SB 1102, the Senate version of Constitutional Carry may have been stalled by a few Senate Republicans “crossing the aisle” to vote with Democrats to add the Cheuvront amendment, but that doesn’t mean it’s “game over” for Constitutional Carry in Arizona. We are working with Senator Russell Pearce, the bill’s sponsor, to find a way to move the bill forward in its proper form. There is still hope for the Senate version of the bill.
Even though the situation in the Senate remains tenuous, all is still not lost. AzCDL plans ahead! At the beginning of this session, identical versions of Constitutional Carry were introduced in both the House and Senate. The House version, HB 2347, was assigned to both the Judiciary and Military Affairs and Public Safety (MAPS) committees. HB 2347 passed out of the MAPS Committee on February 3, 2010, by a 5-2 vote. Though it didn’t seem to be moving in the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Adam Driggs assured us that he supported the bill, and was only waiting to see that the concerns of stakeholders had been addressed via negotiated amendments. On Tuesday, February 23rd, true to his word, Representative Driggs withdrew HB 2347 from the Judiciary Committee. It will now be scheduled for a review by the House Rules Committee before heading to a floor debate in the Committee of the Whole. Please take a minute to thank Chairman Driggs for his support: http://azcdl.capwiz.com/bio/id/158343 .
Amendments were made to the bills mainly to address law enforcement’s concerns, but the underlying restoration of the right to carry concealed without a permit remains unchanged. As a result, most rank and file law enforcement organizations have dropped their opposition to the Constitutional Carry bills. The highlights of the current version of these bills include:
- Eliminating the prohibition and penalties for law-abiding adults who carry a concealed weapon without a permit in Arizona except in places, like restaurants serving alcohol, where the law requires a CCW permit.
- Increasing the penalties for criminals who carry a concealed weapon in the commission or attempted commission of a serious, violent, or major felony crime.
- Requiring a person carrying a concealed weapon to notify a Law Enforcement Officer, upon their request, that the person possesses a concealed weapon.
- Adding more training options for obtaining a CCW permit.
- Eliminating the storage requirement for CCW permit holders who enter a “non-secure” public building.
- Allowing LEOSA certified retired Law Enforcement Officers to carry on school grounds.
- Requiring confiscated firearms to be sold to an appropriate retailer rather than destroyed.
In other news, also on February 23rd, Representative Driggs released HB 2543, the House version of the firearms preemption bill, from his committee. HB 2543 passed out of the House Military Affairs and Public Safety (MAPS) Committee on February 17th by a vote of 7-1 with a recommendation for passage by the full House.
SB 1168, the Senate version of the firearms preemption bill, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 22nd by a vote of 4-3 with a recommendation for passage by the full Senate.
Both firearms preemption bills will be reviewed in their respective Rules Committees before proceeding to Committee of the Whole (COW) debates.
SB 1153, the knife preemption bill, passed in the Senate Third Read on February 22, 2010 by a vote of 20-9 with one member not voting. It has been transmitted to the House.
On February 24, 2010, HCR 2008, which would, subject to voter approval, establish a Constitutional right to hunt and fish, passed out of the House MAPS Committee by a vote of 6-1 with one member voting present.
We received word that the Utah Firearms Freedom Act (SB 11) has passed their legislature, and is awaiting the Governor's signature. Sponsors of the Arizona Firearms Freedom Act (HB 2307 & SB 1098) have asked us to spread the word to encourage Utah Governor Gary Herbert to sign SB 11. His numbers are (toll free) 800-705-2464 and (local) 801-538-1000.
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