Arizona Legislature Attempting to Make Enforcement of Federal Firearms Law a Felony

I knew there was a reason I liked Arizona. I mean other than the beauty of the desert and the awesomeness that is Gunsite. The Arizona Legislature is now considering a measure that would make it a felony for any public servant, FFL or federal agent to attempt to enforce any Federal firearms law on a gun manufactured within the Arizona borders that remains within those borders. Make the jump for the full text.

A.  A PUBLIC SERVANT OR A FEDERALLY LICENSED DEALER WHO SELLS FIREARMS IN THIS STATE SHALL NOT ENFORCE OR ATTEMPT TO ENFORCE ANY ACT, LAW, STATUTE, RULE OR REGULATION OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT RELATING TO A PERSONAL FIREARM, A FIREARM ACCESSORY OR AMMUNITION THAT IS OWNED OR MANUFACTURED COMMERCIALLY OR PRIVATELY IN THIS STATE AND THAT REMAINS EXCLUSIVELY WITHIN THE BORDERS OF THIS STATE.

B.  AN OFFICIAL, AGENT OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT ENFORCE OR ATTEMPT TO ENFORCE ANY ACT, ORDER, LAW, STATUTE, RULE OR REGULATION OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT RELATING TO A PERSONAL FIREARM, A FIREARM ACCESSORY OR AMMUNITION THAT IS OWNED OR MANUFACTURED COMMERCIALLY OR PRIVATELY IN THIS STATE AND THAT REMAINS EXCLUSIVELY WITHIN THE BORDERS OF THIS STATE.

C.  THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY DEFEND A CITIZEN OF THIS STATE WHO IS PROSECUTED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT FOR VIOLATION OF A FEDERAL LAW RELATING TO THE MANUFACTURE, SALE, TRANSFER OR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM, A FIREARM ACCESSORY OR AMMUNITION THAT IS OWNED OR MANUFACTURED AND THAT IS RETAINED EXCLUSIVELY WITHIN THE BORDERS OF THIS STATE.

D.  ANY FEDERAL LAW, RULE, REGULATION OR ORDER THAT IS EFFECTIVE ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2013 IS UNENFORCEABLE WITHIN THE BORDERS OF THIS STATE IF THE LAW, RULE, REGULATION OR ORDER ATTEMPTS TO DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

1.  BAN OR RESTRICT OWNERSHIP OF A SEMIAUTOMATIC FIREARM OR ANY MAGAZINE OF A FIREARM.

2.  REQUIRE ANY FIREARM, MAGAZINE OR OTHER FIREARM ACCESSORY TO BE REGISTERED IN ANY MANNER.  

E.  A PERSON WHO VIOLATES SUBSECTION B OF THIS SECTION IS GUILTY OF A CLASS 6 FELONY.

F.  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, “PUBLIC SERVANT” MEANS ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THIS STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE, INCLUDING LEGISLATORS AND JUDGES, AND ANY PERSON WHO PARTICIPATES, AS JUROR, WITNESS, ADVISOR, CONSULTANT OR OTHERWISE, IN PERFORMING A GOVERNMENT FUNCTION.

[Source]

Other states have already passed similar legislation, even going as far as to nullify the National Firearms Act within their borders as long as the device doesn’t leave the state.

What we have here is an extremely interesting standoff between the Federal government and the states. The states are putting forward the same ideas as were popular before the Civil War of the 1860′s, that the states are sovereign and the Federal government is only meant to regulate disputes between the states. However, the Federal government has been increasingly tried to work its way into having power over things previously reserved for the states.

This is uncharted territory. And personally, I would love to see the Federal government get bitch-slapped back into its limited role. But we’ll have to see how this develops.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

59 Responses to Arizona Legislature Attempting to Make Enforcement of Federal Firearms Law a Felony

  1. avatarDrVino says:

    “Other states have already passed similar legislation, even going as far as to nullify the National Firearms Act within their borders …”

    Which states?

