A few short years ago, Sen. Ron Gould (R-Lake Havasu City) was easily the wingnuttiest legislator in the Arizona legislature. He was also the go-to guy for every gun bill from the Arizona Citizens Defense League. When Gould left the legislature, I thought that whoever replaced him in the legislature would have to be an improvement.
My hopeful optimism turned out to be just wishful thinking. Gould was replaced by an equally wingnutty Sen. Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City), who now is the go-to gal for every gun bill from the Arizona Citizens Defense League.
It must be something in the water of Lake Havasu.
As a quick aside, The Yellow Sheet Report (subscription required) reports that Ron Gould wants his old senate seat back, and he doesn’t care if Kelli Ward is sitting in it. Gould eyes Senate return, with or without Ward. That much crazy in a GOP primary is enough to open a rift in the space-time continuum, and suck Lake Havasu City into the vortex. Given who they elect to office, that would be a good thing.
Anyway, the latest craziness from the ammosexual gun fetishists and gun worshippers of the Arizona Citizens Defense League appeared as an amendment sponsored by Kelli Ward to a bill for restoration of civil rights for felons. The Arizona Republic reports, Senate OKs bill to allow sawed-off shotguns:
Arizona’s Senate gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that would end the state’s ban on sawed-off shotguns and silencers on weapons, legislation that could take measure of the new governor’s support for gun rights and create another confrontation with federal authorities.
The proposal, contained in a surprise amendment to Senate Bill 1460, passed with Republican support and Democratic opposition. The Senate still must formally vote on the measure before it could go to the House of Representatives. The Senate had been scheduled to hold the final vote Tuesday, but it was removed from the calendar.
The bill would seem at odds with federal laws largely banning sawed-off shotguns. Federal gun laws allow silencers and sawed-off shotguns purchased under special restrictions.
The amendment, introduced by Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, was tacked onto her bill to restore gun rights to those with felony convictions after certain waiting periods or after the convictions are legally set aside. Ward said her amendment was “constituent driven” and about “making certain things legal that are illegal,” a vague description that drew hushed snickers from some in the Senate.
After gaining preliminary approval for the bill, Ward said she added the new language at the request of Jason Smathers, who is pastor of Golden Shores Community Baptist Church in Topock.
“My own view,” Ward said during a break in the session, “is we have the right to keep and bear arms, and really, that right shouldn’t be infringed. The government putting any kind of regulations on that is wrong.”
Smathers said he is concerned, as a private citizen, that Arizona’s gun laws are more restrictive than federal laws. He said he mainly wants people to be able to purchase guns like a short-barreled powder coach gun without fear of running afoul of the law.
Oh, and her amendment would also legalize nunchakus — no, seriously.
Let’s unpack this a bit. Ward says she wants to legalize sawed-off shotguns — frequently used by criminals in convenience store robberies — simply because some Baptist preacher asked for it? Isn’t this Baptist preacher protected by the divine providence of God? And what does he need with a “coach gun” anyway? Is this guy riding shotgun on stagecoaches somewhere? Who does he think he is, John Freakin’ Wayne?
And silencers for those with fantasies of being a mob hit-man or secret agent man, like 007 or Jason Bourne? More likely these silencers will wind up being used in the kind of crimes one would expect, and put law enforcement officers at risk. I’ll bet law enforcement organizations are thrilled with this provision.
And nunchakus? Who requested this Sen. Ward? Developmentally retarded adult males who still have teenage fantasies of being Bruce Lee in Kunf fu movies? By what stretch of your wild imagination does this fit into your sacred Second Amendment “gun” rights?
Sen. Ward is quoted above expressing Second Amendment absolutism: “[W]e have the right to keep and bear arms, and really, that right shouldn’t be infringed. The government putting any kind of regulations on that is wrong.” Yet her amendment left untouched the ban on machine guns and Molotov cocktails. What the hell, lady? If you are going to be a Second Amendment absolutist, there are no restrictions! Traitor! (sarcasm).
Sen. John Kavanagh (R- Fountain Hills) said something that I almost can agree with — oh, so close Dude!
Sen. John Kavanagh said the bill could wind up failing because of overreach.
“I’d like to see that (amendment) taken out and have the bill in its original format,” he said. “Silencers in hunting might be something reasonable, and at target ranges, where there’s loud-noise complaints. When you get into the other weapons, it gets people concerned, and I’d rather have input from the police on that.”
“Silencers in hunting”? Seriously? What self-respecting hunter would ever use a silencer in hunting? Anyone who does this is not normal, and probably should not be carrying a gun with a silencer.
In other “gun bills day” action, the “I hates Tucson!” bill by Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, SB 1291, a “preemption law” that would override local jurisdictions, was also approved by the Senate. It would punish any community or public employee who enacts or enforces guns laws found in conflict with state statute. Because the NRA says so, that’s why!
The House approved HB 2505, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, that would make it a felony for someone other than a police officer to take away an individual’s legally possessed firearm. Hmmm, how would this apply to domestic violence cases? If a woman manages to take away the gun that her abusive husband is threatening her with in self defense, somehow managing to not get killed in the process, would she be charged with a felony?
Or is this limited to someone with a gun engaging in armed robbery of another individual possessing a gun — which really undermines that whole “I need a gun for personal defense” line of reasoning. It kinda made you a target for crime and a victim, now didn’t it?