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Thursday, April 8, 2021 : By Nathan Skates
Even before President Joe Biden announced new executive orders on gun control on Thursday, Arizona had preemptively passed a law preventing the enforcement of federal gun restrictions deemed unconstitutional.
After a Congressional stalemate, President Joe Biden announced executive orders on gun control measures Thursday, including new rules on “ghost guns” and stabilizing braces for pistols. In expectation of any new federal gun control actions, including the recent passage of gun control legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona has passed a law entitled the “Second Amendment Firearm Freedom Act.”
The extremely brief legislation states,
“Pursuant to the sovereign authority of this state and article ii, section 3, Constitution of Arizona, this state and all political subdivisions of this state are prohibited from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the United States government that is inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, R, said,
“At this time, that law has not changed anything. So, that was a proactive law for what is possible to come out of the Biden administration. There’s a lot of discussion out of Washington, D. C., about congressional action around the Second Amendment, and this law was simply to protect the rights that we already enjoy in Arizona.”
Ducey said that the tragic mass shootings are not a reason to impose new gun laws. “What I want us to do is enforce the laws that are already on the books. If we do that, we’ll get bad guys off the streets,” he explained. “I think whenever there’s these mass shootings, we start talking about laws that simply wouldn’t have fixed the problem that happened.”
The new law is similar to the “Second Amendment Sanctuary” measures that were passed by more than 100 Virginia counties, cities, and towns in 2019 to protect their residents against constitutional overreach by the Democrat majority legislature as it moved forward with an aggressive gun control agenda.
In explaining his support for the new Arizona law, Rep. Leo Biasiucci, R, said,
“If the federal government does anything that tries to infringe on our Second Amendment in the state of Arizona, we’re not going to comply. I was voted into office to protect our Constitution. The Biden Administration was clear that they want to ban AR-15s, high-capacity magazines, and we don’t think that’s right. Our Arizona gun laws are strong, and we believe that law-abiding gun owners have the right to bear arms.”
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, came out in opposition of the law, stating,
“I think … there’s political motivation. It’s one of those emotional issues, but as far as the impact on law enforcement, it will create confusion or challenges more than benefits or protecting the Second Amendment. The people who wrote it really didn’t sit down and have a thoughtful conversation as to the application.”
Cam Edwards, a Second Amendment proponent who writes frequently about gun rights, agreed that the Arizona law is political, but so too is the push to restrict the right to bear arms. He wrote: “The push for gun control is more about politics than public safety, and it always has been. I’m glad that Gov. Ducey has signed the Second Amendment Sanctuary bill, and I hope that his signature will spur on lawmakers in other states to get moving on the 2A Sanctuary legislation in their own statehouses.”
Maya Zuckerberg of March For Our Lives, a gun control advocacy group, said, “We are opposed to it because it takes any option off the table. It makes it so that any laws that are passed by the federal government about gun safety are not enforceable in Arizona. It eliminates any conversation around it and makes it a more dangerous place in Arizona.”
The White House announced on Wednesday that the administration will take six initial actions on gun restrictions, including:
Chipman is a gun control advocate who has worked for Giffords Courage, a leading gun control lobby organization, and Everytown, a gun control lobbyist group backed by Mike Bloomberg.
Arizona’s law is an appropriate attempt to protect the constitutional rights of its citizens. The Second Amendment is not a second-class right, but rather is a foundational liberty codified in the Bill of Rights. Short of a constitutional amendment, neither Congress nor the Executive Branch may infringe on that right.
Democrats are unable to pass gun control legislation through the legislative process, so Biden is seeking to take unilateral action to impose the will of the Democratic Party on law-abiding American citizens.
The people of Arizona elected legislators and a governor who would protect their liberties, including their Second Amendment rights. It is high time that states exert sovereignty and stand up for their citizens against a highly centralized federal government. An all-powerful nanny state running roughshod over individual states was not what the founders intended, which is why, initially the Articles of Confederation governed our nation. Though flawed and eventually replaced by the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation is evidence of the founders’ intent that governance be decentralized and only limited powers be given to the federal government.
Mass shootings are a tragedy, but so too are deadly home invasions, gang violence, carjackings, and other crimes that get little to no attention from politicians and the media but which daily threaten and take the lives of law-abiding citizens and their families.
Last year, the Democrat Party pushed a policy that would radically defund the police even as violent crime in America’s metropolitan areas skyrocketed at a rate unprecedented in American history, according to a recent report released by the National Commission of COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (NCCCJ).
Most disturbing, the study found, was the fact that homicides increased by 30 percent overall from 2019 to 2020, and those numbers thus far show no signs of abating in 2021. The impact of this violence is felt most tragically by minority communities in inner cities, where gangs and drug dealers terrorize residents and many of the victims are children who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not surprisingly, these shooters almost always obtain or carry their weapons illegally.
With fewer police available to respond to attacks, law-abiding Americans want to have their own guns so they can try to protect themselves and their families. That’s why last year, more than 21 million guns were legally purchased, a 34 percent jump over 2019, fueled mostly by first-time gun buyers, women, and African Americans. Under the Constitution, that is their right.
As Joe Biden and the Democrats attempt to make it harder for Americans to exercise their Second Amendment right to defend themselves and their loved ones, states can hardly be faulted for standing up for their citizens and ensuring that the federal government doesn’t unduly infringe on that right.