Thursday, April 24, 2014

AZ: Legislature Sends Reform of Firearms Definition to Governor

On 22 April, the Arizona legislature passed SB 1366, a reform of the definition of what is a firearm in Arizona law.  The legislation now goes to Governor Brewer, who has 5 working days to veto it, sign it, or allow it to become law.  The fate of the bill was uncertain until the last minute.   The bills supporters were able to use parliamentary maneuvering to bring the bill up for a vote, where it passed easily.

Arizona has long suffered under two potentially contradictory definitions of what is a firearm under the law.   I taught these two definitions for fifteen years as a concealed carry instructor, and no one could ever be sure which definition would be applied to any given situation.  The problem was that one part of the law defined a firearm as a device that expelled a projectile by means of an explosion, while another defined a firearm as a device that expels a projectile by means of explosive expansion of a gas.   This was sometimes used to include airguns as firearms.   The new definition would change both to be the same, and include these words:
 rapidly expanding gases created by a burning propellant or burning powder.

The new definition  positively removes airguns from the definition of firearms.  

It seems likely that Governor Brewer will sign the bill.   She recently vetoed two gun law reform bills and may feel the need to mend fences with second amendment supporters.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

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