yet another overreaction and absolute pandering to the rightwing nutjobs to a law that has yet to be passed.

Why is it easier to buy and carry a high capacity automatic weapon into a public building than it is to become a volunteer for my local Little League?

I'm a gun owner, a hunter, and served proudly in the U.S. Army.

Even I can see that there should be way more oversight with regard to who buys guns and more training/licensure for those who own guns.

It's not rocket science.

And the argument that laws don't stop criminals is asinine. By that logic why have ANY laws at all?


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Alan Whitney

Naturally, I support this move 100%.

At the same time, however, I am sad and angry, because in my view, this disunity has been precipitated by 50 plus years of The Liberal Democrat Party trying to drag the rest of us into their liberal "Utopia."

I believe De Tocqueville wrote of the "Tyranny of the Majority" when he wrote Democracy In America.

The irony is, that the Libs are NOT the majority. They are simply very focused doctrinaires, who have infested education, and the press.

Well, as Dylan sang, "It's a hard rain, that's gonna fall..."


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Dan G

Fann's aversion to offending Feds is going to get her voted out next election.

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Yukon Jack

The States are NOT sovereign, the people are. Both the Federal and the State governments have only powers that the people have given them. We didn't give EITHER the power to remove rights from the people without trial.


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