  2. avatarCasey T says:

    This is amazing. If this keeps up, we may get an ideological shift in this country which is absolutely necessary.

  3. avatarArete13 says:

    Louisiana had similar legislation introduced 1/16/13
    SOURCE

  4. avatarRossi says:

    those 3-D printer guys need to hurry up

  5. avatarKarim says:

    Okay seriously… whichever states end up passing these laws…. I’m beginning to look for a new home there :) … the only thing that could add to the awesomeness would be if Gerard Butler was at the Border screaming “This is Arizona!”

  6. avatarNate says:

    Why has a shooting in CT lead to near civil war talk in the united states? It is almost as if this was planned to take our rights away. I just hope this does not turn violent so the government can justify enacting martial law or other controlling laws that choke our freedom and liberty.
    Nate from Tennessee
    Pro-2A

    • avatarHenry Bowman says:

      Our freedom and liberty has been choked for generations… it’s just that most people have become accustumed to the restricted air-flow.

    • avatarRKflorida says:

      Nate, they never let a good crisis go to waste. This had been on the top of their agenda for years and they feel they can make it happen now. NY for example.

      • avatarNate says:

        indeed they twist events for their own agenda. disgusting!

        • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          Let’s turn the tables and have the backlash against their nannyism include rolling back 1968 and even 1934.. I’d like to see these state laws explicitly nullify both of those sets of laws for citizens and equipment within their borders.

    • avatarMark says:

      Exactly my fear. After another shooting, does anyone doubt Obama getting on TV and saying something like “Due the the tragic shooting in (fill in the blank) and the reaction of right wing extremists in response to a lawful attempt to register guns, I have no choice but to call on Homeland Security and the United Nations to begin door to door confiscation of all firearms”. Then the real shooting starts.

  7. avatarMike S says:

    The Federal government desperately needs to lose a BIG one to one of the states. Id love for it to be over gun rights

  8. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Sigh. Another innocuous comment trapped in the spam filter. If any of the editors could see fit to liberate my comment, that would be peachy.

  9. avatarRKBA says:

    Wyoming was the FIRST state to draft such a bill….

  10. avatarHenry Bowman says:

    “This is uncharted territory.”

    Not so much. You even said “The states are putting forward the same ideas as were popular before the Civil War of the 1860′s.” The Fedcoats don’t take kindly to folks questioning their “authority.”

  11. avatarRob says:

    Hooooooohhhh Boy…

    Anyone else getting “I see a bad moon rising…” vibes from all of this?

  12. avatarIn Memphis says:

    My companys corporate headquarters is in Arizona. Might be time to look for a transfer.

  13. avatarRoll says:

    Yay! Thats my STATE! Keep your damn paws off my guns! Proud Arizonan!

  14. avatarPascal says:

    In his speach yesterday, Obama pretty much said, the era of big government is back baby and basically wants to force down everyone’s throat the social changes he wants.

    The federal government rules all and all you peasants will bow to the power of the federal government, for while the country is broke, we will push social change even if means we have a deficit of at least a quadrillion.

    Because, really, deficits really don’t matter….right?

  15. avatarLeo338 says:

    Awesome! POF rifles are manufactured in Arizona.

    • avatarElliotte says:

      Alexander Arms (makers of .50Beo & 6.5 Grendel, along with .17HMR, 5.56 & 300BLK products) are located in VA, that’d be my destination if such a law were passed there and it nullified t he GCA & NFA for products made & remaining in VA.

    • avatarMark says:

      I hear Arizona is courting New York based manufacturers.

  16. avatarJeff the Griz says:

    Just curious what other firearms mfg in these states that are controlling their own borders? It would seem kinda crappy if they didn’t have much business to defend maybe give those NY gun makers a place to go :)

  17. avatarhoppes#9 says:

    You might not feel that way about state sovereignty if you were Jewish or disabled or female or black or…

    • avatarensitu says:

      My God, what lies!
      Your Rights come from God and are enumerated in the US Constition and may I remind you that it was the Dems who fought for Slavery, formed the KKK, Poll Taxes, anti-gun laws that were aimed at Blacks. and it was the the Reps. who formed the NRA to teach citizens how to use arms for self defence an who passed civil rights legislation.

