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ARIZONA CITIZENS DEFENSE LEAGUE

Protecting Your Freedom

Check here and at our Legislative Action Center for the latest news.
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April 18, 2014

Legislative Update.

Good news!  The Governor signed HB 2103 and HB 2483.  We thank everyone who took the time to contact the Governor about these bills.  You made a difference!

There are 3 other pro-rights firearms bills, HB 2338, 2339 and 2517, awaiting a decision by the Governor.  She has 5 days, not including Sunday, to make a decision on legislation sent to her for consideration.  If she takes no action by the 5th day, the bills automatically become law.  The deadline for HB 2339 and HB 2517 is Tuesday, April 22.  For HB 2338 the deadline is Wednesday, April 23.

Individual messages, urging the Governor to sign the following bills, have been prepared and are waiting for you to send at AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center

HB 2338 - The AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of your legally possessed firearm.

HB 2339 - The AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public buildings unless everyone entering is screened for weapons.

HB 2517 - Would add penalties for cities and counties violating state firearms preemption law.

There is still one House bill, HB 2535 which would require local law enforcement to sign required NFA transfers within 60 days after receiving a request for certification, which has not been sent to the Governor.  It passed out of the Senate Committee of the Whole (COW) hearing on Thursday, April 17.  We are expecting a Third Read vote on Monday, April 21.  Timing is critical since the Legislature is expected to adjourn next week.  If you have not yet sent your message to your Senator urging them to support HB 2535, please do so right away!  Click here to send your letter.

We still have two Senate bills, SB 1063 and SB 1366, which also need your help.

SB 1063, the AzCDL-requested bill that would make “no firearms” signs on public buildings unenforceable unless the statutory weapons storage requirements are followed, is being sidelined in the House Rules Committee because Chairman Bob Robson has decided to kill the bill.  Chairman Robson has informed us that he feels the bill should not move forward because it is essentially the same as HB 2339, which has already been sent to the Governor.  Needless to say, we disagree.

SB 1366, which clarifies the definition of a firearm, was scheduled for a House COW hearing on Thursday, April 17, but was “retained” (pulled from the calendar) and has been tentatively rescheduled for a COW hearing on Monday, April 21.  If it is retained again, its chances for passage this session are diminished significantly.

We have prepared a message for you to send to the House Leadership, urging them to get behind these bills and get them to the House floor where they can get a fair hearing before being sent to the Governor.  We need EVERYONE to contact the House Leadership.  Click here to send your message

April 17, 2014

Governor Brewer signs HB 2103.

On April 17, Governor Brewer signed HB 2103, the AzCDL-requested bill extending CCW permit eligibility to those with military service who are least 19 years old.

April 17, 2014

Governor Brewer signs HB 2483

On April 16, shortly after it was sent to her, Governor Brewer signed HB 2483 which strengthens the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property.

April 16, 2014

Bills sent to the Governor.

On Tuesday, April 16, the Senate approved the 5 pro-rights firearm bills listed below.  4 of them have already been sent to the Governor and we expect the 5th bill, HB 2338, to be sent to the Governor very shortly.

HB 2103 - The AzCDL-requested bill lowering the age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service.
 
HB 2338 - The AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of a legally possessed (i.e., your) firearm.

HB 2339 - The AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public buildings unless everyone entering is screened for weapons.

HB 2483 - Would strengthen the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property.
 
HB 2517 - Would add penalties for cities and counties violating state firearms preemption law.

April 11, 2014

Hearings Scheduled.

Good news!  The bills listed below have been scheduled for Senate Committee of the Whole (COW) hearings on Monday, April 14.  We thank everyone who has already contacted their Senator!

HB 2339, the AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public buildings unless everyone entering is screened for weapons.

HB 2483, which would strengthen the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property.
 
HB 2517, which would add penalties for cities and counties violating state firearms preemption law.

HB 2535, which would require local law enforcement to sign required NFA transfers within 60 days after receiving a request for certification.

We expect the following bills to be heard later in the week. 

HB 2103, the AzCDL-requested bill lowering the age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service, has cleared the Consent calendar and the Majority and Minority caucuses, allowing it to bypass a COW hearing.  It will soon be scheduled for a Senate Third Read vote.
 
HB 2338, the AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of a legally possessed (i.e., your) firearm, passed out of the Senate Rules Committee on April 9, and will soon be scheduled for a Senate COW hearing.

SB 1063, the AzCDL-requested bill that would make “no firearms” signs on public buildings unenforceable unless the statutory weapons storage requirements are followed, needs to pass out of the House Rules Committee before it can proceed to a House COW hearing.

SB 1366, which clarifies the definition of a firearm, also need to pass out of the House Rules Committee before it can proceed to a House COW hearing.

April 5, 2013

Legislative Update – Budget Delays.

Like the week before, the Arizona Legislature spent this week on budget issues.  Once they are done with the budget, there will be a rush to process the remaining bills and close the session. 

In anticipation of bills being rushed into COW hearings and Third and Final Read votes, we have prepared individual letters, to be sent to your Representatives and Senator, on the high-priority pro-rights firearms bills that we support.  They are available now at AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center. 

March 31, 2014

Pistol Raffle Winners Drawn.

At the Tucson gun show on Sunday, March 30, the three winning tickets for AzCDL’s latest raffles were drawn.  Each winner receives a new Glock Model 23 Gen 4 pistol.

