Category Archives: Gun Policies

Gun nuts day at the Arizona legislature (updated)

First, the good news …

On a 14-16 vote the Senate killed SB1243 which would have allowed those who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon to bring them in to public buildings. Building operators could maintain that gun-free status only by installing metal detectors and hiring security guards. Senate again kills bill allowing concealed weapons in public buildings:

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, the sponsor of SB1243, made no comment as the measure went down to defeat for a third year in a row.

Republicans Kate Brophy McGee of Phoenix, Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and Bob Worsley of Mesa joined with Democrats to provide the margin for defeat.

That alleviates the need for Gov. Doug Ducey, who has promoted himself as a supporter of the Second Amendment, to have to decide between the rights of gun owners and cost to governments — including the state — if they decide to install metal detectors and hire guards to keep their buildings free of weapons.

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AZ Supreme Court hears oral argument on punitive local government preemption law

I posted on the background of this case last year. Authoritarian Tea-Publicans impose ‘Big Brother’ control over local governments:

TheBorgGovernor Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, got what he wanted from our lawless Tea-Publican legislature this week.

They are like the Borg on Star Trek: “Resistance to our authoritarian GOP rule is futile, you will be assimilated.” Ducey gets bill penalizing cities for countering state policies:

State lawmakers late Wednesday sent Gov. Doug Ducey a bill that will allow him to enforce his demand that local governments fall into line with state policies.

SB 1487 (.pdf) allows any legislator to ask the attorney general’s office to investigate whether a local ordinance or policy is contrary to state law. If the attorney general finds the state statute is being violated, the local government would be given 30 days to bring their local practices into compliance.

But what really gives the measure some teeth is that the failure of a city, town or county to comply would require the state treasurer to stop providing state aid and redistribute those dollars to every other community.

And if a local government disagreed, the case would go directly to the state Supreme Court for a final word.

Yeah, you see the problem with this bill is that it empowers the Attorney General, not a court of competent jurisdiction, to sit as judge and jury without a trial, and whoever heard of an Arizona Attorney General being an impartial arbiter of the evidence and not politicizing the AG office with an eye towards running for governor or another office? Have we so readily forgotten Tom Horne?

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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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