Volume 2023, Issue 1 – February 2023
Fighting an Uphill Battle
The 2023 legislative session is in full swing and over 1,600 bills have been introduced. While our previous Governor did not have a stellar pro-rights track record, the current occupant of the 9th floor is downright hostile to your right to keep and bear arms. Many good, pro-freedom bills are in work but they must survive the legislative gauntlet and the governor’s pen before becoming law.
As in last year’s session, there is a single-vote Republican majority in both the state House and Senate. Unfortunately, there are members of both parties that have a history of voting against bills that restore and protect your right to keep and bear arms. It remains a challenge for good bills to pass and we’ve had to fight off a number of bad bills.
All the bills we are following are on our Bill Tracking Page: https://azcdl.org/bill-tracking/
Good bills still in play
HB 2332 [Bliss] would require school districts and charter schools to provide public school students in grades 6-12 with one or more training classes on firearms safety unless the parents opt-out.
HB 2394 [Smith] expanding on last session’s HB 2111, this bill codifies that the state of Arizona and its political subdivisions are prohibited from using personnel or financial resources to enforce taxes, levies, or stamps imposed on firearms, accessories or ammunition.
HB 2544 [Diaz] declares that firearms, accessories, and ammunition produced or modified in Arizona and that remain within Arizona are not subject to federal law or regulation, including registration, under the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause. This may seem like common sense but the U.S. Supreme Court has previously ruled that even one individual’s economic activity impacts interstate commerce.
HB 2667 [Jones] is a campus carry bill that will prevent colleges and universities from enacting any policy or rule prohibiting the possession of a firearm by anyone with a CCW permit.
HB 2705 [Biasiucci] would establish the School Active Threat Response Pilot program within the Arizona Department of Education to provide safety and emergency response training (like that of the FASTER Saves Lives program) at schools that opt-in. It appropriates $10 million from the state’s general fund to provide training and equipment in support of school safety programs.
SB 1096 [Carroll] would require entities entering into contracts with the state worth $100,000 or more to certify that they do not, and will not for life of the contract, discriminate against businesses, trade associations and others in the firearms industry.
SB 1109 [Rogers] would remove suppressors from the definition of “prohibited weapon.”
SB 1300 [Rogers] is the Senate companion to campus carry bill HB 2667 (see above).
SB 1331 [Shamp] would disallow schools from adopting or enforcing policies that restrict parents with CCW permits from carrying or transporting firearms on school grounds.
SB 1428 [Wadsack] would prevent the state’s political subdivisions from prohibiting gun shows.
Good bills held in committee
HB 2170 [Nguyen] would require the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to issue provisional concealed weapons permits to those at least 18 years of age and under 21 years of age and who are otherwise qualified.
HB 1427 [Wadsack] would repeal laws against carrying a firearm in various establishments including those that serve alcohol and removed the requirement to carry a CCW there.
Bad bills stopped!
HB 2177 [Longdon] would have required courts to inquire into CCW status for those being sentenced for a crime and demand the permit be surrendered.
HB 2178 [Longdon] would have required physicians who provide pediatric services to provide literature and counsel parents on gun safety at each visit.
HB 2179 [Longdon] would have added convictions for domestic violence or the use of physical force to the list of conditions that make one a prohibited possessor.
HB 2180 [Longdon] would have created a 3-day waiting period for firearm purchases.
HB 2181 [Longdon] would require firearms dealers to take steps to prevent “straw” purchases which would have included screening “indicators,” limit purchases to one per person every 30 days, prohibit transfers of firearms to anyone the dealer considers to be intoxicated or demonstrating mental instability and would also impact internet and phone sales.
HB 2182 [Longdon] would have mandated that all firearms transfers (not just “sales”) be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer who would be required to conduct a background check before completing the transfer. If the transfer to the recipient could not be completed, a background check would be required on the person attempting the transfer and could result in the firearm being turned over to police if that person is not qualified by law to have it returned to them.
HB 2183 [Longdon] would have required DPS to maintain a public database of CCW permit holders that dealers would be required to verify before completing a sale.
HB 2184 [Longdon] was a re-hash of the same Severe Threat Order of Protection (STOP) bill that was killed last session. One could have their firearms confiscated by police without warning or due process based on a complaint to a court from virtually anyone.
HB 2191 [Longdon] would have repealed the provision in law that currently authorizes the Attorney General to investigate cities and counties that take actions that violate state law or the state Constitution.
HB 2192 [Longdon] would have required all firearms to be locked or placed in locked storage. It would have even criminalised carrying a firearm on your person if someone else could take it from you!