And the winners are……

Ticket #623 belonging to AzCDL member Dennis in San Tan Valley, Arizona.
Ticket #701 belonging to AzCDL member David in Maricopa, Arizona.
Ticket #232 belonging to Vickie in Olympia, Washington.

We thank everyone who purchased a raffle ticket!  Your donations help in our fight to restore and protect your right to bear arms in Arizona.

March 28, 2014

Legislative Update - Budget Week.

The Arizona Legislature spent this week on budget issues.  Once they are done with the budget, there will be a rush to process the remaining bills and close the session by the 100 day Constitutional deadline (April 22).

The status of all the bills that AzCDL is watching this session can be found on our Bill Tracking page. 

In anticipation of bills being rushed into Committee of the Whole (COW) hearings and Third and Final Read votes, we have prepared individual letters, to be sent to your Representatives and Senator, on high-priority pro-rights firearms bills that we support.  They are available now at AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center.  You can send them as is or modify them with your comments.  As these bills are scheduled for hearings and votes, we will update the letters and notify you via Action Alerts.

AzCDL’s full-time lobbyists have been working hard at the Capitol throughout the session, meeting with legislators and testifying in hearings to push these bills through.  Now it’s up to you!  Your involvement in contacting your legislators largely determines whether these bills pass or fail this session.  A few mouse clicks and about 30 seconds of your time at our Legislative Action Center is all that’s required to make a difference. 

March 21, 2014

Legislative Update.  Firearms Bills Survive Deadline.

We thank everyone who took the time to contact their legislators using AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center.  Your activism made a difference!

All AzCDL-requested bills passed out of their originating chamber (House or Senate) last week and were heard in committee this week before the March 21 deadline.  With the state budget being negotiated as this is written, the session could come to an end within weeks, and so all bills must effectively be immediately ready to send to the Governor.  We will need your assistance in contacting your Legislators as bills approach Committee of the Whole (COW) and floor votes.

The following firearms bills have crossed chambers, passed out of committee and are still viable.  The status of all the bills that AzCDL is watching this session can be found on our Bill Tracking page. 

HB 2103, the AzCDL-requested bill lowering the age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.
 
HB 2322, which was amended in the House so that it would only provide data on mental health adjudications to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) system, as required by federal law, passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee hearing on March 19.  As long as no further amendments are added to the current language of this bill, our position will remain neutral.
 
HB 2336, which clarifies that law enforcement officers cannot carry a firearm and consume alcohol at licensed liquor establishments unless in the performance of their duties, passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee on March 19.

HB 2338, the AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of a legally possessed (i.e., your) firearm, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.

HB 2339, the AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public buildings unless everyone entering is screened for weapons, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.

HB 2443, which would allow active duty military personnel stationed in Arizona to obtain hunting permits, passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Rural Affairs (NRRA) committee hearing on March 19.

HB 2483, which would strengthen the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property, passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee on March 19.
 
HB 2517, which would add penalties for cities and counties violating state firearms preemption law, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.

HB 2535 (amended), which would require local law enforcement to sign required NFA transfers within 60 days after receiving a request for certification, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.

SB 1063, the AzCDL-requested bill that would make “no firearms” signs on public buildings unenforceable unless the statutory weapons storage requirements are followed, passed out the House Judiciary Committee on March 20.

SB 1118, dealing with criminal trespass by hunters, passed out of the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs (PSMRA) Committee on March 12 and House Rules Committee on March 18.

SB 1266 (amended), which would allow judicial officials to carry non-prohibited weapons in their workplace, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on March 13 and the House Rules Committee on March 18. 

SB 1366 (replaced SB 1064), which clarifies that a firearm, by definition, uses a burning propellant, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on March 13.

The following bills did not survive the March 21 deadline.

HB 2412, which would allow designated individuals meeting certain training requirements to carry firearms on K-12 school grounds, was never scheduled for a House Committee of the Whole (COW) debate or Third Read vote.

SB 1294, which would void (in Arizona) any federal law that violates the Second Amendment, was never scheduled for a Senate COW debate or Third Read vote.

March 16, 2014

Front Sight 2014 - Final Call.

This is the final call for those interested in joining us on our fifth annual trek to Front Sight’s Nevada facility for a 4 day Defensive Handgun class that runs from Friday, April 11 through Monday, April 14, 2014.  Following the 4 day class, for those interested, is a one day class that, combined with the 4 day class, meets the qualifications for the Nevada, Utah and Florida CCW permits.  Information about these classes can be found at Front Sight’s website.

Each student is expected to make their own course and hotel reservations.  However, AzCDL has reserved a block of hotel rooms at the Saddle West hotel in Pahrump, about a 20 minute drive from Front Sight and is working with Front Sight to ensure all AzCDL students a placed in the same class. 

For more information about making your own class and hotel reservations please contact Duke.

To learn more about what to expect during your visit to Front Sight, along with information about gear to bring, ordering lunches, etc. please check out: http://www.frontsight.com/FirearmTraining/front-sight.asp.

AzCDL also maintains a Yahoo! discussion group for our Front Sight attendees’ use.  Feel free to join and post any questions or comments you may have about the upcoming classes.

March 14, 2014

Legislative Update.  Your activism got results!

We thank everyone who took the time to contact their legislators using AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center.  Your efforts paid dividends! 

