So far this session, the Arizona Legislature has considered or partially approved legislation that would allow people to build their own guns and ammo, allow university faculty to bring guns into the classroom, and allow anyone with a gun to conceal his or her weapon without a background check or self-defense training.
If those three legislative gems don't make the rest of the country look at Arizona like it's a John Wayne movie, perhaps the Legislature's latest gun bill will.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed HB 2307, which would allow Arizonans to own guns without registering them with the federal government, as long as the guns are made in Arizona.
Because the weapons wouldn't need to be registered, no background check would be required for people purchasing the guns.
In other words, as the bill stands now, any drug-dealing gang-banger or psychopathic parolee could legally buy a gun without anyone ever knowing about it.
However, the bill's sponsor, Representative Nancy McLain, a Republican out of Bullhead City, tells Capitol Media Services that she didn't intend to eliminate background checks when she introduced the legislation, saying she'll make sure the bill is amended before it gets to a Senate vote.
Arizona has no state law on the books requiring background checks for gun owners, unless someone wants a concealed-weapons permit. The state basically has relied on a federal law that requires background checks for gun owners, but this bill would eliminate the feds from having authority over guns made and sold in Arizona.
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The bill is crafted after a similar piece of legislation in Montana called the Montana Firearms Freedom Act. That bill, and the one getting pushed through the Arizona legislature, McLain says, are direct challenges to federal authority. It's essentially just a way to say "fuck you" to the feds.
As nuts as the bill may sound to anyone who doesn't take their cues on gun control from survivalist states like Montana, McLain says even she expects to have to defend the legality of the bill in federal court
Let's hope the folks in the federal courts have a little more sense than the cowboys runnin' Arizona.