HB 2193 [Longdon] would have made it a crime for someone under the age of 21 to possess a firearm when not accompanied by an adult, even when on private property and with the property owner’s permission.
HB 2387 [M. Hernandez] would have required law enforcement to inform someone cleared of a crime of their right to file a petition with the court to notate that they were cleared of the
The Governor has Made Her Position Clear
The governor wasted no time in meeting with representatives of Moms Demand Action and Representative Jennifer Longdon to discuss ways to infringe your right to keep and bear arms. In a recent post on FaceBook, the governor made her position clear.
In her message, the governor repeatedly uses the term “gun violence,” which, of course, implies that other forms of violence are not a concern for her. As expected, her emphasis is on those that carry firearms rather than on those that commit crimes.
It’s not unusual for politicians to meet with constituents, of course, but AzCDL has been denied requests to meet with the governor to discuss important pro-freedom legislation.
A refreshing counterpoint to the moms are the women of the DC Project, a group dedicated to the right to keep and bear arms. “Too many lives full of promise have been taken from us too soon by senseless acts of gun violence. Grateful for the opportunity to discuss with Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Arizona House Representative Jennifer Longdon our commitment to keep families safe and protect our communities from gun violence.” —Governor Katie Hobbs Members are easy to spot in their bright, teal-colored t-shirts and they have been very helpful in AzCDL’s work to protect your rights. One DC Project member at the RidersUSA 2nd Amendment rally this month suggested it would be fun to have a photo of the DC Project members with the governor. Definitely, but don’t hold your breath!
“Too many lives full of promise have been taken from us too soon by senseless acts of gun violence. Grateful for the opportunity to discuss with Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Arizona House Representative Jennifer Longdon our commitment to keep families safe and protect our communities from gun violence.” —Governor Katie Hobbs
Copper Dome Update
It is halftime at the Arizona Legislature, to use a football analogy. Our defense is strong and stopping everything the opposition is throwing up on the wall. We have a lot of legislative support for our right to keep and bear arms and for that I am grateful.
There are several great bills we are still working to get passed in BOTH legislative chambers. The end goal, of course, is always to get the legislation signed into law by the governor. We know that may not happen with the current occupant of the 9th floor but that does not stop us from carrying on the hard work of protecting our Constitutionally protected freedoms and advancing the right to keep and bear arms. If you look at the grassroots support we have in Arizona, it is always amazing. The turnout at the 2nd Amendment rally this month was awesome to see.
I’ve been around the state speaking to gun shop owners, attending gun shows, speaking to vendors and those just shopping. I need your help to get the word out about the bills we are supporting. Let those you shoot with, hunt with, and hang out with, know that AZCDL is at the state capitol protecting YOUR freedom. Don’t forget your three action items:
- Know your rights! Be educated on the Constitution and Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to your freedoms.
- Join in the fight for freedom! Join AZCDL, volunteer at events and help recruit new members.
- Stay up on your training! Go to the range, take a class, become a better shot.
“How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual…as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of.”
—Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp (she lost both parents in the 1991
Luby’s cafeteria massacre)
EPIC Policy Group
10th Annual Celebrate & Protect the 2nd Amendment Rally
The 10th Annual RidersUSA Celebrate and Protect the Second Amendment rally was held on February 18th and dedicated to AzCDL co-founder and President Emeritus Dave Kopp. Held every year on the 3rd Saturday in February at the State Capitol, it is the largest 2A gathering in the state. It is truly a family event and thousands attend each year to hear as many as 30 local and national speakers, visit more than 60 vendors and food trucks, and publicly exercise our right to keep and bear arms!
This year, the rally paid tribute to the important pro-freedom work of Dave Kopp. Cheryl Todd, Vice President of AzCDL and President of the AzCDL Foundation, was the co-emcee of the event and gave a heartfelt speech about Dave. On behalf of the organizers of the rally, Cheryl and co-emcee Jeff Knox presented Dave Kopp’s lifetime achievement award to his wife, Noreen Kopp, and son, Dylan Kopp.
AzCDL officers, directors and members played a huge part in the day as both speakers and vendors. On stage as featured speakers were Cheryl Todd; David Laird, Vice President of the AzCDL Foundation, Training Director, and Social Media Director; and Jackie Mesa, an active and dedicated life member. Cheryl spoke about the strength of uniting our diverse voices from every conceivable background so those that hate our freedoms cannot drown us out. David reminded us that complacency kills and to stay alert and aware and stand ready to be our own first responders at all times. Jackie gave a wake-up call reminding us that our rights and freedoms mean everything and that they are being slowly stripped from us each day. Jackie shared her family history and what her father went through when Fidel Castro took control of the Cuban government in the late 1950s.