All but one AzCDL-requested bill passed out of their originating chamber (House or Senate) this week and are on track to be heard in committee before the upcoming March 21 deadline, which requires that all House bills are heard in Senate committees and all Senate bills are heard in House committees.  Any bills not meeting the Friday, March 21 deadline are effectively dead for the remainder of the 2014 session.

The following is the status of the bills that AzCDL is monitoring.  The status of all the bills that AzCDL is watching this session can be found on our Bill Tracking page. 

HB 2103, the AzCDL-requested bill lowering the age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service, passed out of the House on March 10 and is calendared for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.
 
HB 2127, which was a bill removing the prohibition for wildlife guides to carry a firearm other than a handgun, has been replaced by a “strike everything” amendment changing the language to an expenditure bill no longer related to firearms.  AzCDL is no longer tracking this bill.

HB 2322 (amended), which proposes to provide data on mental health adjudications to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) system, as required by federal law, passed out of the House on March 5 and is calendared for a Senate Public Safety Committee hearing on March 19.  AzCDL no longer opposes this bill, assuming no further amendments are offered.

HB 2336, which clarifies that law enforcement officers cannot carry a firearm and consume alcohol at licensed liquor establishments unless in the performance of their duties, passed out of the House on March 13.  As this was being written, HB 2336 has not been assigned to a Senate committee.

HB 2338, the AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of a legally possessed (i.e., your) firearm, passed out of the House on March 13 and has been calendared for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.

HB 2339, the AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public buildings unless everyone entering is screened for weapons, passed out of the House on March 12 and has been calendared for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.

HB 2412, which would allow designated individuals meeting certain training requirements to carry firearms on K-12 school grounds, has yet to be scheduled for a House Committee of the Whole (COW) debate or Third Read vote.

HB 2443, which would allow active duty military personnel stationed in Arizona to obtain hunting permits, was sent to the Senate on February 25 and is calendared for a Senate Natural Resources and Rural Affairs (NRRA) committee hearing on March 19.

HB 2483, which would strengthen the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property, has yet to be scheduled for a House Committee of the Whole (COW) debate or Third Read vote.

HB 2517, which would add penalties for cities and counties violating state firearms preemption law, passed out of the House on March 12 and has been calendared for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.

HB 2535 (amended), which would require local law enforcement to sign required NFA transfers within 60 days after receiving a request for certification, passed out of the House on March 13 and has been calendared for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17.

SB 1063, the AzCDL-requested bill that would make “no firearms” signs on public buildings unenforceable unless the statutory weapons storage requirements are followed, failed to pass out of an initial Senate Third Read vote on Wednesday, March 12, by a tie vote of 14-14, with 2 Senators not voting.  However, by changing his vote to “No” before the voting was closed the sponsor of SB 1063, Senator Rick Murphy, made the bill eligible for a reconsideration vote.

SB 1118, dealing with criminal trespass by hunters, was sent to the House on February 6 and passed out of the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs (PSMRA) committee on March 12.

SB 1266 (amended), which would allow judicial officials to carry non-prohibited weapons in their workplace, subject to rules set by the presiding judge, was sent to the House on February 28 and passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on March 13.  AzCDL no longer opposes this bill, assuming no further amendments are offered.

SB 1294, which would void (in Arizona) any federal law that violates the Second Amendment, has yet to be scheduled for a Senate COW debate or Third Read vote.

SB 1366 (replaced SB 1064), which clarifies that a firearm, by definition, uses a burning propellant, was sent to the House on March 7 and passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on March 13.

This coming week will determine the fate of most pro-rights firearms bills.  We do not anticipate a need to contact committee members at this point.

March 10, 2014

Good News!
 
Thanks to your activism, on Monday, March 10, HB 2103, the AzCDL-requested bill lowering the age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service, not only passed out of the House Committee of the Whole (COW) but also passed a formal House Third Read by a vote of 39 to 18.  From here it goes to the Senate.

The following bills are waiting for a House COW debate:

HB 2338, the AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of a legally possessed (i.e., your) firearm.
 
HB 2339, the AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public buildings unless everyone entering is screened for weapons.

HB 2483, which would strengthen the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property.

HB 2517, which would add penalties for cities and counties violating state firearms preemption law.

More good news!  Over in the Senate, SB 1063, the AzCDL-requested bill that would make “no firearms” signs on public buildings unenforceable unless the statutory weapons storage requirements are followed, passed out of the Senate COW on Monday, March 10 and will soon be scheduled for a Senate Third Read vote.

March 8, 2014

Using AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance and impact of your emails to your legislators.  AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center is where you get to personally demand that Arizona legislators and the Governor protect your rights.  And, we make it easy for you with pre-written messages that take less than a minute of your time to send out.

In addition to using the direct links to letters we provide in our Legislative Alerts, you can view the issues needing your action by visiting our Hot Issues page and looking under the bright red “Take Action!” banner on the right side of the page. 

Clicking on the links under the Take Action banner will first take you a page to verify or enter your contact information for sending the prepared message to your legislator.  Clicking on the red “Submit” button at the bottom of the form will take you directly to the message we have waiting for you to send.  You can send it as is or personalize it with your own comments.  Once you are done, click on the Submit button again and your message will be sent.

When it comes to legislation, your silence is viewed by politicians as acceptance of the status quo.

If you encounter any difficulty with our Legislative Action Center, please contact Fred, AzCDL’s Treasurer.

March 7, 2014

Key Votes on Key Bills coming soon.