    • avatarAnonymous says:

      > My God, what lies!

      * sigh *

      Get off your high horse, put away the faux outrage, seek help for your addiction to self-righteous indignation, and stop spreading the revisionist history perpetrated by the right-wing spin machine.

      The 1964 Civil Rights Acts was not a partisan issue, but a regional issue. Northern Democrats were more likely to vote for it than Northern Republicans. Southern Republicans were more likely to vote against it than Southern Democrats.

      The vote by party _and_ region was:

      The original House version:
      * Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7%–93%)
      * Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0%–100%)
      * Northern Democrats: 145-9 (94%–6%)
      * Northern Republicans: 138-24 (85%–15%)

      The Senate version:
      * Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5%–95%)
      * Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0%–100%)
      * Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%–2%)
      * Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%–16%)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

      After the 1960s, many of the Southern segregationists who felt betrayed by the Donkeyrat Party supported the Republicans, propelling Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan into the White House.

      • avatarAgincourt says:

        Yes, but the Democrats did not support Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Act. Even JFK voted against it and he was definitely a northerner.

  18. avatarWC says:

    Does this mean one could manufacture and sell any type of gun in AZ, including full-auto?

    • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Nope, the proposed language is only for semiauto. Which is why they need to replace that verbiage with something that nullifies all federal gun laws within the borders of AZ.

      It would be nice to see the clause saying the AG ‘may’ defend citizens against the feds with ‘must’.

  19. avatarJim R says:

    Well, the law says anything made in that state. How many companies are making guns in Arizona? ..probably a lot more if this passes.

  20. avataravenger1 says:

    Now if only MY state does this, WA is so damn liberal (seattle sucks!) that something like this would most likely never happen.

    I think it might be time to move to Montana or Arizona

  21. avatarOutlaw says:

    This was passed in Montana a long time ago. Have any Montana gun companies created full auto stuff for in-state sales only?

    I don’t imagine any of them will take any action on this because the courts have ruled that even intrastate commerce is interstate commerce. It’s even commerce when no money is involved at all.

    The federal government is out of ****ing control.

  22. avatarJAS says:

    The reason the laws are written as “manufactured and kept within state borders” is because the only thing the Federal Government can get their teeth into is interstate commerce. This is the way Feds passed the NFA. back in the day.

    • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Of course, if TX has a nullification law and citizens decide to import via Mexico, maybe then the feds will actually patrol that border?

      They probably would, but selectively of course, meh.

  23. avatarMy name is Bob says:

    If I could get NFA items with no muss and no fuss, I’d never need to leave the state anyway. If have everything I need right at home!

  24. avatarNickS says:

    The great state of South Carolina introduced a similar bill on January 8, 2013. It is currently alive, though still in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess120_2013-2014/bills/85.htm

    A few highlights from the bill:
    -Firearms produced within South Carolina, but incorporating accessories (defined as magazines, muzzle devices, grips, stocks, etc) produced outside the state would fall under the protection of this bill. In other words, if you have a Palmetto State Armory AR-15 with Magpul furniture and magazines, you’re still safe from the feds.

    -Suppressors are defined as an accessory, and if manufactured in South Carolina, would fall under the provisions of this bill. This means that a suppressor manufactured, possessed, and used on a firearm in South Carolina would be exempt from federal regulations. Persumably, this would allow residents to avoid NFA registration for such items.

    -Related to the above, accessories can be either commercially or privately manufactured and still be protected by this bill. This could allow anyone so inclined to legally manufacture and use such accessories (like the suppressors mentioned above) without fear of federal penalties.

