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Arizona Capitol Building courtesy

A bill to shore up protections for Copper State citizens’ Second Amendment rights, HB 2524, has passed the Arizona House by a vote of 35 to 24. “Republican Rep. Bob Thorpe sponsored the proposal that would establish Arizona as the first in an interstate compact that other states could join,” the AP reports. “The compact would nullify and repeal any current or future law that impedes Second Amendment rights such as mandatory background checks.” The bill is a preemptive strike against a gun control initiative aimed at Arizonans . . .

“HB 2524 provides our best opportunity to derail the coming Bloomberg financed ballot measure to establish gun owner registration in Arizona before it happens,” the Arizona Citizen Defense League (AZCDL) warns.

In essence, this would create a ceiling that state law could not exceed. Current federal law has few limitations on intrastate private party firearm transfers between non-prohibited possessors . . .

Once HB 2524 is enacted in Arizona and at least one other state becomes a party to the compact, a subsequent state law, or even a ballot measure, cannot override it.

In recent years, anti-gun rights ballot initiatives have become a powerful tool for moneyed interests to advance their agenda. Rather than working through the legislative process, gun control advocates only need to concentrate their efforts once, for a short period, just before the vote.

Facing multi-million dollar advertising campaigns funded by Michael Bloomberg and deep-pocketed supporters, working against a largely supportive mainstream media, gun rights advocates have been wrong-footed. The ballot initiative for “universal background checks” in Washington State (initiative I-594) passed despite the best efforts of pro-gun rights groups.

Bloomberg-funded initiative efforts are underway in Maine and Nevada. Arizona is known to be in the cross hairs. The strategy: pick off the states with an initiative process, one by one, to claim momentum toward a national registration system.

Finding ways to use the power of the State to limit the power of the State is a daunting task.  If HB 2524 becomes law, we will see if an intra-state compact can use the federal system to protect Constitutional rights.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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  1. “intra-state compact” aka the Constitution, the original inter-state compact limiting governmental power. Maybe we just need 5 justices with the gravitas to enforce it. “Shall not be infringed” must be a clue as to what it means.

    • “intra-state compact” cannot possibly be “aka the Constitution” since intra- and inter- don’t mean the same thing. But nice try at conflating two totally different concepts.

      • They do not mean the same thing, but the usage in the article is wrong: An “interstate” compact is one between two or more states, just like the “Interstate” highways.

        According to the article “Once HB 2524 is enacted in Arizona and at least one other state becomes a party to the compact…” – in other words, this really is an interstate compact.

        I put intra-state in quotes but did not correct the typo, because I wanted to make sure you had something to complain about.

  2. I like to think I am pretty sharp on a lot of matters … and I have no idea how this Arizona law would supersede all future laws and ballot measure passed in Arizona if another state enters into a compact with Arizona.

    • You’re right. No legislature can bind a future legislature. Now, a state government can amend its constitution and that would supercede future laws and referenda. However, that future legislature could utilize the same constitutional mechanism to undo those past amendments.

      This activity strikes me as political grandstanding.

  3. Think of your drivers license. You only need one where you live, but you can drive anywhere in the USA with it. You’re still subject to the regulations (speed limits, etc) of the places you drive in. Best analogy I could come up with.

  4. If only there were already some sort of legal document that was designed to prevent the government from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms…

    • Operation SaveCali AAR:

      Years ago i tried.
      Infiltration failed.
      Ended up in NYC and Up North.
      New objective, save those 2.
      Objective failed.
      Exfil back to AZ.

      Its not like we dindunuffin for u guys…

  5. I’m sure there is some well meaning behind all this. And it surely beats not passing it. It’s just 99 parts “look at me”, to 1 part meaningful.

    If the legislature wanted to kneecap the Feds, it’s as simple as removing all and any funding for any state activity aimed at having even the remotest clue who buys any gun from whom, when and for what reason. As long as there are paper trails, “systems”, “procedures” and all manners of other nonsense making it easier for a future administration to pick up where the current one left if the political climate turns, nothing has really been gained.

    Conversely, even a one time anonymization/scramble would have things much harder to undo for future totalitarians. Just think of cotton socks. It would be a real pain for the feds, or a future state administration, to round up and register all cotton socks in Arizona. Simply because socks are treated differently than guns. For no justifiable reason whatsoever.

  6. Do these initiatives thus far actually require gun registration, or are they basically requirements for universal background checks, but depend on the citizens to adhere to them? For example, even in New York state where we have universal background checks now, the only guns that have to be registered with the state government are already existing “assault weapons” when the SAFE Act was passed, and hand guns. Non-“assault weapon” rifles and shotguns do not have to be registered, which means that I could engage in a private gun transaction with someone and the government would know nothing about it. The risk is if I was engaging in it with an undercover police officer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am against universal background checks, but I don’t think they all mean registration automatically. Even California only recently passed the requirement that all guns in the state must be registered with the state government.

    • It is the ratcheting effect. California required all gun sales go through a dealer, outlawing privacy in gun sales several years before they required gun registration.