Several important gun bills have been shaken out of the House Rules Committee and are headed for House Committee of the Whole (COW) debates, and one Senate bill will be debated in the Senate COW on Monday, March 10.  Your legislators need to hear from you!

Emails to your respective Representatives and Senator about these bills have been prepared and are waiting for you to send at AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center.  You may send the messages as is, or personalize them with your own comments.

The bills that will soon be debated in the House COW are:

HB 2103, the AzCDL-requested bill lowering the age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service.  This bill has been scheduled for a House COW hearing on Monday, March 10.

HB 2338, the AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of a legally possessed (i.e., your) firearm.
 
HB 2339, the AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public buildings unless everyone entering is screened for weapons.

HB 2483, which would strengthen the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property.

HB 2517, which would add penalties for cities and counties violating state firearms preemption law.

In the Senate, the bill that is scheduled for a Senate COW debate on Monday, March 10 is SB 1063, the AzCDL-requested bill that would make “no firearms” signs on public buildings unenforceable unless the statutory weapons storage requirements are followed.

The progress of these bills is largely dependent upon what legislators hear from their constituents (you!).  Saying nothing is telling them you don’t care how they vote.  Expecting others to contact their legislators while you stay silent contributes to the defeat of these bills.  Stand tall and make a difference.

February 28, 2014

Legislative Update.

The February 21 deadline for bills to be heard in committees in their originating chamber (House or Senate) ended the progress of all but one of the bad bills (HB 2322) targeting your right to bear arms.  Unfortunately a handful of pro-rights firearms bills also failed to meet the deadline.  The following is the status of the remaining bills that AzCDL is monitoring.  The status of all the bills that AzCDL is monitoring this session can be found on our Bill Tracking page. 

HB 2103, the AzCDL-requested bill lowering the age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service, passed out of the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs (PSMRA) Committee on February 5 and needs a review by the House Rules Committee to proceed. 

HB 2127, which removes the prohibition for wildlife guides to carry a firearm other than a handgun, was sent to the Senate on February 18 and has been assigned to the Senate Natural Resources and Rural Affairs (NRRA) Committee.

HB 2322 (amended), which expands the data collected on Arizona citizens that is transmitted to FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS), passed out of the House Rules Committee on February 26.  Next stop for this bill is the House Committee of the Whole (COW).  True to his word, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Justin Pierce, will be proposing an amendment designed to scale the bill back to its intended purpose, which was to provide data on mental health adjudications to the NICS system.  We are in the process of reviewing the amendment language, but if it does what it’s supposed to do, and it is adopted during the COW hearing, we will revise our position to “Neutral”.  However, if none of these things come to pass, we will ask you to contact your Representatives via our Legislative Action Center, We will continue to keep a close eye on this one.

HB 2336, which clarifies that law enforcement officers cannot carry a firearm and consume alcohol at licensed liquor establishments unless in the performance of their duties, passed out of the House PSMRA Committee on February 12 and needs a review by the House Rules Committee to proceed.

HB 2338, the AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of a legally possessed (i.e., your) firearm, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 20 and needs a review by the House Rules Committee to proceed.

HB 2339, the AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public buildings unless everyone entering is screened for weapons, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 20 and needs a review by the House Rules Committee to proceed.

HB 2412, which would allow designated individuals meeting certain training requirements to carry firearms on K-12 school grounds, passed out of the House Appropriations Committee on February 26 and needs a review by the House Rules Committee to proceed.

HB 2443, which would allow active duty military personnel stationed in Arizona to obtain hunting permits, was sent to the Senate on February 25 and has been assigned to the Senate NRRA Committee.

HB 2483, which would strengthen the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property, passed out of the House Rules committee on February 18.  Unless there are objections, it will soon be scheduled for a Third Read vote in the House.

HB 2517, which would add penalties for cities and counties violating state firearms preemption law, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 13 and needs a review by the House Rules Committee to proceed.

HB 2535 (amended), which would require local law enforcement to sign required NFA transfers within 60 days after receiving a request for certification, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 20 and needs a review by the House Rules Committee to proceed.

As you can see, the bottleneck in the House is the Rules Committee, chaired by Representative Bob Robson.  The pattern of prior years is being repeated.  Certain pro-rights bills are waved through, while other bills are pigeon-holed for reasons known only to Chairman Robson.  To break this logjam, we may need your involvement via an upcoming Action Alert targeting this issue.  Stay tuned!

The following are Senate bills still in motion.

SB 1063, the AzCDL-requested bill that would make “no firearms” signs on public buildings unenforceable unless the statutory weapons storage requirements are followed, passed out of all Senate committees and is ready for a Senate COW hearing.  We will notify you via an Action Alert when the hearing is scheduled. 

SB 1064, which would consolidate the definition of a firearm, is dead because of the lack of consensus among the bill’s stakeholders.  However a modified version of the language in SB 1064 has replaced the language in SB 1366 via a “strike everything” amendment.

SB 1118, dealing with criminal trespass by hunters, was sent to the House on February 6 and was assigned to the House PSMRA committee.

SB 1266 (amended), which would now allow judicial officials to carry non-prohibited weapons in their workplace, subject to rules set by the presiding judge, passed out of the Senate COW on February 26.

SB 1294, which would void (in Arizona) any federal law that violates the Second Amendment, passed out of the Senate Rules Committee on February 24.  Next stop is the Senate COW.

