Arizona has increased the bankruptcy exemption for firearms to two thousand dollars. Previously, only one gun was allowed to be exempted as part of a basket of items that were limited to a total of one thousand dollars.
But people filing for bankruptcy also have a choice to make. Under current Arizona law, they can keep only one shotgun, one rifle or one pistol.
The Republican-controlled Legislature wants to change that. The Senate is one step away from passing a bill allowing bankruptcy filers to keep up to $2,000 worth of weapons – any kind of weapon. The exemption expands to $4,000 for a couple.
“You could own four AR-15s in your household and still fall within that exemption amount,” McGuire said.
Supporters says citizens must retain their ability to defend themselves.
HB 2211 passed the House 34-25 in February. It passed the Senate by a narrower 16 to 12 margin in April and Arizona Governor Ducey signed it into law.
As valuable pice of property that is specifically mentioned in the Bill of Rights, firearms are specifically listed under bankruptcy exemptions in a number of states.
The Idaho State Exemption permits one Firearm valued at $750 or less. In Iowa, the State Exemption provides for one shotgun, and either one rifle or one musket. There is no dollar value limitation in Iowa.
In Louisiana, the State Exemption limits the Debtor to one firearm with a maximum value of $500. In Mississippi, firearms are included in its State Exemption for Household Goods, which entitles the Debtor to a cumulative total of $10,000, in a laundry list of Household Goods. Included in this list is Firearms, of which the Debtor may claim an Exemption in one Firearm. The State Exemption in Texas provides for two Firearms with no limitation on value.
The remaining States of Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin, all have State Exemptions that address Firearms in different permutations. Generally, most State Exemptions for Firearms limit the number of Firearms protected by the Exemption or the aggregate value of the Firearms, or both.
The dollar amounts listed are frozen at the time the law passed. Arizona has no provision to advance the amounts with inflation. If the intent of the legislation is to be maintained, the amounts will have to be updated in the future.
Lawmakers that create exemptions in bankruptcy law for firearms are showing support for the Second Amendment and the right to defense of self and others.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.