    -Other NFA items would not fall under the protection of this bill. A provision specifically states that firearms capable of firing two or more rounds per activation of the trigger are not protected, regardless of state of origin. It also states that it does not apply to any firearm that isn’t man-portable (requires two or more people to carry and operate), or has a bore diameter greater than 1.5 inches an uses smokeless powder (though it is ok if black powder is used) as a propellant. Explosive projectiles are also listed as not being protected.

    So, it’s not quite as far reaching as similar bills in other states (essentially only affecting suppressors as far as the NFA goes). However, for those of you who might be considering moving to a free state, you’re welcome to join me in the beautiful Palmetto State!

  25. avatarAharon says:

    Way to go Arizona!

  26. avatarLance says:

    Amen for Arizona!!

    • avatarmick says:

      i live in arizona
      im also hoping we can get a “protect the second ammendment”
      personalized license plate

  27. avatarRoger says:

    Ruger has a factory in Prescott, AZ. I think they make the LC line and the 1911s there among other things. At least they all have Prescott, AZ stamped on them anyway.

  28. avatarCZJay says:

    If Arizona restored the Bill of Rights within their boarders I would move there as soon as possible. I know it can be hot there, but oh well.

  29. avatarMark Smith says:

    Interesting.

    I was fairly certain that the Civil War settled the question of the supremacy of State’s rights vs the Federal rights once and for all to be honest. “No longer a republic but an empire something something something”.

    The only way I see something like this actually being effective for the citizens of that state is if it’s something the Federal government has no desire to go to war over.

  30. avatarAmarante says:

    FIREARMS FREEDOM ACT

    http://firearmsfreedomact.com/

    SPREAD THE WORD!

    9 states already passed the FFA

  31. avatarAmarante says:

    http://www.gunlaws.com/AZ-Only-FFAandPreemption.htm
    2010

    - FIREARMS FREEDOM ACT PASSES (HB 2307)
    2- FIREARMS FREEDOM ACT PASSES (HB 2307)

    Arizona became the sixth state in the Union to enact the Firearms Freedom
    Act, a law designed to test and curtail federal powers that some experts
    say are growing without effective limits. Under the new law, originally
    drafted and enacted in Montana, firearms manufactured exclusively in
    Arizona and which do not leave the state are not subject to federal
    regulatory control.

    The state actions represent a direct Tenth Amendment challenge to federal
    power. At latest count 20 states have proposed similar bills and four more
    are considering them. In addition, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming and South
    Dakota have already enacted such bills. http://firearmsfreedomact.com

    Congress has for decades relied on its powers under the Interstate
    Commerce Clause to claim control over virtually any aspect of human
    activity it chooses, and most gun laws since the Gun Control Act of 1968
    fall under this rubric. The new Arizona law proposes that a product made
    entirely within a state has no nexus to interstate commerce and is thus
    immune to federal reach.

    Federal authorities have already insisted that such completely intra-state
    activities (actions solely within a state) fall within their inter-state
    jurisdiction (actions across state lines), and have threatened anyone who
    defies this claim.

    In an open letter to gun dealers in Montana and Tennessee, the first
    states to enact the bills, the controversial federal Alcohol, Tobacco,
    Firearms and Explosives agency warned against obeying the state law under
    threat of federal penalties and imprisonment. A lawsuit challenging the
    threat, filed by Montana against attorney general Eric Holder, is under
    way.

    The lawsuit makes arguments related to those in the new Obama
    healthcare-takeover lawsuits, which the Supreme Court already recognized in
    the Lopez gun case in 1995. Specifically, the Tenth Amendment reserves all
    powers not delegated to the federal government nor forbidden to the states,
    to the states respectively, or to the people. The Constitution grants no
    powers to Congress to regulate healthcare, intra-state activity of any
    kind, or for that matter, firearms, education, energy management, home
    mortgages, student loans, car manufacturing, Edison-style incandescent
    lightbulbs, flush toilets or numerous other adventures the federal
    government has taken upon itself without apparent authority.