SB 1366 is a new bill on our watch list.  It replaced SB 1064 via a “strike everything” amendment in the Senate Appropriations Committee, where it passed out of committee on February 25.  The language in SB 1366 clarifies that a firearm, by definition, uses a burning propellant.  The language describing an unlawful discharge of a firearm (ARS 13-3107) would refer to the new definition.  Next stop for SB 1366 is the Senate Rules Committee.

February 22, 2014

Legislative Update.

We thank everyone who contacted the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs (PSMRA) Committee about HB 2322, sponsored by Committee Chairman Justin Pierce.  Despite receiving over a thousand of your emails in opposition, on February 19 the committee voted to pass an amended version of HB 2322 by a 6 to 1 margin.  The lone legislator to vote against HB 2322 was David Livingston (LD-22).  During the hearing the overwhelming opinion we heard from committee members was that this was a bad bill but they were going to vote for it anyway, based on the sponsor’s assurance that it will be further amended later.  Sadly, AzCDL was the only organization who registered formal opposition to the bill.

The fact that HB 2322 was amended by the committee to remove language making prohibited firearm possessors out of anyone simply charged with, but not convicted of, certain firearms and domestic violence offenses gives us some hope.  However, what remains is still unacceptable, and casts too wide a net to stigmatize, track and monitor far too many people in yet another government database.  We are committed to oppose HB 2322 until it is either amended properly to protect the rights of Arizona’s law-abiding gun owners, or is defeated.

Now, for some really good news!  Because Friday, February 21, was the last day for bills to be heard by primary committees in their originating chamber (House or Senate), all the bills filed this session aimed at restricting your right to keep and bear arms, with the exception of HB 2322, are effectively dead.   In the not-so-good news, a small number of pro-rights bills also took a hit with the February 21 deadline.  However, there are still a dozen other pro-rights firearms bills that are viable and progressing through the legislative process.  The status of these bills, along with all other bills that AzCDL is monitoring, can be found on our Bill Tracking page.

More good news!  The following pro-rights bills beat the February 21 deadline and passed out of committee this week:

HB 2338 - An AzCDL-requested bill that adds to the definition of Aggravated Assault the illegal taking, or attempted taking, of a legally possessed (i.e., your) firearm.

HB 2339 - An AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry in public (state and local government) facilities unless everyone entering is screened for weapons.

HB 2535 - Would require local law enforcement to sign required NFA transfers within 15 days after receiving a request for certification (amended in committee to 60 days).

Also moving in the right direction this week are the following pro-rights bills:

HB 2127, which would remove the prohibition on wildlife guides carrying any firearm but a handgun, passed out of the House and was sent to the Senate on February 18.  From here, the process of committee hearings and floor votes starts all over again.

HB 2443, which would allow active duty military personnel stationed in Arizona to obtain hunting permits, managed to get out of the House Rules committee on February 18.

HB 2483, which would strengthen the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air guns and archery equipment on private property, also passed out of the House Rules committee on February 18. 

The next major deadline is a month from now on Friday, March 21.  That’s when all bills originating the House must be heard in Senate committees and all bills originating in the Senate must be heard in House committees.

February 16, 2014

Legislative Update.

The status and summaries of bills that AzCDL is monitoring can be found on our Bill Tracking page.

The last day for House bills to be filed was Monday, February 10.  The Senate deadline was the prior week.  Almost 1,300 bills were filed this session.  The deadline for all bills to be heard in committees in their originating chamber (House or Senate) is less than a week away on Friday, February 21.  Most of the bills filed this session will not make it past the February 21 committee hearing deadline.

In the Senate, SB 1063 and SB 1064 have passed out of their assigned committees and will soon be scheduled for Committee of the Whole (COW) hearings, where the entire Senate debates them.  We will be calling on you to contact your Senator to support these bills via our Legislative Action Center when their COW hearings are scheduled.
 
SB 1063 is an AzCDL-requested bill.  If a Public (state or local government) facility bans firearms, but is not in compliance with the statutory storage requirements, a person entering with a firearm would not be violating the law.  Slapping up a cardboard sign but not providing readily accessible storage won’t cut it.

SB 1064, also an AzCDL-requested bill, standardizes the statutory definition of a firearm.  Under current law, there are two definitions.  One is broad enough to include air-guns. Because of this, an innocent target shooting session with your kids and an air rifle could result in a felony prosecution for discharging a firearm.

Also in the Senate, SB 1294 passed out of the Judiciary Committee on February 10.  Under SB 1294, any federal law that violates the Second Amendment would be void in Arizona and it would be illegal for any state agency or employee to enforce federal firearms laws.  SB 1294 must pass out of the Rules Committee before being sent to the COW.

Over in the House, the following bills passed out of their primary committees this week:

HB 2336 - Clarifies that law enforcement officers cannot carry a firearm and consume alcohol at licensed liquor establishments unless in the performance of their duties.

HB 2443 - Would allow active duty military personnel stationed in Arizona to obtain resident hunting licenses.

HB 2517 - Would add penalties for political subdivisions that enact ordinances that violate state firearms preemption law.  This bill would also allow for civil actions by those adversely affected by illegal ordinances. 

The following firearms bills are scheduled for hearings in the coming week.

HB 2339 is scheduled for a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, February 20.  This is an AzCDL-requested bill that would allow CCW permit holders to carry firearms into Public facilities unless procedures are in place to screen all those who enter the building for weapons.

