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Numerous Pro-Gun Bills on the Move in Arizona!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

As session continues in Phoenix, numerous NRA-supported bills continue to move forward.  Legislation that has seen recent action, at various stages, include Arizona’s Right to Hunt and Fish constitutional amendment (HCR 2008), advances in concealed carry reform (HB 2347, SB 1102), and preemption reform (HB 2543).  

HCR 2008, Arizona’s Right to Hunt and Fish Constitutional Amendment, passed House MAAPS, House Rules, and caucus now waits for a vote in the Committee of the Whole (COW).

Although it has been an activity conducted by humans since the beginning of time, hunting has been targeted for extinction by the well-funded animal “rights” extremists at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  They spend $120 million a year lobbying and litigating against hunting and science-based wildlife management.  Wayne Pacelle, the group's CEO, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, "Our goal is to get sport hunting in the same category as cock fighting and dog fighting.  Our opponents say hunting is a tradition.  We say traditions can change."  Whether sportsmen want to believe it or not, the threat is real and NRA is laying the groundwork of our defense against future attacks with meaningful constitutional amendments such as HCR 2008.

Hunters are America's true conservationists.  No other group contributes more in order to preserve and reestablish wildlife populations and their habitats.  It is time that hunting receives the highest form of protection available and that is what is provided in HCR 2008.  The emotional cries of the animal "rights" extremists cannot be allowed to dictate the future of Arizona's wildlife policies.  If passed and approved by the voters, HCR 2008 would make Arizona one of nearly a dozen states with such a constitutional protection.

We urge you call your State Representative TODAY and urge him or her to vote in support of HCR 2008.  For contact information on your State Representative click here.

There is currently no set schedule for HCR 2008.  Please keep checking our emails and the website, www.NRAILA.org, for further updates.

In addition, two NRA-backed bills have passed out of their respective House Caucus and Rules Committees and are now awaiting action by the Committee of the Whole.  The first, House Bill 2347, is constitutional carry billwhich would eliminate the long-standing double standard between concealed carry and open carry.

Currently under Arizona law it is generally legal to carry a firearm openly as long as you are 18 years of age and not prohibited from possessing a firearm.  However, if the firearm becomes covered, say with a coat, or if you are a woman and prefer to carry your firearm in your purse, you need to possess a concealed carry permit.  The permit system is expensive and time consuming, considering all you have done is change your attire.  While the recently amended language would allow law-abiding persons to carry their firearm concealed, it would not allow those without permits to carry concealed in places that require a permit, such as restaurants.

The next bill, House Bill 2543, is a preemption reform bill, which would make many much needed improvements to the current preemption statute.  HB 2543 would strengthen Arizona’s preemption statute by removing unnecessarily burdensome restrictions on the transportation and possession of firearms, increasing the protection from local towns and cities passing restrictive ordinances against carry or possession of firearms, and providing future protection for lawful storage of firearms, ammunition and ammunition components.

If not for a strong and uniform state preemption law, the result can be a complex patchwork of restrictions that change from one local jurisdiction to the next.  It is unreasonable to require citizens, whether residents of Arizona or someone visiting Arizona, to memorize a myriad of laws and possibly violate a local ordinance even though it was clear there was no criminal intent.

It is imperative that you call your State Representative and respectfully urge him or her to vote in favor of HB 2347 and HB 2543.  It is also important to tell your legislator to vote for these bills with no hostile amendments attached.  For contact information on your State Representative click here.

Finally, on Monday, March 8, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed Senate Bill 1108 by a vote of 7 to 1with one member abstaining from the vote.  This bill has replaced SB 1102 as the new concealed carry reform bill in the senate and is a mirror bill to HB 2347 as amended by the NRA.  SB 1108 would allow law-abiding citizens to carry their firearms concealed for self-defense while eliminating a long standing double standard between concealed carry and open carry.

Please keep checking our emails and the website, www.NRAILA.org, for further updates on SB 1108.

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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.