Both AzCDL and the AzCDL Foundation were prominent vendors. AzCDL President Michael Gibbs, Media Coordinator Charles Heller, and several volunteers signed up many new members and got to catch up with familiar faces. AzCDL Foundation director Mark Zilinskas and director and treasurer Kim Bishop had the opportunity to inform people about their mission to bring FASTER Saves Lives to Arizona schools. FASTER is a program that has been quietly saving lives in schools all across the nation for a decade.
Thanks to everyone who attended, we hope the day inspired you! Save the date for next year when we will once again fill Wesley Bolin Plaza to Celebrate and Protect the Second Amendment on Saturday, February 17, 2024!
Recordings of the speeches and more information about the event is available on the RidersUSA web site: 2ARallyAZ.com.
To renew your AzCDL membership or sign up for alerts please visit AzCDL.org. To learn more about FASTER Save Lives please visit AzCDLFoundation.org.
AzCDL Foundation Board Member & Treasurer
Let George Do It, Right?
If you love that AzCDL is busy protecting your rights 24/7, it’s time to volunteer and be a part of our mission
Most of us remember when and where we joined AzCDL: we went to a gun show, we saw that big blue and white banner, we walked over to satisfy our curiosity. What’s this “Protecting Your Freedom” thing all about? There sat an older guy, a stack of newsletters–much like this one–some other literature and a pile of sharp looking Arizona flag-themed stickers.
Maybe you spoke to that guy, asked enough questions to determine the organization was not only ‘on the level’, it was probably the best chance of maintaining your right to keep and bear arms at the state level, and hold up a flashing red light to infringements at the national level.
Maybe you still come by the table to pick up a new T-shirt, or a bumper sticker, or just to shoot the bull with whomever is manning the table.
But wait–this time there is no AzCDL table at the show. The familiar faces you’ve seen for years weren’t at the last show.
It turns out that, for the most part, the same people have been manning the same tables for almost two decades, and they’re tired and burned out. In some cases they’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. It’s time for a changing of the guard, so to speak.
Do you think AzCDL has done a good job over the past 17 legislative sessions? Do you think, in a State with over a million gun owners, we should be content with a membership of barely two percent of that total?
If you’re a member who believes in what we’ve been doing– damned successfully– for the past seventeen years, if you have a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday and think ‘George,’ who’s been carrying our tables for what seems a lifetime, could use a break, then VOLUNTEER!
Step up! Whatever your age, gender, ethnicity or the size of your gun safe, we need your help. Think about how much others like you would like to talk to someone just like you. There are people who want to take your rights away, no matter what you look like.
If you like talking to like-minded people, if you like gun shows, if you think your right to keep and bear arms is worth defending, contact Duke at AmericanIcon@protonmail.com – we’ll train you for free!
Upcoming Gun Shows
AzCDL members are the lifeblood of the organization. Increasing our membership boosts our political impact at the state legislature and the revenue generated makes it possible for us to keep full-time, professional lobbyists at the Capitol throughout each legislative session to protect your freedom to keep and bear arms. Gun shows and other public events are one of the main avenues AzCDL has for recruiting members and we are always looking for volunteers to help man our booths and tables. Have a look at this list of upcoming shows and events and, if you can, come out and help us spread the word.
San Tan Gun Show, March 4-5, 2023
Big Tin Cotton Gin, San Tan Valley
Cottonwood Collectibles & Firearms
Show, March 4-5, 2023
Verde Valley Fairgrounds, Cottonwood
Crossroads Tucson Gun Show, March 4-5, 2023
Pima County Fairgrounds, Tucson
Murphy’s Yuma Gun Show, March 4-5, 2023
Yuma County Fairgrounds, Yuma
AZ Gun Radio Gun Show, March 10-12, 2023
Casa Grande Event Center, Casa Grande
Pioneer Country Events Gun, Knife,
Coins & Collectibles Show, March 18-19, 2023
Aquatic Center, Lake Havasu
Crossroads Mesa Gun Show, March 18-19, 2023
Mesa Convention Center, Mesa
Crossroads Queen Creek Gun Show,
March 25-26, 2023
Barney Family Sports Complex, Queen Creek
Safford Gun Show, March 25-26, 2023
Graham County Fairgrounds, Safford
Glendale Gun Show, April 1-2, 2023
Martin Auto Museum Event Center, Glendale
Prescott Valley Gun Show, April 1-2, 2023
Arizona Downs, Prescott Valley