AzCDL’s Membership Newsletter May 2024

Volume 2024, Issue 2 – May 2024

Judge Us by Our Size, Do You?

Thinking about the current political situation in Arizona recently, as I do most every day, I was reminded of a scene from the first Star Wars movie. Luke Skywalker has gone to the planet Dagobah in hopes of convincing the diminutive master Yoda to teach him the ways of the Force. Luke becomes frustrated when his X-wing fighter sinks into one of the planet’s innumerable swamps. Yoda encourages Luke to use his fledgling skills with the Force to raise the vehicle out of the water. Luke tries but is unsuccessful, telling Yoda it is “too big.”

Yoda’s rebuke is swift and direct. “Size matters not. Look at me, judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not, for my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.”

Although AzCDL is the largest pro-rights lobbying organization in the state, many of our political opponents judge us by our size and don’t think of us as “large.” But, just as master Yoda can rely on his powerful ally, the Force, AzCDL has powerful allies as well.

A couple of months ago, Pima County enacted an ordinance that requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within 48 hours or face a $1,000 fine. The county’s ordinance, however, violates Arizona’s preemption law (A.R.S. § 13- 3108)—a law that AzCDL worked very hard to get enacted. The preemption law prohibits cities and counties from enacting firearms ordinances more severe than state law or, as in this case, with harsher penalties than described in state law (A.R.S. § 13-3108(D)).

It’s not enough to get a law passed, it’s also sometimes necessary to defend it, too. In this case we joined with our powerful ally the Goldwater Institute who are representing AzCDL in a lawsuit against Pima County. The county ignored our attorney’s letter demanding the ordinance be rescinded so we are taking them to court.

We have also established a relationship with another powerful ally in the judicial realm, the Second Amendment Foundation. If you attended AzCDL’s annual meeting last fall you heard Alan Gottlieb of SAF publicly announce our partnership to defend the right to keep and bear arms in the courtroom as well as in the legislature.

AzCDL has also established relationships with more than two dozen organizations across the country that are all fighting to protect and expand the right to keep and bear arms. We share ideas, strategies, success stories and cautionary tales to help each other remain successful at the state and local levels.

But…Size Does Matter

Powerful allies are a good thing but size matters, too. Full-time, professional lobbying at the Capitol costs money. Lawsuits cost money. Keeping the lights and computers on costs money. And our political clout with legislators comes from membership numbers and your political involvement. Our tireless staff of volunteers attend gun shows and other events to recruit and renew members and have fun doing it! Why not join them at an upcoming event? You can also help by recruiting a friend. If every member convinced just one friend to join, we’d be unstoppable!

Don’t sit on the sidelines—get involved!

—Michael Gibbs AzCDL President

Legislation Scorecard

The governor continues to be a major roadblock to protecting the right to keep and bear arms in Arizona.

Bills AzCDL Supported

HB2843 – Defense of premises; definition
Rep. Justin Heap (R)
This legislation would have added outbuildings to the definition of “premises” with respect to the castle doctrine since, in rural areas, they are not covered. Vetoed by the governor.

SB1167 – Social credit; discrimination; financial services
Sen. John Kavanagh (R)
Would prohibit financial institutions from discriminating against businesses in the firearms industry. This bill would promote fair business practices and transparency in the financial services sector and ensure equal access to financial services for all customers. Still awaiting action in the legislature.

SB1189 – Political subdivisions; gun shows; preemption
Sen. Justine Wadsack (R)
Would have prohibited cities and counties from banning gun shows or from enacting or enforcing any ordinance, rule or policy that primarily affects gun shows. It would have prevented a patchwork of local ordinances that could create confusion and inconsistency for responsible gun owners and protected lawful commerce and the cultural tradition of gun ownership. Vetoed by the governor.

SB1198 – Disruption; educational institution; concealed weapon
Sen. Wendy Rogers (R)
Would prohibit the governing board of any university, college or community college from enacting or enforcing any policy or rule that prohibited the possession of a concealed weapon by a person who possesses a valid concealed weapons permit (“campus carry”). Still awaiting action in the legislature.

SCR1007 – Firearms; contracts; prohibited practices
Sen. Frank Carroll (R)
Would refer to the 2024 ballot the question of whether to amend Title 35, Chapter 2, Article 4 to prohibit a public entity from entering into a contract with a value of over $100,000 with a company for goods or services unless the company stipulates in writing that it will not discriminate against firearm entities or firearm trade association. It would have excluded sole source contracts or those without a responsive bid.

