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Arizona Legislative Update 5/7/02

Tuesday, May 7, 2002

ANTI-GUN GROUP "AMERICANS FOR GUN SAFETY" REJECTED IN ARIZONA STATE SENATE

Gun owners won a battle in the Arizona State Senate yesterday, May 6, 2002. The victory over America`s newest gun control group can be attributed to an overwhelming grassroots campaign of gun owners and sportsmen. Congratulations to all of you who contacting your legislators. You made the difference!

The bill was HB 2329, Crime Gun Interdiction. It was sponsored by Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) and billionaire leader Andrew McKelvey. It mandated that law enforcement officers trace every firearm used in a crime. Of course, law enforcement already has the authority to trace firearms when the trace is appropriate and useful.

Also, the tracing mandate would have opened the door for future calls for gun control. Specifically, AGS and other gun control groups would be back next year telling legislators that there are "loopholes" that prevent 100% success with the newly mandated traces. They would argue that certain "loopholes" must be closed. It doesn`t take a crystal ball to know that AGS would be back to eliminate all private transfers of firearms in the future, and then the crown jewel of their agenda -- a full licensing and registration scheme on all firearms and their owners.

The proposal has been defeated two times this year in the House of Representatives. Two weeks ago, it was revived for a third time in the Senate Judiciary Committee in a last-minute procedural motion known as a "strike-everything amendment." The motion passed 4-3. After floundering on a number of Senate floor calendars for over a week, the bill finally came up for full Senate consideration yesterday in the Committee of the Whole, where bills are rarely defeated.

There was over 45 minutes of floor debate regarding the AGS provisions. The two AGS advocates were Senators Elaine Richardson (D-11) and Chris Cummiskey (D-25). Without any credible arguments in favor of the bill, they resorted to the tired old arguments of the gun control zealots -- "Only criminals are affected by this legislation so if you oppose it you are siding with the bad guys." Senators Dean Martin (R-24) and Darden Hamilton (R-16) led the opposition for gun owners. They told the truth about AGS and why its name does not adequately describe its cause. Senators Martin and Hamilton went on to effectively relate all of the dangers of HB 2329 to their fellow senators.

In the first full floor vote, the AGS provisions failed by a vote of 12-10. In a rarely used procedural motion, Senator Richardson asked for full reconsideration of the initial vote after trying to ensure all of her gun control cohorts were on the floor for the vote. The second motion came down to the very last vote. Bottom line: Gun owners won 13-12!

Please contact Senators Hamilton and Martin to thank them for their active support on the Senate floor. You can use the "Write Your Reps" box at right to contact them and to find out who your individual Senator is and contact them via e-mail. Thank your Senator if they stood with you and protected your rights. If your Senator voted with the anti-gun crowd ask them why? Let him or her know where you stand.

Voting with gun owners against HB 2329: Voting with AGS and other gun control activists:
Senator Marsha Arzberger (D-8) Senator Jay Blanchard (D-30)
Senator Tim Bee (R-9) Senator Jack Brown (D-4)
Senator Ken Bennett (R-1) Senator Chris Cummiskey (D-25)
Senator Brenda Burns (R-17) Senator Mary Hartley (D-20)
Senator Ed Cirillo (R-15) Senator Jack Jackson (D-3)
Senator Lori Daniels (R-6) Senator Eddie Joe Lopez (D-22)
Senator Susan Gerard (R-18) Senator Harry Mitchell (D-27)
Senator Randall Gnant (R-28) Senator Elaine Richardson (D-11)
Senator Herb Guenther (D-5) Senator Pete Rios (D-7)
Senator Darden Hamilton (R-16) Senator Ruth Solomon (D-14)
Senator Dean Martin (R-24) Senator Ramon Valadez (D-10)
Senator David Petersen (R-29) Senator Virginia Yrun (D-13)
Senator Tom Smith (R-26)  
 
Not Voting:  
Senator Linda Aguirre (D-23)
Senator Scott Bungaard (R-19)
Senator Toni Hellon (R-12)
Senator Marilyn Jarrett (R-21)
Senator John Verkamp (R-2)
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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.