SB 1266 is scheduled for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday, February 17.  This is the “judges carrying machine guns into kindergarten classrooms” bill that would exempt judicial officers (e.g., judges) from many weapons misconduct laws.  A proposed amendment to the bill has been filed that would limit the scope of the bill to carrying non-prohibited weapons in the facility where the judicial officer works, subject to rules set by the presiding judge.  If the amendment is accepted by the committee AzCDL will drop our opposition to the bill.

To date, all firearms related bills that have passed out of their initial House committees are still awaiting a hearing by the House Rules Committee, chaired by Representative Bob Robson.  The Rules Committee exists primarily to make sure proposed legislation is properly drafted and Constitutional. 

However, experience has proven that the Rules Committee can sometimes be used by the Legislative Leadership and/or the committee chair to delay bills that don’t conform to their personal political agendas.  We sincerely hope that is not happening here, but if the delays continue, we may need to call upon you to contact the members of the Rules Committee and urge them to move these bills.

February 12, 2014

AzCDL’s latest Newsletter available online.

The AzCDL Newsletter for February 2014 is available for viewing and downloading.

Included in this issue are:

  • Pending 2014 firearms legislation.
  • NICS expansion.
  • Legislative Activism Contest.

February 11, 2014

Join us at Front Sight!

You are invited to join AzCDL on our fifth annual trek to Front Sight’s Nevada facility for a 4 day Defensive Handgun class that runs from Friday, April 11 through Monday, April 14, 2014.  Following the 4 day class, on Tuesday April 15, is a one day class that, combined with the 4 day class, meets the qualifications for the Nevada, Utah and Florida CCW permits.  Information about these classes can be found at Front Sight’s website.

Don’t let the “suggested retail” cost of the classes scare you.  Not only are affordable course certificates available from AzCDL members and online sources such as eBay, all-inclusive Front Sight Diamond memberships, which allow you to attend all Front Sight classes as often as you want, are available at AzCDL’s online store at a steeply discounted price (scroll to the bottom of the online store page).

Because Front Sight trains several thousand students every year, and the Spring months provide a better climate, classes and hotels fill up fast.  Each student is expected to make their own course and hotel reservations.  However, AzCDL has reserved a block of hotel rooms at a special rate for these classes, at the Saddle West hotel in Pahrump, about a 20 minute drive from Front Sight and is working with Front Sight to ensure all AzCDL students are placed in the same class.

For more information about making your own class and hotel reservations please contact AzCDL Board member Duke Schechter.

To learn more about what to expect during your visit to Front Sight, along with information about gear to bring, ordering lunches, etc. please check out: http://www.frontsight.com/FirearmTraining/front-sight.asp.

AzCDL also maintains a Yahoo! discussion group for our Front Sight attendees’ use.  Feel free to join and post any questions or comments you may have about the upcoming classes.

February 7, 2014

Legislative Update.

The status and summaries of bills that AzCDL is monitoring can be found on our Bill Tracking page.

Important pro-rights firearms bills are on track, have been assigned to committees, and do not need any coordinated email push - yet.  However, we encourage you to contact legislators about any bill that is of particular importance to you.  It’s good to remind them that you are watching.

The Senate deadline for filing bills was this past Monday, February 3.  The House deadline for filing bills is this coming Monday, February 10.  All bills that have been filed must be heard in committee in the originating chamber (House or Senate) by February 21, or they are effectively dead for the session.

Bills that have passed out of committee this week are:

HB 2103, an AzCDL-requested bill that lowers the age limit for CCW permit eligibility to 19 for those with military service, passed out of the House PSMRA (Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs) Committee on February 5.

HB 2483, which strengthens the protection of the lawful use of firearms, air-guns and archery equipment on private property, passed out of the House Judiciary committee on February 6.

The following bills are scheduled for committee hearings this coming week.

Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, February 10, 2014:

SB 1294 - Declares that federal law that violates the Second Amendment is invalid and void in Arizona and prohibits state and local enforcement of federal firearms laws within the state. 

House PSMRA, Wednesday, February 12, 2014:

HB 2336 - Clarifies that law enforcement officers cannot carry a firearm and consume alcohol at licensed liquor establishments unless in the performance of their duties.  No such restrictions exist in current law.  However law-abiding citizens are forbidden to carry in establishments that serve alcohol unless they possess a CCW permit and the establishment has not posted a “no firearms” sign.

HB 2443 - Would allow active duty military personnel stationed in Arizona to obtain hunting permits.

February 1, 2014

Legislative Update.

The status and summaries of bills that AzCDL is monitoring can be found on our Bill Tracking page.

At this point important pro-rights bills are on track.  We thank everyone who contacted Representative Justin Pierce about his bill, HB 2322, which would have made people charged (but not convicted) with certain crimes prohibited possessors.  Rep. Pierce said he has received hundreds of your emails about HB 2322 and has assured us the bill will not progress without ensuring Arizona’s law abiding gun owners are protected. 

At the end of the third week of the 2014 legislative session, over 150 new bills have been filed.  Among them are a handful of firearms bills.  In the “What were they thinking?” category are the following.

Representative Juan Mendez filed HB 2518 which would negate justification of the use of deadly force statutes if you leave a “place of safety” (undefined) to pursue someone engaged in a “lawful activity” (undefined) or if a law enforcement officer requests that you retreat to a “place of safety” .  So if a law enforcement officer, who is not present on the scene, advises you to retreat to your home or car for your own safety, and, while attempting to do so, some event occurs that prevents you from doing so, Rep. Mendez’s bill would remove any justification for your subsequent act of self-defense, and turn you into the criminal.  Why would any legislator craft a law that requires people to retreat in the face of danger when they may not have the option? What if the criminal decides not to cooperate with the officers’ instructions?  Whose side are these people on?