    Originally, the Commerce Clause was drafted in the late 1700s to prevent
    states from restricting trade by imposing tariffs on each others’ goods
    passing through. The Articles of Confederation could not control the mess
    that ensued, and the new Constitution put an effective stop to the
    bickering and restraints of trade. Beginning with the New Deal however, FDR
    and the Supreme Court began applying that clause to give the federal
    government vast new powers it had never had.

    According to leading experts, that led directly to the massive expansion
    we see today and virtually unlimited encroachment into every facet of
    modern life. The lid blew off completely in the famous 1942 Wickard v.
    Filburn case, in which the High Court decided that an Ohio farmer growing
    wheat on his own land to feed his chickens affected interstate commerce,
    since he did not need to buy interstate wheat.

    Called outrageous by critics, it removed virtually any restraints on
    Congress and completed FDR’s powers to take over vast segments of the U.S.
    economy, a trend that continues to this day. FDR had threatened to “pack”
    the Court with extra men of his own choosing to control the High Court. Up
    until that time, the Court had repeatedly refused to endorse FDR’s
    unprecedented reaches for Commerce-Clause power over the states. The Court
    finally caved in to those demands to preserve its “integrity.” The Firearms
    Freedom Act is a broad-based national effort to rein in that unbridled
    power, and restore the Commerce Clause to its original intent.

    The new Arizona law will have little immediate effect on the average gun
    owner. The bill’s proponents strongly advise AGAINST opening up your own
    gun-making shop in your basement, believing yourself free of federal
    constraints. Without a carefully structured case, strong legal team,
    complex strategy and significant financial backing, the feds will crush
    such a “wildcat” attempt, imprison the entrepreneur and set precedent that
    will empower themselves at the expense of the nation at large.
    http://www.gunlaws.com/faq.htm#Lawsuit

    The bill, signed on April 5, will take effect 90 days after the state
    legislature closes, or approximately in September.

    The feds have vast resources funded with tax dollars with which to attack
    the new laws, the lawsuits and especially the manufacturing tests being
    planned in Montana. The Montana lawsuit is joined by prominent pro-rights
    lobbying groups and has a structure and plan not about to be revealed in
    news releases to a sometimes hostile press, according to people close to
    the main actors.

  32. avatarPalimpsest Jenkins says:

    Proud liberal and unrepentant “assault rifle” owner here. My ideological cohorts are wrong on this issue, very wrong, and they are going to be politically crushed by a coalition of conservatives, libertarians and sympathetic liberals such as myself on this issue during the next round of elections. This is a fundamental right granted by God. Folks that don’t get that need to be shown the door. My only fear is that some of the other liberal ideas I do respect are going to be forever tainted with the foul odor of gun-grabber.

    Never once have I come home and seen my firearms dancing around my living room like a vignette from Disney’s Fantasia. This is something that only happens in the head’s of my liberal friends.

  33. avatarJL Mealer says:

    Arizona is a must win state. We cannot allow it to fall (ranked 49th economically due to corruption) and we must maintain our open gun laws. In fact, the NFA I and II are violations of the Bill of Rights and must be repealed. here’s a cut and paste, please do not be offended.

    All of You have been invited by JLMEALER to join a live Community Call.
    AMERICANS ELECT of AZ GOV 2014 MEALER (Join in)
    Host: JLMEALER – jlmealer@yahoo.com
    Episode: EPISODE1 – AMERICANS ELECT of AZ GOV 2014 MEALER
    Americans Elect of Arizona organizational meeting, presenting AE of AZ gubernatorial Candidate John Lewis Mealer. Kelly Gneiting chairman of the National IAP will attend. Ted Downing, Gov Brewer will be invited, and the Grand Prix Committee of Arizona will be represented along with other job/career initiatives. PST 7pm, MST 8pm, CST 9pm, EST 10pm

    http://jlmealer.com

    If you show up at my house, please bring a pack of burgers or (non pork) hot dogs and buns… I am limited to spending $100 per meeting, so the extra soda or beer (if you drink it, I don’t), will be a good idea too.

    RSVP, PLEASE!!! 928-251-0453 [I will be Arizona's next Governor]

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