Six Arizona Democrats have introduced a bill that would amend the state’s criminal statutes by imposing a minimum $1,000 civil penalty on lawful gunowners who do not lock up their gun, carry the firearm on their body, or have it within “such close proximity” that it can be readily retrieved as if on one’s person while inside their home.
HB2582 would create Arizona Revised Statute 13-3123, entitled Misconduct Involving Storage of Firearms or Ammunition. It calls for a civil fine of at least $1,000 for each violation by a person in a residence they control for not having a firearm “in a securely locked box” or equipped with “a device that renders the firearm inoperable without a key or combination.”
The only exception would be if the person carries the firearm on his or her person inside the residence or has the gun “within such close proximity to his person that the person can readily retrieve and use the firearm as if it was carried on his person.”
The same lock it up, disable it, carry it, or have it readily retrievable mandate would apply to all sizes of firearms, including hunting rifles. It also applies to all ammunition, according to the bill sponsored by House Assistant Minority Leader Jennifer Longdon, along with Reps. Randall Friese, Daniel Hernandez Jr., Diego Rodriguez, Athena Salman, and Lorenzo Sierra.
There is no exemption in HB2582 for homes without children, for home-based businesses, or other situations where there would be no undue risk to others from placing one’s loaded but unlocked firearm in one room of a residence while the person is in another room.
The sponsors apparently do not consider it misconduct under their bill to have one’s gun unlocked in a garage or on a deck. The bill also does not address guests who bring an unlocked firearm or ammunition into someone else’s residence.
In 2016, it was estimated that Arizonans own nearly 6.9 million guns. That estimate is believed to have hit 7 million in 2020 based on gun industry sale reports.