On Thursday, during the Committee of the Whole (COW) debate on Senate Bill 1102, State Senator Ken Cheuvront (D-15) added a hostile amendment, by a vote of 15 to 14, which would prohibit the private sale of firearms at gun shows, unless the seller asks for “proof of citizenship.”
The amendment is an unnecessary imposition on lawful private party transfers and heavily flawed. As drafted, if the purchaser presents an Arizona Drivers license issued after 1996 or a photocopy of another state's driver ID card, the purchaser would meet the “proof of citizenship” requirement. The main problem with this amendment is that it arbitrarily and unconstitutionally forbids eligible purchasers from obtaining firearms at gun shows and conscripts private citizens to enforce a flawed understanding of state and federal law. Under this amendment, non-citizens who are legal residents of Arizona, who can serve in the military and enjoy all the protections of the Bill of Rights, would be unable to legally purchase a firearm in their own state.
Senator Cheuvront had previously offered the same amendment in Judiciary committee during the hearing of SB 1102 and it was defeated. The amendment can be found here: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/adopted/s.1102cheuvront1027.pdf.
The vote had 100% support from the Democratic caucus, and three Republicans voted with them. If any one of the three Republicans had not voted for this hostile amendment it would have failed. State Senator Jonathan Paton (R-30) successfully worked to defeat the same amendment in the Senate Judiciary committee, but was unfortunately called away on a family emergency and could not fight against it on the floor.
At this time SB 1102 will be held, but there are still other bills pending that would accomplish the same goal of fully implementing Arizonans' right to carry firearms for self-defense. Please continue to check your email and www.nraila.org for updates.