This bill is crucial to ensuring that public contracts are evaluated in a fair and neutral manner in government procurement processes. The requirement would sunset by 2033. Still awaiting action in the legislature.

HCR2011 – Contracts; prohibited practices
Rep. Quang H. Nguyen (R)
House version of SCR1007, see above. Still awaiting action in the legislature.

Bills AzCDL Opposed

All of these bills have been killed in committee!

HB2221 – Firearm purchases; waiting period; offense
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have mandated a waiting period for firearm sales and transfers by licensed firearms dealers, except for law enforcement and licensed private security personnel. Violation would have been a Class 6 felony.

HB2222 – Firearm sales; transfers; background checks
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have prohibited a person from selling or transferring a firearm if they are not a licensed firearms dealer. Would have required all sales or transfers to take place through a licensed firearms dealers. Would have permitted the dealer to charge a fee for service, not to exceed $20. Would have made violation a Class 5 Felony.

HB2223 – Sentencing; concealed weapons permits; surrender
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have required courts to mandate someone whose criminal conviction, or court ordered restraining or protective order renders them a prohibited possessor and surrender their CCW permit at the time of sentencing. Directs the Court to revoke the permit and to notify the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

HB2224 – TPT; exemption; firearm storage devices
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have expanded the list of exemptions from the retail transaction privilege and use taxes to include the sales of safe firearm storage devices. Although it may sound like a good idea to eliminate sales tax on safes and other storage devices, it’s clear that it is a prelude to more onerous storage laws in the future.

HB2225 – Patient information; gun safety; appropriation
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have required doctors, nurses, and assistants that provide infant and pediatric care to inform parents or guardians of gun safety measures in the home. This would be done in writing, verbally or via a gun safety pamphlet authored and published by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

This legislation infringes upon the rights of parents and guardians to make decisions about how they educate their children regarding gun safety in their homes.

HB2233 – Firearms; ammunition; storage; civil penalty
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would prohibit the storage or possession of a firearm in any residence unless the owner of the firearm keeps the firearm and ammunition in a securely locked box, equips the firearm with a device that renders is inoperable without key or combination and the owner does not allow another person access to the key or combination without the owner’s specific acknowledgement and consent, Would have assessed a civil penalty of at least $1,000 for any violation.

HB2234 – Firearm transfers; domestic violence; offenses
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
A complex bill that would have expanded the definition of “prohibited possessor” based on a variety of criteria related to those convicted of domestic violence or crimes against children. Would have required the surrender of one’s firearms within 24 hours.

HB2235 – Justification; requirements
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have repealed state statute justifying the defensive display of a firearm.

HB2236 – State law; local violation;
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have repealed language requiring the Treasurer to withhold tax or fee monies from counties, cities or towns for violating state law or the Constitution of Arizona.

HB2238 – Severe threat order of protection
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
STOP order bill.

HB2239 – Firearm sales; permit verification; requirements
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have appropriated $300,000 for the Department of Public Safety to develop and maintain a secure website that allows dealers to verify the validity of concealed carry permits. Essentially establishes a publicly searchable database of firearms owners that violates privacy and has great potential for abuse.

HB2240 – Firearms dealers; firearms transfers; requirements
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
Would have required firearms dealers to take reasonable measures to prevent the transfer of firearms to “straw purchasers”. Dealers would have to screen purchasers, question prospective transferees, maintain and review records of trace requests, identify the names of transferees that purchased a firearm that was later traced to criminal conduct, and limit transfers to one every 30 days.

HB2566 – Firearm regulation; prohibition; repeal
Rep. Nancy Gutierrez (D)
Would have eliminated state preemption of firearms laws (Section 13-3108).

HCR2010 – Firearm sales; transfers; background checks
Rep. Jennifer L. Longdon (D)
The 2024 general election ballot would have carried the question of whether to amend Section 1, Title 13, Chapter 31 by adding the requirement that a person may not sell or transfer a firearm unless they are a licensed firearm dealer. Similar to HB2222 except this would have been a ballot initiative. Once approved by voters, ballot measures cannot be overridden by the legislature.

SB1134 – Justification; deadly physical force exceptions
Sen. Juan Mendez (D)
Would have prohibited a person from threatening or using deadly force against another if the person leaves a place of safety and pursues someone engaged in unlawful activity or pursues the other person after a law enforcement officer requests that the person retreat to safety.

SB1393 – Unlawful securing of firearms; minors
Sen. Lela Alston (D)
Would have established the crime of unlawful securing of a firearm if a minor obtains access to a “readily dischargeable firearm” as a Class 4 felony.