Representative Victoria Steele filed HB 2542 which would require you to keep your firearms unloaded and locked away if someone under 18 might be able to gain access to them.  And, if some young gangbanger steals your firearm that is not locked up, you have committed a misdemeanor.  If they injure themselves or another with your firearm, you are guilty of a felony.  Why would Rep. Steele sponsor a bill that treats young thugs like victims and turns law-abiding citizens into felons?

Senator Steve Pierce filed SB 1266 which would exempt judicial officials (e.g., judges) from many of the weapons misconduct laws, which include possessing or transferring prohibited weapons, possessing a defaced firearm (one where the serial numbers have been removed), and carrying a weapon into public buildings or events, school yards, polling places and power generating facilities.  While state law prohibits you from having your firearm handy when dropping off your children at school, under Senator Pierce’s bill, a judge could walk into your kids’ classroom carrying a defaced, sawed-off shotgun.  Why do judges need this kind of special treatment?  They work in buildings where weapons are banned and are surrounded by armed guards.  They have the protection of Constitutional Carry and can obtain a CCW permit like any other law-abiding citizen.

We are keeping a close watch on these and other important firearms related bills.

January 25, 2014

Legislative Update.

The status and summaries of bills that AzCDL is monitoring can be found on our Bill Tracking page.

At the end of the second week of the 2014 legislative session, almost 750 bills have been filed.  The deadline for filing Senate bills is February 3 and the House deadline is February 10, plenty of time for several hundred more bills to be filed.

The first indicator of whether bills progress after filing is their committee assignment.  Bills not assigned to a committee by the hearing deadline are effectively dead.  Committee assignments are controlled by the leadership in each chamber (House and Senate) and can reflect their political agenda.  So far the majority of the bills we are monitoring have yet to be assigned to a committee, yet one very dangerous anti-rights bill, HB 2356, has been assigned to the House Health and PSMRA (Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs) committees.

HB 2356 is a firearms confiscation bill disguised as a “mental health” bill.  It would allow a law enforcement officer to make a determination of your mental health, request a court ordered mental evaluation and seize your firearms.  The definition of “mentally ill” by those supporting this bill can probably be best summarized as anyone possessing a firearm.  We are monitoring this bill very closely.

Once a bill is assigned to a committee, the committee chair determines when, or if, the bill gets a hearing.  The deadline for all bills to be heard in the originating chamber is March 21.  So far, two pro-rights bills, SB 1063 and SB 1064 have passed out favorably from their initial committee assignment.  SB 1063 would make unenforceable any “no firearms” sign at a Public (state and local government) establishment if they were not in compliance with the statutory storage requirements.  SB 1064 standardizes the definition of a firearm.

January 19, 2014

Legislative Session Underway.

The Arizona legislative session officially started on Monday, January 13.  At the end of the first week of the session over 630 bills have been filed.  Several hundred more are expected to be filed in the coming weeks. 

The status and summaries of bills that AzCDL is monitoring can be found on our Bill Tracking page.  We recommend you bookmark the page and check it daily.

So far the pro-rights firearms bills outnumber the bad bills.  AzCDL-requested bills this year include improvements to laws banning firearms in public (state and local government) buildings, stand your ground, justifications for the use of deadly force, temporary custody of your firearm by law enforcement, definition of a firearm, lowering the CCW permit age for military service, and increasing the criminal penalties for disarming a law-abiding citizen.

In addition to bills trying to roll-back many of the freedoms we’ve regained, the overall theme from the anti-rights folks is focused on expanding the list of those prohibited from possessing firearms, primarily through mental health and competency issues.  It appears to be part of a nationwide push.  Start with the permanent prohibition of firearms possession by the loosely defined mentally “ill” or “incompetent.”  Expand to require universal background checks that include mental health evaluations.  End with declaring that anyone who wants to possess a firearm must be mentally ill. 

In Arizona we found three bills tying mental health/competency to firearms ownership.  One (HB 2356) would give law enforcement officers the authority to determine anyone’s mental health and request a court ordered evaluation.  Adding to the usual suspects filing bills to strip you of your freedoms, Republican Representative Justin Pierce (LD 25) filed HB 2322 which would make anyone merely charged for certain offenses involving firearms and domestic violence prohibited possessors.  “Innocent until proven guilty” would no longer apply to gun ownership.

January 11, 2014

Legislative Activism Raffle.

This year we are expecting to see the introduction of legislation to repeal every firearms related freedom we have regained over the last 9 years.  Your participation in the Legislative process using AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center is more important now than ever before. 

To celebrate AzCDL’s ninth anniversary and to reward AzCDL members who have helped us “Protect Your Freedom” year after year by taking the time to contact legislators and the Governor, we are spicing things up with a contest for activism.

Every AzCDL member who sends EVERY email we provide for contacting legislators or the Governor during the 2014 legislative session, from our Legislative Action Center, will be entered into a drawing after the end of the legislative session for a $300 gift certificate from Brownells.

