Democrats And Republicans Spar Over Firearms Restrictions Bill

Democrats And Republicans Spar Over Firearms Restrictions Bill

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona Republicans and Democrats traded insults over the status of a legislative proposal that would increase restrictions on firearms across the state.

Earlier this month, Democrat Attorney General Kris Mayes expressed her outrage over the Legislature’s failure to consider HB 2791, which would have regulated guns in the hands of certain Arizonans. The bill was sponsored by Democrat State Representative Stacey Travers and co-sponsored by a bipartisan duo: Republican Kevin Payne and Democrat Laura Terech.

Mayes said, “I’m disappointed, and I’m angry that even narrowly-tailored gun violence prevention bills like the one we worked to introduce this session don’t stand a chance with our current legislature.”

She added, “Our bill that would’ve given us more tools to address threats of violence at our schools is not moving forward this legislative session. But we’re committed to Arizonans to keep on trying in order to protect public safety.”

The bill laid out the process by which an education protection order is filed, adjudicated, and executed in the state of Arizona. Such an order would “prohibit the defendant from possessing, controlling, using, manufacturing, or receiving a firearm for the duration of the order, [or] order the transfer of any firearm in the defendant’s possession or control, including any license or permit that allows the defendant to possess or acquire a firearm, to the appropriate law enforcement agency for the duration of the order,” or both.

Republicans disagreed with the attorney general’s sentiments about the bill. Senate President Warren Petersen wrote, “I’m extremely proud that we blocked legislation that would make it harder for you to defend yourself from criminals and harm.”

Representative Alexander Kolodin also weighed in, saying, “Let Kris Mayes take your guns away? That would be a hard NO from me!”

Travers, the bill sponsor, took umbrage with Kolodin’s attack on her proposal. She argued that HB 2791 has the “same due process as current orders of protection and constitutional rights. Higher threshold to issue order, and (existing) discretionary firearm restrictions. Includes mental health component. Protects LEO, Schools, Kinds. Not reinventing the wheel. Just saving lives.”

The Democrat State Representative promised to re-introduce the bill in 2025, calling it “a great bill with huge bipartisan and community support.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Democrats And Republicans Spar Over Firearms Restrictions Bill

City Of Flagstaff Threatened With Lawsuit Over Firearms Advertisement Ban

By Corinne Murdock |

The city of Flagstaff may face a lawsuit over its forthcoming decision to ban a firearms advertisement.

In a press release issued earlier this week, the Goldwater Institute said that the city’s ban, if approved, would constitute an illegal violation of free speech. 

“When a city operates a public facility, it cannot use that authority to censor messages or viewpoints it disagrees with,” said the Goldwater Institute. “But that’s just what the city of Flagstaff is doing: abusing its power to push an anti-gun agenda.”

The Phoenix-based public policy organization reached out to the city to request they reject the ban on behalf of a business owner who, it appears, prompted the ban: Rob Wilson, owner of the indoor gun range Timberline Firearms and Training.

“By denying Mr. Wilson’s request to advertise based on an unreasonable and pretextual application of the advertising policy, the City has violated Mr. Wilson’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech and due process of law,” stated the letter. “Moreover, the new policy currently under consideration is unconstitutional, both as applied to Mr. Wilson (as it expressly targets his expression) and on its face (as it bans broad, poorly-defined categories of speech and discriminates based on content and viewpoint).”

Wilson had run his gun range business ads without issue at the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport since 2019. It wasn’t until April that the city denied his ad. City officials claimed that Wilson’s advertisement conflicted with their advertising guidelines by representing “violence or antisocial behavior.” Wilson’s contested ad video is below.

The city refused Wilson’s attempt at an appeal. Afterwards, the city developed a new policy specifically prohibiting the inclusion of firearms in advertisements. 

Heidi Hansen, director of Economic Vitality, was responsible for the policy changes. Hansen explained during a council meeting last month that the rejection of the Timber Firearms and Training ad was due to the video depicting a firearms instructor “firing rapidly” at a “silhouette of a person.” The figure in question was likely the B-27 silhouette paper target, a common tool for shooting ranges, especially for law enforcement training.

“It was firing quite rapidly at a silhouette of a person and we felt like that might make someone uncomfortable,” said Hansen. 

Wilson, a Navy veteran, said that his city leadership went against the Constitution he fought to defend for decades. 

“Denying my right to advertise is simply wrong,” said Wilson. “After serving 22 years on active duty to defend the Constitution, I’m not about to sacrifice my rights.”

Lawmakers warned the city last month, ahead of a city council discussion of the ban, that it would be both unconstitutional and unlawful. 

During discussion of the policy, city officials said they felt that the advertisement video was unwelcoming and discomforting. Councilmember Miranda Sweet said that Timber Firearms and Training might have to compromise on the issue.

