On Monday, March 23, the Arizona Legislature passed a baseline budget and adjourned “to the sound of the gavel”, which means they will not be back until the Chinese Coronavirus issue is under control. For now, the plan is to reconvene and clean up the unfinished legislation in the next month or so, but given the fluidity of the situation, that may change.
All gun-related legislation, good and bad, is effectively dead for the session. There is still a slim chance that the few remaining pro-rights bills could get a hearing if the legislature reconvenes soon, but odds are strong that nothing further will move.
Unfortunately, that includes the gun free zone liability bill (SB 1664), sponsored by Sen. David Gowan (R-LD14). The bill died during a Third Read vote on March 3, when four Republican Senators (Boyer, Brophy-McGee, Carter and Pratt) joined all the Democrats in voting against it. Something to keep in mind at election time. We’re grateful to Sen. Gowan for once again stepping up to sponsor good pro-rights legislation, as he has done throughout his legislative career. Please take a moment to send him a note of thanks, especially if you reside in LD14, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thankfully, it also includes firearms confiscation legislation (SB 1164) sponsored by Republican Senators Kate Brophy McGee and Heather Carter and backed by Gov. Ducey. This is not the first time the Governor has backed such “Red Flag” gun confiscation orders, and we strongly doubt it will be the last. See our February 2020 newsletter for details.
You can find detailed information on all the bills we were following on our Bill Tracking page.
Also this week, to give credit where credit is due, Gov. Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-12, which includes “firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers” in the list of essential business that may not be closed down due to the Chinese Coronavirus outbreak. We thank the Governor for upholding ARS 26-303.J, which AzCDL helped to pass in 2007.
If he would drop his fascination with “Red Flag/STOP Orders”, we might actually be able to consider him a pro-rights Governor. Time will tell.