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Ducey signs ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ bill

By: - April 6, 2021 3:44 pm
Guns for sale

Potential buyers try out guns which are displayed on an exhibitor’s table during the Nation’s Gun Show on Nov. 18, 2016 at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Photo by Alex Wong | Getty Images

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill Tuesday evening that makes Arizona a “Second Amendment sanctuary” and bars law enforcement agencies in the Grand Canyon State from enforcing federal gun control measures, ignoring a last-minute plea from gun control groups urging him to veto it. 

“We want him to know that his constituents don’t agree with this,” Sophia Carrillo, a volunteer with gun safety group Moms Demand Action said to Arizona Mirror Tuesday morning after the group delivered nearly 2,500 signatures urging him to veto the bill. 

Moms Demand Action collected 2,485 signatures which they delivered to Ducey’s office Tuesdaymorning in the hopes that it will persuade the governor to veto House Bill 2111

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu, makes it illegal for local governments, the state and employees to enforce or cooperate with any federal law, act, treaty, rule or regulation that is “inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms.” 

The bill passed along party lines in the legislature. 

Since President Joe Biden has been elected, gun sales have skyrocketed over fears of forthcoming gun control legislation, a trend that has been happening in Arizona as well as nationally. 

In an interview on KTAR Wednesday morning, Ducey said the bill protects “an enumerated right” that all people have under the U.S. Constitution. 

“That (bill) has not changed anything,” he said. “That was a proactive law for what is possible to come out of the Biden administration.”

A handful of volunteers with Moms Demand Action waited outside the executive tower while the petitions were delivered Tuesday morning. Marie Thearle, a volunteer with the group, said she is concerned that the bill will cause confusion for local law enforcement. 

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone told KTAR that the bill was confusing and would put law enforcement in an awkward position. 

“I think … there’s 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 the radio station. “The people who wrote it really didn’t sit down and have a thoughtful conversation as to the application.”

Carrillo, a survivor of domestic violence and gun violence herself, said she worries about how the legislation will affect federal legislation aimed at preventing loopholes abusers use to keep their weapons. 

In Arizona, between 2008 and 2012 approximately 60% of all domestic violence incidents were committed with a firearm. 

Despite delivering the signatures, Carillo was expecting Ducey to approve the measure — and was already trying to think of next steps. One of those options is pushing for legislation and pushing for more gun control and candidates who support strengthening Arizona’s gun laws. 

“We need people like these volunteers in the legislature,” Carillo said, motioning to the other Moms Demand Action volunteers. “2022 is right around the corner.” 

Ducey has flip-flopped on gun control measures in the past: After calling for red flag laws, he retreated after facing criticism from conservatives. 

As for Thearle, she said she and others are looking forward as well and that they hope those who are against them see their common goals. 

“They probably have more in common with us than they think,” Thearle said, adding that she isn’t against gun ownership, but is for safety and responsibility.

***UPDATED: This story was updated to reflect Gov. Ducey signing the legislation into law and quotes from a radio interview the governor conducted Wednesday morning. The headline was also changed.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.