Category Archives: Gun Policies

Heads Up: The Con-Con is Coming

US Constitution

 

For years Tea Partiers have been pushing for a Constitutional Convention (AKA Con-Con) for a balanced budget and more.

The Con-Con has passed the Arizona House of Representatives several times, but stalled in the Senate. This year there are four Con-Con bills on the agenda for the Federalism, Property Rights and Public Policy Committee on Tuesday, January 31.

HCR2010 (Townsend) declares that the Arizona Legislature wants a Constitutional Convention. (Concurrent resolution with the Senate.)

HCR2006 (Thorpe) includes a wish list of changes to the Constitution. (Concurrent resolution with the Senate.)

HCR2013 (Mesnard) calls for a Constitutional Convention for a federal balanced budget. (Concurrent resolution with the Senate.)

HB2226 (Mesnard) also calls for a Constitutional Convention for a federal balanced budget and includes details of the balanced budget. (House only bill.)

In previous years, the Con-Con bills were stopped at the door of the Senate by former Senate President Andy Biggs, who resigned the Legislature to run for Congress. Biggs is so opposed to the Con-Con that he wrote a book about it– The Con of the Con-Con.

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ICYMI: ‘gun nuts week’ at the Arizona Lege

With all the other crazy shit going on in the world this past week, you may have missed “gun nuts week” at the Arizona Lege.

First up, Shannon’s Law, enacted in 2000 with the support of Governor Jane Dee Hull and even the NRA. Shannon’s law is named after Shannon Smith, a fourteen-year-old Phoenix girl killed by a stray bullet in June 1999:

While she stood in her backyard talking on the telephone with a friend, a stray bullet hit her in her head, causing instant death. Smith’s death sparked a furor among Arizona residents. Her funeral was attended by approximately 1,300 mourners. A monument, made with melted metal from confiscated firearms, was raised in her honor at her middle school by her classmates and friends. Tens of thousands of dollars in donations for the monument were primarily raised by Shannon’s friends and classmates holding car washes.

A violation of Shannon’s law is defined as a felony offense in Arizona. The gun worshipers and ammosexual gun fetishists at the Arizona Citizens Defense League now want to gut Shannon’s Law. Panel votes to gut Shannon’s Law on gun discharges:

Arizona gun owners would be able to escape being prosecuted under “Shannon’s Law” if they say it was just an accident that they fired their gun into the air.

On a 6-5 margin, the House Judiciary Committee voted to say that criminal negligence in discharging a weapon within a city would no longer be a felony. Instead, prosecutors would have to show that someone knowingly or recklessly shot off a few rounds.

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City of Tucson files its response in state preemption lawsuit

Howard Fischer reports, Tucson asks State Supreme Court to toss out AG complaint:

The city of Tucson is asking the state supreme court to throw out a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Mark Brnovich that the claims the city is in violation of state law for its policy to destroy confiscated guns.

lastgreatactofdefianceThe 30-page motion filed Thursday night suggests the legal mechanism that brought the complaint to the state’s highest court – SB 1487 – is unconstitutional and therefore, unenforceable.

Additionally, city officials argue the gun destruction policy – which applies to handguns and semi-automatic weapons – is protected as Tucson is a charter city.

Tucson is among 18 cities that have taken advantage of a constitutional provision allowing them to write their own charters.

The filing also asks the Supreme Court to instead have a lower court to hear the case – the city has filed a case in Pima County Superior Court – so that the issues raised in the superior court action that the City has filed can be heard.

Attorneys for the city, Richard M. Rollman and Richard A. Brown, argue that the state legislature wrote SB 1487 in an effort to force local municipalities into rescinding controversial policies.

“It may be that the Legislature disagrees with the authority given to charter cities by the constitutional framers. But, rights granted by the constitution can only be withdrawn by a constitutional amendment that is approved by the voters pursuant to Article 21 of the Arizona Constitution. Section 41-194.01 seeks to avoid that requirement by coercing any city that seeks to exercise its charter city authority through the prospect of catastrophic financial sanctions without judicial review,” they wrote.

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Arizona Attorney General tests state preemption law against the City of Tucson

Last week, Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the Arizona Supreme Court to cut off the City of Tucson’s $170 million a year in state aid, claiming Tucson is violating Arizona ridiculous state preemption law prohibiting local governments from destroying seized handguns. Brnovich sues Tucson over firearms destruction:

False IdolsIn his legal filing, Brnovich contends the 2005 city ordinance runs afoul of a series of state laws that sharply restrict the right of local governments to make their own gun laws. And he told the justices that a newly enacted state statute specifically gives him the right to intercede and ask the high court to punish offenders.

Officially, the lawsuit asks the high court to give Tucson a deadline by which they have to repeal the ordinance. That is unlikely to occur: Just hours earlier, council members voted unanimously to fight Brnovich in court, though they did agree to voluntarily stop the gun destruction until the Supreme Court rules.

The 2016 law that gives Brnovich the right to take cities to court spells out that any community that wants to fight him must first post a bond equal to half of its annual state aid. Attorneys for the city are expected to ask the justices to declare that requirement illegal or, at the very least, waive it.

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#LD9: Know Your Candidates before You Vote

Pamela Powers Hannley, Ana Henderson

Residents of Legislative District 9 have a clear choice for Arizona House. Two Democrats Rep. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley are running against Tea Party candidate Ana Henderson.

The Clean Elections debate revealed major differences between Henderson’s extreme Tea Party positions and the two Democrats’ views.

To simplify your voting decision, I revised my ven diagram comparing where I stand on the issues and where Henderson stands.

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Legislative District 9 races

Legislative District 9 was considered a competitive district when it was redistricted in 2012. A Republican, Ethan Orr, was elected to the House that year, but lost to Democrat Dr. Randall Friese just two years later.

FarleyDemocratic Senator Steve Farley is unopposed in the general election, mostly because he is popular in his district, and he has risen as a leader in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate.  Farley was named by the Arizona Republic as one of 16 Arizonans to Watch in 2016, and voted Best Arizona Democratic Elected Official in 2016 by readers and reporters of the Arizona Capitol Times. His legislative priorities are public education, jobs and economic development, senior issues, public safety, transportation choices, sustainable growth, fiscal health, and quality of life. He has repeatedly been named Conservation Hero by the Arizona League of Conservation Voters, and Legislative Champion by the Arizona League of Towns and Cities.

If Democrats can pick up enough seats to gain a 15-15 tie in the Senate, Farley will be running for a leadership position.

ld9houseIn the House, there is one Democratic incumbent and a Democrat and Republican newcomer for the open House seat.

Dr. Randall Friese has proven to be quite popular in the district since his election in 2014. Dr. Friese joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine as a member of the Trauma Team. In this role he is a Professor of Surgery where he trains young doctors, he is the Associate Medical Director and he is one of nine UAMC Trauma Surgeons that care for the injured in southern Arizona. Dr. Friese was one of the Trauma Surgeons who cared for the victims of the Jan 8 shootings in Tucson.

Dr. Friese focuses on healthcare issues, including the epidemic of gun violence. Dr. Friese believes that gun violence is a public health issue. Most recently Dr. Friese was instrumental in adding Arizona to the National Violent Death Reporting System. This allows Arizona to gather, and share with the Centers for Disease Control, statistics concerning violent deaths in Arizona. This is an important first step towards finding real solutions to gun violence.

Arizona’s “citizen legislature” definitely needs a doctor with Dr. Friese’s knowledge, background and experience.

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