PHOENIX – The Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement denouncing the House Judiciary Committee for passing two dangerous gun bills – Senate Bill 1266 and Senate Bill 1257. The votes today follow movement on two other dangerous gun bills in the Senate yesterday – House Bill 2300 and House Bill 2524.
STATEMENT FROM GENEVA HABER, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE ARIZONA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“There are four dangerous gun bills working their way through the Arizona legislature – and in a state that has experienced its share of gun tragedies, it’s a shame to see our elected leaders continually buck their responsibilities to do the job they’re in office to do: protect public safety and work together to help save lives. Voting ‘yes’ on each of these bills means elected leaders are skirting their obligations to protect us by stripping the ability of state and local leaders – including mayors, law enforcement and even state legislators – to protect us from gun violence. While these bills are all currently in different stages in the legislative process, we urge elected leaders to stand on the side of safety for our families and communities by voting ‘no’ on each bill and putting a stop to this dangerous package of legislation.”
MORE INFORMATION ON ALL FOUR BILLS BEING DEBATED IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE CAN BE FOUND HERE AND BELOW:
Senate Bill 1266 is legislation that would allow out-of-state special interest groups to sue local officials who attempt to enforce local gun laws. The bill provides for a penalty of up to $50,000 to be levied against a locality that tries to enact or enforce public safety laws tailored to local conditions; allows for successful lawsuits to net special interest groups another $100,000 in damages, plus the cost of lawyers for both the locality and the gun lobby; would force taxpayers to foot the entire bill and allows for a local official to be fired from his or her job for enforcing local laws and protecting public safety.
Senate Bill 1257 is legislation that would deny local governments their basic ability to keep Arizona’s children safe by forcing public facilities like libraries, recreation centers, fairs and other government buildings to allow guns—that is, unless these local governments can afford to spend their limited public funds to outfit public spaces with expensive security equipment and personnel. This bill comes with a heavy fiscal note – the Arizona Department of Administration has previously projected that the cost of this policy to the state would be up to $16.9 million in the first year of enactment, and up to $15.7 million in subsequent years. Maricopa County has projected $9 million in one-time costs along with $47 million each year in ongoing costs.
House Bill 2524 is legislation that would hand over Arizona’s state sovereignty to other states. HB 2524 would create an interstate compact that would block all states that sign on from passing any laws related to the sale or transfer of firearms beyond existing federal law. Arizona’s elected officials would be unable to write public safety laws without the consent of other states – and would not be able to leave the compact without out-of-state permission or calling a special session of the legislature.
House Bill 2300 is legislation that would make it illegal for law enforcement to enforce any allegedly “unconstitutional” federal laws or to assist federal agents in enforcing these laws in any way. By putting the burden on law enforcement to determine what federal laws are legal to enforce, these bills would have a chilling effect on the enforcement of potentially every federal law.