Governor Jan Brewer regained some of her credentials as a defender of Second Amendment rights on Monday, 29 April, 2013, as she signed two pro-rights bills into law.
The first of the bills is a simple requirement for fiscal responsibility. Governments in Arizona are forbidden from destroying firearms turned over to them. Instead, they must sell the firearms to recover the value for the taxpayer.
What this does is somewhat subtle: It does not prevent governments from conducting gun turn in events, often called by the propaganda term "buyback" even though the government never owned the guns to begin with. Instead, it prevents governments from using these events as political theater designed to attack gun ownership and the idea of armed citizens, and thus, the Second Amendment. When local governments are required to sell the turned in guns to responsible people, it destroys the idea that guns are evil in and of themselves.
Three gun turn in events are scheduled for May in Phoenix. They are expected to continue as scheduled.
The second bill is a straightforward ban on the creation of gun registries by local governments. Arizona has banned the creation of local registries for decades, but some government agencies were still collecting information on individuals and their firearms. For example, local governments in Arizona are required to provide storage for firearms if weapons are not allowed in a government building. Some governments were taking this opportunity to record serial numbers of firearms and correlating that information with the names and addresses of the people owning the firearm. The bill signed forbids the collection of this data unless it is directly involved in a criminal investigation. This bill may stop the pernicious practice of some agencies of entering the serial number of any firearm that they encounter into the ATF trace system, even though no crime has been committed.
These two bills are all that remains of over two dozen pro-rights bills that were submitted to the legislature. Most bills never made it to the Governor's desk. While Governor Brewer signed these bills, she allowed many bills to die that could have made it with a little encouragement from the Governor's office.
On April 17th, she vetoed a bill that would have eliminated the age cap on who is a member of the state militia. The cap is currently set at 45 years of age. Eliminating the age cap would have resulted in all able bodied residents being defined as state militia members.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten Permission to share granted as long as this notice is included.