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Arizona and Wyoming Pass Pro-Gun Legislation Out of Committee – Defying the Federal Government
by Ezra Van Auken
Last week, lawmakers in two different states advanced legislation to defy any federal action against gun grabbing provisions. Both Arizona and Wyoming have led by example for other states to follow – Wyoming lawmakers are pushing the “Firearms Freedom Act” or HB104 and Arizona lawmakers are seeing grounds gained for SB1112.
Wyoming’s Firearms Freedom Act would nullify any federal government laws passed after January 2013. The bill reads, “an act relating to firearms; providing that any federal law which attempts to ban a semi-automatic firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm or other limitation on in this state shall be unenforceable in Wyoming; providing a penalty; and providing for an effective date.”
So far, Representatives Baker, Burkhart, Jaggi, Miller, Piiparinen, Reeder, and Winters have co-sponsored the bill in the House of Representatives, along with Senators Dockstader and Hicks. Representative Kendell Kroeker introduced the bill. This past Tuesday, the Firearms Freedom Act passed out of committee with flying colors; the vote count tallied eight to one. Throughout this week or next, the bill will be debated on and eventually voted on. Grassroots support seems hopeful that Wyoming’s pro-2nd Amendment bill can become law.
Another motion this legislation brings forward is that any federal agent found stepping the bounds could receive criminal charges. The bill explains if a federal agent “remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be subject to imprisonment for not less than one (1) year and one (1) day or more than five (5) years, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or both.”
“We need the second amendment because it is the protection for all of our other rights. Without it, those rights have no protection,” said Kroeker, the lawmaker who introduced the Firearms Freedom Act.
On the flip side, Arizona is doing basically the same, except Arizona’s Senate passed SB1112 out of a committee, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Don Shooter, four more Senators, and a hand full of House members. As Tenth Amendment Center explains, the bill “would bar enforcement of federal laws affecting semi-automatic firearms or high-capacity magazines in effect on OR after January 1, 2013. It also makes any federal official trying to enforce such laws guilty of a class 6 felony and allows the state Attorney General to defend anyone prosecuted for violating federal gun laws”.
SB1112 will now be debated and voted on in the Senate Rules Committee, and according to Tenth Amendment, the chances are high for passage with heavy backing from the grassroots. An Arizona Senator, Kelli Ward, noted, “I believe the federal government has taken liberties that they are not at liberty to take, especially in encroaching on our Second Amendment rights,” not forgetting that the Constitution meant what it said.
Arizona and Wyoming are both moving legislation just a couple weeks after President Obama signed multiple executive orders, each working to curtail gun violence in some way, along with California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s recent bill introduction that would ban over 150 different firearms.
During the nationwide pro-gun demonstrations on January 12th, Arizona saw major crowds in support of the Second Amendment. The support for self-defense displayed protestors wielding their guns, including handguns and what federal lawmakers look to ban, “assault rifles”. The state of Arizona has seen multiple gun protests including the one on January 12th, and others being held at sheriff stations.
It’s reasonable to say that the debate over gun reform is far from ended – pro-gun Americans seem more defiant than ever, with the final words of “come and take it”.