Since not everyone may be available during the entire session, we will also conduct a drawing for a $100 Brownell’s gift certificate.  Every AzCDL member who sends at least one AzCDL-prepared email from our Legislative Action Center during the 2014 legislative session but who did not win the “grand” prize will be eligible for this drawing.

This contest is open to AzCDL members only.  If you are subscribing to our Legislative Alerts but are not a member you need to join AzCDL.

The 2014 Arizona legislative session officially begins on Monday, January 13.  If you are an AzCDL member but have not subscribed to our Legislative Alerts, now is the time add your name as an activist committed to restoring and protecting the right to keep and bear arms in Arizona.

During the legislative session we send out weekly Legislative Alerts.  Check your spam and junk mail filters to make sure emails from AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center are not being blocked.  You can also check on issues needing your action by going to our Legislative Action Center and clicking on the “Hot Issues” tab.

January 5, 2014

2014 Legislative Session - What to Expect.

The 2014 Arizona legislative session officially begins on January 13.  In the meantime, legislators have already begun “pre-filing” bills.  The final deadline for filing new bills is February 10.  By then over 1,000 proposed legislative changes will have been introduced.

As bills are filed, we will sift through them for anything related to the right to keep and bear arms.  We then review the bills, add a summary and comments and make them available to you on our Bill Tracking page where their status is automatically updated as they progress through the legislature.

As we pointed out in our November newsletter (see page 2) several factors determine the fate of a bill once it is filed and there are several opportunities for YOU to influence the outcome.

At critical junctures in a bill’s progress, we will ask you to contact committee members, legislators or the governor using our Legislative Action Center where we will have pre-written emails ready for you to send.  All it takes is a few mouse clicks and about 30 seconds of your time to make a difference.  The more emails that are sent, the greater the prospects are for good bills to succeed and bad bills to fail.
 
This session we are also expecting an onslaught of bills to repeal every freedom we’ve regained.   With their recent lack of success at the federal level, the anti-rights groups with their deep-pocketed sugar daddies have turned their attention to the states.  With the firearms freedoms we enjoy, Arizona is the grand prize for these freedom haters.  We will need your help in defeating them.

December 17, 2013

10,000 AzCDL Members!

Congratulations to all our dedicated and hard working volunteers! 

At the Tucson gun show on Sunday, December 15th, Bill of Rights Day, AzCDL volunteers recruited our 10,000th member.

If you would like to be part of our winning team of volunteers, and help AzCDL become an even greater force for restoring and protecting the right to keep and bear arms in Arizona, please visit our Volunteer Page.

The 2014 legislative session starts in just a few weeks.  We are expecting an onslaught from Soros and Bloomberg funded anti-rights groups who, failing to get traction at the federal level, have turned their attention and money towards destroying our rights at the state level.  With strong protections to your right to bear arms, largely achieved through AzCDL-requested legislation, Arizona represents the grand prize for these freedom haters. 

The more members we have committed to making a difference, the greater AzCDL’s impact at the Legislature.  By working together and making our voices heard, not only can we show the bad guys that they don’t stand a chance in Arizona, we can push through legislation that further restores and protects our rights.

Can we count on you?  Doing nothing, or assuming the “other guy” will do the work for you, is just as bad as supporting the efforts being made to destroy your rights. 

Stay tuned and watch your in-box.  AzCDL members are automatically subscribed to our Legislative Alerts.  If you are not sure if you are subscribed, go here and sign up.

November 16, 2013

Your emails worked!

The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that, following exposure by AzCDL, Mayor Satish Hiremath of Oro Valley has withdrawn his affiliation with anti-freedom billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG)

We thank everyone responsible for the hundreds of emails that were sent to Mayor Hiremath and the other Arizona MAIG mayors.

June 30, 2013

Update – Show Low Shooting Range.

Once again, the members of AZCDL have made a difference!

Last June, the White Mountain Shooters Association (WMSA), based in Show Low, asked for your assistance in convincing the Forest Service to allow a shooting range on Forest lands.  You responded with e-mails and letters of support for the project.

We have been informed by WMSA that the Special Use Permit for the range has been authorized!  The positive response to the U.S. Forest Service was so overwhelming that the usual 45 day appeal period was not required and the project will proceed. 

Located just 5 miles outside of Show Low, the plan is to create a public range that is safe, supervised, and clean, compete with overhead cover and restrooms.   More information about the range and future plans can be found at the WMSA website.  The completion of the range will take volunteers, time and money.  Donations are welcome.  WMSA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax deductible.

WMSA has asked us to thank everyone who took the time to contact the Forest Service to get this project authorized.  You made a big difference!

March 18, 2013

Arizona rated best state for gun owners!

Guns and Ammo magazine recently rated all the states on how they treat the right to bear arms. 
Arizona was rated #1.

States were measured on “gun rights/friendliness to gun owners” by the following criteria:

  • CCW/Open Carry laws.
  • Treatment of “sporting” rifles (ARs, AKs, etc.).
  • Treatment of Class 3/NFA firearms.
  • Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground.
  • Miscellaneous issues like restrictions on gun or ammo purchases, magazine capacity, CCW reciprocity, etc.

All you need to do is look at AzCDL’s accomplishments to see why we are rated #1.

We are proud that AzCDL’s efforts, with your support, have garnered this high rating for Arizona from such a prestigious publication.  However, from our perspective there is a lot more that needs to be done to make Arizona truly a free state when it comes to honoring your constitutionally protected right to bear arms.  With your continued support we can achieve that goal.

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