SB1418 – Firearms; destruction by state
Sen. Anna Hernandez (D)
Would have done away with the current prohibition on state and political subdivisions destroying confiscated firearms

SB1421 – Duty to retreat; repeal
Sen. Anna Hernandez (D)
Would have removed state statute specifying that a person has no duty to retreat before threatening or using deadly force.

HB2874 – Misconduct involving weapons; instigation
Rep. Lydia Hernandez (D)
Would have created the crime of “instigating” another to commit an offense involving a deadly weapon, For a current list of bills AzCDL is following this session, see our bill tracking page:

Copper Dome Update

Chaotic Session

The Arizona Legislature is currently operating on a minimal, one-day-a-week schedule. This is reflective of broader systemic issues plaguing many state governments. Amidst a backdrop of internal conflicts and public scandals, the effectiveness of the legislative process has notably diminished. Recent developments include the withdrawal of two legislators from re-election campaigns due to accusations of fraudulent signatures, several legislators getting hit with ethics complaints, and recent grand jury indictments that have caused more distractions.

This turmoil within the Arizona Legislature raises significant concerns about the capacity to pass substantial and meaningful legislation. The goal of advancing beneficial RKBA bills to the governor’s desk for approval seems increasingly unattainable in this political climate. All I want to be able to do is get good bills across the goal line and get a signature from the Governor. Do you think that will happen? Yeah, me neither.

Even though things are contentious right now, we are working very hard to make sure that the way money is spent in Arizona is clear and fair. We are paying extra attention to the budget this session to make sure nothing sneaky is added that could make it harder for people to have the right to own guns safely. Do I trust any of them? Nope!

Looking forward, the focus is not only on navigating current legislative sessions but also on preparing for future ones. Initiatives are already underway to support the election of favorable legislators while opposing those deemed harmful to the RKBA cause. The Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL) plans to release a legislative scorecard before the July 30th primary.

Our advocacy efforts extend beyond mere legislative tracking. AzCDL has aligned with powerful allies such as the Goldwater Institute Litigation team, which recently addressed legal challenges in Pima County. This partnership underscores a proactive stance against governmental overreach. Between Goldwater and the Second Amendment Foundation, AzCDL has taken a stand and told government entities, “Go ahead and test that theory, we’ll see how that works out for you!” That’s the nice way of saying it.

As the political landscape continues to evolve, the commitment to ensuring the passage of beneficial legislation and protecting constitutional rights remains steadfast. Despite the current legislative dysfunction, the resolve to influence positive change and uphold our freedoms is paramount.

I’ll leave you with something positive. We attended CanCon out at Ben Avery recently after being invited by GOA State Representative Cyn Ladd. We sent a joint invitation to legislators to come out and shoot with us. Over twenty invitations sent and only two showed up.
Representative Q. Nguyen and Senator F. Carroll had some fun shooting fully-automatic, suppressed weapons.

—Michael Infanzon, EPIC Policy Group AzCDL Chief Lobbyist

AzCDL Director Elections

To promote continuity in leadership, the terms of office for AzCDL’s directors are staggered. This year, the director positions held by AzCDL President Michael Gibbs and AzCDL co-founder Charles Heller are due to expire. Michael is seeking reelection but Charles is not. Charles will remain our Media Coordinator when his term on the board expires.

Although AzCDL Chief Lobbyist Michael Infanzon is our preferred candidate for Charles’ seat, the nomination process is open to all members, and those duly nominated will appear on the ballot. If there is only one nominee for each position, an election will not be held.

If you are an AzCDL life member interested in competing for this position on the AzCDL Board of Directors, you may nominate yourself or be nominated by any other member.

If you would like to nominate someone else, you must provide a personal verification from the nominee, including the nominee’s signature and membership number, indicating they want to be on the ballot. Candidate biographies and/or statements are welcome.

Mail all nomination requests to: AzCDL Membership P.O. Box 86256 Tucson, AZ 85754

You may also e-mail nominations to:

A readable, scanned image of the nominee’s personal verification document attached to an e-mail may be considered acceptable if, in the sole judgment of AzCDL’s Board of Directors, it can be verified as authentic.

All nominations must be received by AzCDL by midnight, Saturday, June 22, 2024. Any nomination received after June 22, 2024 will not be on the ballot.

If you include a candidate biography and/or a statement of why they/you should be elected, it must be limited to a single 8.5” x 11” page using standard margins and line spacing, and a font size equivalent to Arial 10. Any legitimate candidate statement timely received will be made available to members during the balloting process.

Contacting AzCDL
P.O. Box 86256
Tucson, AZ 85754
(623) 242-9086