“I was very uncomfortable when I watched [the ad video],” said Sweet. “We’re trying to welcome people into the community when they come into the airport, and the video didn’t portray that.” 

Although the Goldwater Institute stated in its letter that the Flagstaff City Council may consider the firearms advertisement ban during its Nov. 7 regular meeting, a city spokesperson informed AP News that an “updated version” of the policy would be included in the Nov. 14 council meeting.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

How To Handle Guns And Ghouls Safely On Halloween

How To Handle Guns And Ghouls Safely On Halloween

By Cheryl Todd |

Practicing gun safety is paramount every day of the year, not the least of which is Halloween. On a day when millions of people all across the nation celebrate the holiday by concealing their true identity and intentionally scaring friends and neighbors, those of us who own and carry firearms must be ever more careful and vigilant to keep us all safe.

A day that celebrates imagination and fantasy is the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to dress up as any character that their creativity and resourcefulness will allow. Many costumes include elements of guns, swords, knives, machetes, pitchforks, scythes, and other such implements. 

Trick-or-treaters are welcome to visit your home at night and approach your front door with their faces obscured, their hands gloved, and possibly carrying an item resembling a weapon. On any other day of the year, this behavior might warrant a call to 911. However, it might be more difficult to determine the delightful from the truly dangerous on All Hallow’s Eve.  

Exercising a few extra layers of preparedness, safety, and caution will help to preserve the fun while protecting your home, your family, and yourself.

The basic rules of safely handling a firearm are:

#1) Treat every firearm as though it is loaded—even if it is a toy and part of a costume.

Teaching children how to handle every gun as though it is a gun, including toy guns and nerf guns is a great way to begin implementing a safe way to interact with firearms and develop the habit of safety.

#2) Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction—even if it is a toy or replica.

Where is a safe direction? This may change depending on your location. If you live in a two-story home or in an apartment that shares walls with another person’s home you will need to be extra aware and diligent in determining a safe direction. One thing is certain, a safe direction never includes pointing a gun at another person or animal, unless that person or animal presents an immediate and imminent threat to your life.

Many of us grew up playing with water guns and squirting one another with both pistol and rifle-shaped toy guns. While this may seem to be harmless fun, on a night like Halloween pointing any toy firearm at people could result in tragic consequences. The time to teach safety is always now. And this holiday is a good time to begin thinking differently about how you model safe behavior with guns.

#3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot—not only is this a safety must, it is also the sure sign of a responsibly armed citizen.

Guns do not “just go off” by themselves. Just as knives do not carve a turkey and dishes do not load themselves into the dishwasher on their own, even on a night when ghosts abound. These are all inanimate tools. No firearm can fire until the trigger is pressed.

Keeping your finger off of the trigger will ensure that the gun will not discharge until you are ready for it to do so. Empower yourself and your children with this safety imperative, and you will not only be practicing safety and responsibility, but you will be modeling the behavior of a well-trained gun owner.

#4) Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it and never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy—a sober assessment of any situation when you might feel that a threat is present is always imperative, and the frightful fun of Halloween might present extra opportunities to be both diligent and restrained.

No responsibly armed gun owner ever wants to have to use their firearm to harm another human being. However, the reality is that over 2,500,000 times every year, guns are used to save lives. In the hands of safe, trained, moral, and responsible citizens, guns are very effective tools of self-defense. Additionally, hunting and target practice are widely popular activities in the United States. Being aware and mindful of the threat, animal, or target you intend to fire upon is vital to good aim, but equally important is what is beyond what you are aiming at. If your aim is not true or if the projectile you fire penetrates beyond where you intended it could inadvertently harm innocent bystanders. On Halloween, when the streets are filled with children and families we must be aware of the added elements and responsibilities inherent in carrying a firearm for self-defense.

A day of fanciful costumes and dressing up can offer opportunities to both practice safety and teach new skills to keep you and your children safe. While enjoying the frights and fun, safety must be at the forefront of your thoughts. Following these universal rules of firearms safety will help keep you and your loved ones safe, on Halloween and every day.

Cheryl Todd has an extensive history of being a Second Amendment Advocate. Along with being a Visiting Fellow for the Independent Women’s Forum, she is the owner of AZFirearms Auctions, Executive Producer & Co-Host of Gun Freedom Radio, the founder of the grassroots movement Polka Dots Are My Camo, and the AZ State Director for the DC Project.

Giffords and Other Anti-Second Amendment Groups Are Pushing Lies About Stabilizing Braces on Firearms

Giffords and Other Anti-Second Amendment Groups Are Pushing Lies About Stabilizing Braces on Firearms

By Michael Infanzon |

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the use of stabilizing braces on firearms, with some people suggesting that these braces make guns deadlier and easier to use in violent attacks. This belief has been perpetuated by some anti-Second Amendment politicians and advocacy groups, including Giffords Law Center, which claims that shooters have used stabilizing braces to “skirt the National Firearms Act and commit horrific tragedies.” But this claim is both misleading and inaccurate.

