Even as President Joe Biden has called upon lawmakers at the federal level to enact new gun control measures, at the state level legislators are pushing back. This includes Arizona, a state that actually helped put Mr. Biden in the White House. This month, the Republican lawmakers in the Grand Canyon State, advanced two measures that were seen to boost the rights of gun owners.
According to Fox10 News, both measures cleared the House Government and Elections Committee in party-line votes on Feb. 10.
HB2111 would protect gun owners’ rights, and supporters of the bill said it would stop potential overreach at the federal level. This would allow individuals with state-issued permits to carry a concealed weapon in government buildings, even if a “no guns” signed is posted. At issue has been how to actually enforce the law.
Supporters of the bill say that criminals can easily ignore it and maintain that the only way for cities and counties to enforce a gun-free zone would be to install metal detectors and hire someone to staff the equipment.
“Placing a sticker that says ‘no weapons allowed’ with a little red hash, that stops law-abiding citizens from bringing weapons into government buildings,” said Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) via Tucson.com. “It doesn’t stop criminals, potentially dangerous criminals. So what you do is you create gun-free zones where the honest people are disarmed and the criminals can go in and have an advantage.”
The second resolution, HB 2111 was introduced by Rep. Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu City) to address the threat of federal infringement on the rights of Arizona residents. While it could not preclude federal law enforcement officers from enforcing those laws, it would bar state and local officials as well as law enforcement from using their personnel or financial resources to “to enforce, administer or cooperate with any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the United States government that is inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms.”
The aim of the bill was to stop any move by the Biden administration to ban AR-15s and similar firearms, as well as so-called high-capacity magazines. Biasiucci introduced the bill not to violate federal law, but rather so that the state isn’t charged with enforcing those laws. He compared it to the fact that Arizona has legalized marijuana possession and currently doesn’t arrest or prosecute individuals even as the drug remains illegal at the federal level.
While critics of the bills have said it defies federal gun laws, Kavanagh said that is pretty much the point, and pointed to Democratic jurisdictions in many states that enacted laws that were similar to block the immigration policies of former President Donald Trump.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.