From the AZCDL:
While the Legislature has been focusing on the budget, almost no attention has been paid to non-budget bills, yet the deadline for a bill to be heard in committee is March 13th. There over 1,000 bills that need to pass out of a committee in the next 4 weeks to stay in play. Virtually all firearms related bills are in this huge stack of bills waiting to be heard.I've called, e-mailed, and faxed all of the Senate leadership, with a cc to my own Senator, Senator Harper.
The good news is that the House finally assigned bills, including those which AzCDL is lobbying for, to committees. HB 2439, the AzCDL-requested CCW alternative training bill, has been assigned to the House Military Affairs and Public Safety (MAPS) committee. HB 2474, which prevents guns from being banned in locked vehicles in parking areas, has been assigned to the House Judiciary committee.
The bad news is that in the Senate, non-budget bills have not been assigned to any committees. It's time to let the Senate leadership know that you expect them to assign Constitutional Carry (SB 1270) and Defensive Display (SB 1243), along with other pro-rights bills, to committees for hearings.
The Senate leadership consists of:
Senate President, Senator Robert "Bob" Burns
Majority Leader, Senator Chuck Gray (sponsor and supporter of many AzCDL-requested bills)
Majority Whip, Senator Pamela Gorman
President Pro Tempore, Senator Thayer Verschoor
We urge all of you receiving this Alert to contact the Senate leadership, politely urging them to delay no further and start assigning pro-rights bills to committees for hearings immediately. A personal letter is always best. Below is a cut-and-paste template you may use as an example. Following the sample letter are the email addresses of the Senate leadership in both semi-colon and comma separated formats. Use the one compatible with your email software.
Subject: Please immediately assign SB 1270, SB 1243 and other pro-rights bills to Senate committees
The Arizona Citizens Defense League has informed me that bills not related to the budget have yet to be assigned to any Senate committees, yet by your own rules the deadline for hearing bills in committee is March 13th. That gives Senate committees barely 4 weeks to hear testimony, debate, and vote on, the fate of about 500 bills. The possibility that many pro-rights bills may not be heard this session, due to decisions made by the Senate leadership, is unfathomable.
I urge you, as a member of the Senate leadership, to have SB 1270 and SB 1243, along with other pro-rights bills, immediately assigned to Senate committees. SB 1270 and SB 1243 are critical to restoring and protecting my right to keep and bear arms, and I look forward to them being passed into law this session.
City, AZ zip-code
Below are the email addresses of the Senate leadership in both semi-colon and comma separation formats, along with a simple list of email addresses for those who encounter email address formatting problems. Use the list that is compatible with your email software.
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
List of members' email addresses:
Keep an eye on AzCDL's Legislative page for updates on legislation we are watching: http://www.azcdl.org/html/2009_bills.html .
When critical legislation comes before committees, we'll notify you via these Alerts.
These alerts are a project of the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL), an all volunteer, non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization. Join today!
AzCDL – Protecting Your Freedom
Copyright © 2009 Arizona Citizens Defense League, Inc., all rights reserved.
Update 1: I've received good news from two Senators so far:
From Senator Gorman:
As a fellow defender of 2nd amendment rights, a gun owner, and CCW permit holder, you have my assurance that pro-gun bills are NOT being held up by Senate leadership. Below is the email I am sending back to anyone who inquires about gun bill assignments. Please pass it on. There is no sense getting everyone all worked up needlessly as life has enough stress of its own these days, I think we can all agree. I hope that by understanding this, your blog readers can take this off their list of worries. Thank you!
"The Senate will begin hearing bills after the budget has been passed. There will be the normal number of weeks to hear both senate and house bills, as we will waive the rules to allow for the change in calendar that is necessitated by our state's fiscal crisis.
Please pass this information back to whatever source has encouraged you and others to send this same message to me. I don't want the citizen defense league to worry that these bills are in jeopardy just because of the unusual calendar we are keeping this year.
From Senator Harper:
We are going to suspend the rules to set new dates for bills to be heard by.