First, let’s discuss what stabilizing braces actually are. These accessories can be attached to certain firearms, such as pistols, to provide additional support and stability when shooting. They were originally designed to help people with disabilities or injuries to safely and effectively use firearms. But they have since become popular among gun enthusiasts and sport shooters as well.

Giffords and others claim that stabilizing braces are somehow responsible for enabling shooters to commit violent acts. But there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, the vast majority of shootings in the United States are committed with illegally obtained firearms, rather than legally purchased guns that have been modified with accessories like stabilizing braces.

Furthermore, the idea that stabilizing braces allow shooters to “skirt” the National Firearms Act (NFA) is also misleading. The NFA regulates certain types of firearms, such as machine guns and short-barreled rifles, and requires owners to register these weapons with the federal government and pay a tax. However, the use of stabilizing braces on pistols is not a violation of the NFA and does not allow individuals to avoid the registration and tax requirements.

In fact, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has issued guidance on the use of stabilizing braces, stating that “the use of a handgun stabilizing brace… does not change the classification of the firearm or impose any additional registration, licensing, or other requirements on the firearm or its owner.” The ATF has also made it clear that it will take action against individuals who use stabilizing braces to create a firearm that meets the definition of a short-barreled rifle, which is regulated under the NFA.

The claim made by Giffords and others that stabilizing braces make firearms deadlier and enable shooters to “skirt” the National Firearms Act is simply not true. There is no evidence to support this claim, and the ATF has made it clear that the use of stabilizing braces on pistols does not violate any federal laws or regulations. It’s important to separate fact from fiction when discussing issues related to firearms and public safety, and to base policy decisions on sound evidence and analysis.

That’s why the Arizona Citizens Defense League and the Arizona Firearms Industry Trade Association will continue to stand up for Arizona citizens and the firearm industry against unconstitutional laws and these types of lies.

Michael Infanzon is the Managing Partner for EPIC Policy Group and lobbies on behalf of groups like the Arizona Citizens Defense League and the Arizona Firearms Industry Trade Association.

Democrats And Republicans Spar Over Firearms Restrictions Bill

Governor Hobbs’ Veto of HB2332 Blocks Children from Receiving Critical Education on Guns

By Michael Infanzon |

Firearms are a serious matter, and it’s essential to teach children from an early age about their potential danger. Unfortunately, not all parents and guardians are adequately informed or trained to teach their kids about gun safety. That’s why it’s important to have programs in place to help educate children about the importance of not playing with firearms.

This session, Representative Selina Bliss tried to do just that when she introduced HB2332, a bill dealing with firearms safety training in Arizona schools. But Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed it. This decision is concerning because it may put the safety of children at risk.

HB2332 would have provided education and resources to schools to teach children about firearm safety and the consequences of playing with guns. The Governor’s decision to veto the bill sends the message that gun safety is not a priority for the state, which is simply unacceptable. In her veto letter, Governor Hobbs stated, “Ensuring the safety of our students is a responsibility that belongs to all of us.” We agree. That is why HB2332 was so important, and yet while the Governor admits to meeting “with gun safety advocates to discuss acts of preventable gun violence,” she never responded to numerous requests to meet and discuss from us.

It’s crucial to remember that firearms are not toys, and they should never be treated as such. Children must understand the dangers associated with guns and how to handle them safely, even if they have never personally encountered a firearm before. This education can be the difference between life and death for both the child and those around them.

That’s why it’s critical for parents and guardians to take responsibility for educating their children about firearms, especially now that HB2332 has been vetoed. They should talk to their kids about the dangers of playing with guns and emphasize the importance of never touching a firearm without adult supervision. It’s also crucial to teach children what to do if they come across a firearm accidentally, such as immediately leaving the area and telling a trusted adult.

Moreover, parents and guardians should teach their children to differentiate between toys and firearms, as some toy guns look similar to real firearms. It’s important to emphasize that real guns can cause harm and are not to be played with, no matter how similar they may look to a toy.

Teaching children about firearm safety is a paramount responsibility for parents, guardians, and society as a whole. It’s not only about protecting our children but also about preventing tragedies. While the veto of the recent bill is disheartening, we can all take steps to educate our children about the importance of not playing with firearms. By doing so, we can create a safer world for our children to live in.

Michael Infanzon is the Managing Partner for EPIC Policy Group and lobbies on behalf of groups like the Arizona Citizens Defense League and the Arizona Firearms Industry Trade Association.