      The purpose is to eventually make any gun not registered illegal.

      Once that is done, incremental confiscation becomes doable.

  7. Can someone explain to me why Universal Background Checks are a bad thing? Don’t we want to limit those that shouldn’t own a gun?

    • We do want to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them. But universal background checks won’t do that. Instead they put an onerous burden on law-abiding gun owners, while doing nothing to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.

      For instance, say I want to sell or trade one of my guns to you; we’re friends, both law-abiding and responsible. Under that law, we’d have to ask permission from the government first. But why should we? I don’t have to ask the government for permission to sell anything else I own to anyone who’s legally able to buy it (I like to call this the “yard sale loophole”).

      Keep in mind that it’s already illegal to give a gun to a prohibited person — but under a UBC system, we’re *all* prohibited until we can prove otherwise. Guilty until proven innocent.

      Another problem is that without universal registration and constant surveillance, a UBC law would be impossible to enforce. Criminals already get their guns without background checks; putting another burden on law-abiding purchasers doesn’t affect criminals in the least.

      And then there are the ridiculous effects of Washington state’s UBC law, which requires background checks for *any* transfer, however temporary, unless it occurs at an established target-shooting range (i.e., a licensed business) or under certain conditions during hunting trips. I don’t go to established ranges, as there aren’t any near me, and I don’t hunt. So, when I went plinking on National Forest land with a couple of friends and their kids, I broke the law by handing them my .22 rifle to shoot moldy post-Halloween pumpkins.

      Introducing a couple of friends and their teenage kids to shooting safely and responsibly (they had a lot of fun) transformed all of the adults on that outing into lawbreakers. Criminals, technically speaking. Universal Background Checks in a nutshell.

    • Even if the anti-gunners were true to their words that it was only a background check, they’re pushing a negative system.

      System offline? No gun for you.

      Same name as a criminal? No gun for you.

      On the nebulous secret terrorist watchlist, with no hope for appeal? No gun for you.

      Ran out of cash for the background check fee? No gun for you.

      Mistake in the system, resulting in a false positive? No gun for you. This actually happened to me and delayed my taking ownership of a .338 Lapua. My “criminal record” consists of some verbal warnings and speeding tickets from 1997 and 1999.

      Data entry error? Maybe a gun for you – if one of you catches the mistake.

      Non violent felony? No gun for you.

      Completely legitimate citizen buying a gun in California, who managed to pass your background check? Here’s you’re gun…after you come back in 10 days. But no more than 30. Also, no buying more than 1 gun a month. Thank you for your cooperation. Or a gun off this tiny little list that says you can’t have guns like a Glock Gen 4 or other handguns that are “perfectly safe” for police to use.

      The list continues.

      Now, add “Universal Background Checks,” which add even more restrictions, all of which are designed to criminalize and punish gun ownership.

      Loan your gun to a law abiding friend? You’re a criminal. No guns for you.

      Don’t report your guns stolen fast enough? You’re a criminal. No guns for you.

      Go on vacation for a couple of weeks, and have a friend watch your home? What?! You didn’t pay the fees and process the documents to register your guns to your friend? You’re a criminal. No guns for you.

      Don’t re-register your gun which just got re-defined as an “assault weapon?” You’re a criminal. No guns for you.

      Registered your assault weapon and wish to will it to your son or daughter? Your gun is a “criminal.” No passing AR-15 to your family. Upon your passing, your property must be relinquished to the mighty State.

      • It’s always good to be on the safe side! I’ve heard that the .338 Lapua is a favorite for knocking off liquor stores. From a mile away.

    • Universal Background checks don’t keep guns away from people that shouldn’t have guns, only add more burden to those that have no legal reason saying otherwise. Think of it this way, if universal gun background checks worked, why do these places that enact them still have acts of violence (with or without firearms) happen anyways?

      At worst, it can also be abused. Constitutional Carry was passed in Arizona primarily because of a case where the wife of a CC holder was arrested because his firearm was in the same vehicle as her (she was not a CC holder), even though he had stepped outside without it.

    • That is a reasonable question. Here’s another. Since there has been no reported incidents involving firearms which would have been prevented by UBC, EVER, why the push for UBC, why is it somehow a big deal? From there it is a pretty easy logic chain to examine the concept and see that it cannot do a thing to prevent crime, under any situation you can imagine, except for preventing the mentally ill (like, REALLY ill) from easily obtaining a firearm, and no shrink is going to report his patient as a murderous nutbar, and no one is going to make them, so that possibility is going to remain only a possibility. UBC does, however, require universal registration in order to accomplish anything at all, which would only be to prosecute anyone who violated the UBC law, which has no purpose other than to justify registration. And, of course, registration cannot possibly accomplish anything at all, other than to make confiscation of all firearms possible.

      If we wish to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, without persecuting non-criminals, it is really easy. Keep the criminals locked up in a place where there are no guns.

  8. “The risk is if I was engaging in it with an undercover police officer.”

    How is that a risk, even? Did the government send a registered letter, return receipt requested, to every person in the state, advising them of this new law? “I dint no!”

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