The Arizona legislature and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey took another step in defending gun rights against potential infringement by the federal government by passing a law that protects against unmerited gun lawsuits and declares stores that sell guns and ammunition as essential businesses.
Arizona is quickly gaining a reputation for being a Second Amendment sanctuary after passing yet another law protecting gun rights.
Ducey last Friday signed Senate Bill 1382, which protects against frivolous gun lawsuits and declares that stores that sell firearms and ammunition are essential businesses, which ensures that they can’t be shut down during a future declared emergency.
In a statement, Ducey said,
“With efforts currently underway in Washington to erode Second Amendment rights, Arizona is taking action to protect those rights. In Arizona, we’re safeguarding manufacturers, sellers and trade associations. Bad actors need to be held accountable, and we will work to make sure they are. But we’re not going to allow lawsuit after lawsuit to slowly tear down the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in our state. Senate Bill 1382 achieves this goal, and I’m grateful to Representative Quang Nguyen and Senator Wendy Rogers for leading on this important legislation.”
The law protects gun sellers and manufacturers who “design, market, or distribute” firearms in a lawful manner from lawsuits due to the criminal misuse of a firearm.
Charles Heller, a co-founder of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, said, “In any kind of emergency where the threat to public safety is greater, people may have a greater need for a firearm to protect themselves, or some ammunition or some other thing that you would find in a place in a business like that.”
Jacob Hupp, associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance, said on the group’s website, “Law-abiding citizens have a guaranteed right to protect themselves and their family, and now in Arizona, thanks to Sen. Wendy Rogers’ legislation, those citizens can be sure they will have the ability to do so when it matters most.”
According to the Associated Press, Rogers said that the right to keep and bear arms must be protected, especially during emergencies.
Democratic Sen. Martin Quezada said that Arizona’s legislature has bigger priorities during the pandemic such as unemployment insurance.
In response to the federal push for gun control measures, Arizona recently passed the Second Amendment Firearm Freedom Act, which 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 is attempting to build guardrails against potential federal overreach. State laws protecting citizens’ rights are needed when facing an ever-growing federal government that seeks to encroach on liberties such as the Second Amendment.
Ducey’s willingness to call out the Biden administration and Congress is admirable and needed. American citizens need state legislators and governors who will stand up to the political class in Washington. State politicians are better able to understand the will of their constituents than faraway bureaucrats or career politicians of D.C.
Declaring firearm and ammunition sellers as essential businesses is an important step, especially considering what we have witnessed over the last year. The door has been opened for government executives to abuse their emergency powers and shut down any business they don’t like or agree with. By granting gun sellers the status of being “essential” businesses, Arizona prevents future leaders from waging a personal war on gun ownership by shutting down these businesses during those emergencies when the right to protect oneself and family could be especially needed.