Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation on April 6 that would prohibit police and sheriffs in the state from enforcing new federal gun laws that may violate the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
Proponents of the bill have argued that it would ensure that the rights of gun owners are protected from what they have described as potential overreach by the federal government, while critics say the law will undermine cooperation between Arizona law enforcement and federal officials.
“The state of Arizona and its political subdivisions are prohibited from utilizing any financial resources or state personnel to administer, cooperate with or enforce any law, act, order, rule, treaty or regulation of the federal government that is inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms,” according to the text of the legislation.
President Joe Biden has said he’s seeking a ban on certain firearms and gun magazines in the wake of two mass shootings last month. Top Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said two House bills that expanded background checks would be taken up by the Senate, although it’s not clear when that will occur.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on April 7 that Biden “will have more to say” about gun control measures on April 8.
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said the Arizona law has a “political motivation.”
“It’s one of those emotional issues but as far as the impact on law enforcement, it will create confusion or challenges more than benefits or protecting the Second Amendment,” Penzone told KTAR radio last week.
Gun control proponents such as Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety sought to pressure Ducey into vetoing the measure. Moms Demand Action said it gathered more than 2,000 signatures in the state and presented them to the governor’s office.
“Nobody is trying to take away your guns, not for the protection of your family, your property, nor your Second Amendment right to own them,'' Democratic state Sen. Lisa Otondo stated.
Meanwhile, gun sales across the United States have skyrocketed in recent months amid fears of instability over last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests and riots, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is more important now than ever that we protect our state rights,” Arkansas state Sen. Trent Garner, a Republican, said of the passage of the bill.
“Once [Democrats in the U.S. Senate] get rid of the filibuster, guess what happens next? It is called packing the courts,” he claimed, referring to statements by Democratic lawmakers who want to abandon the 60-vote legislative threshold in order to pass their agenda items.