Gov. Doug Ducey demonstrated his support for firearms protections by signing two pieces of legislation and vetoing a third further-reaching measure.

One bill signed by Ducey safeguards the right to carry weapons on or near school grounds as long as it’s on a public street, sidewalk or alley maintained by a municipality. 

Ducey also signed a proposal that adds penalties for cities, towns and counties that pass firearms legislation stricter than state law.

That bill will allow courts to assess up to $50,000 in penalties against cities or towns that knowingly enact stricter measures. It also allows courts to award up to $100,000 in damages and legal fees to anyone who wins a lawsuit against a city or town that violates the law.

The law is largely aimed at gun regulations passed in Tucson that former Attorney General Tom Horne said in 2013 are beyond the city’s authority. The National Rifle Association called Ducey’s actions a victory for Arizona gun owners in a press release.

“Enhancing the state’s pre-emption laws guarantees that every Arizonan will be held to the same standards whether they live in Tempe or Tucson,” NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide said in the release.

Opponents say the bills Ducey signed erode the powers of cities and towns and endanger students.

“When was the last time you saw a school surrounded by a concrete wall? If you can come to a chain link fence with a gun and no one can do anything about it, that is a clear and present danger,” Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, said.

Ducey vetoed a bill that would have established Arizona as the first in an interstate compact that would have nullified any current or future law that impedes Second Amendment rights. Mandatory background checks were included on that list.

Ducey called the proposal unnecessary and said the bill would have given up Arizona’s sovereignty to other states.

“I trust the citizens of Arizona and their elected leaders to continue to make wise decisions to protect our Second Amendment rights,” he said. 

Another firearms bill still awaiting action from the governor would allow retired police officers to carry guns into bars.

(2) comments

Stephen Wenger

Governor Ducey has knowingly mischaracterized the compact bill that he vetoed and, sadly, the NRA has quoted that mischaracterization.

HB 2524 was intended to block former New York City billionaire Michael Bloomberg' s forthcoming ballot initiative in Arizona. Two years ago billionaire Bloomberg and a few of his billionaire buddies from the computer industry spent nearly $10 billion to persuade voters in the State of Washington to outlaw the transfer of firearms - including temporary ones - between private parties who are not prohibited from receiving them, under the guise that criminals who want guns will submit to background checks in order to buy them lawfully.

Similar initiatives are already scheduled for the Maine and Nevada ballots this year and it appears that Bloomberg-funded signature gatherers will hit the streets soon in Arizona.

What HB 2524 would have done was authorize the State of Arizona to enter into compacts with other states, agreeing that no signatory state would enact stricter requirements for firearm transfers than those mandated under federal law. PERIOD.

Ducey's claim that the compact would have allowed other states to dictate presumably more restrictive gun laws to Arizona is completely false. The compact would have been limited to that one issue and, if Arizona sought other states to enter into such a compact, it's rather disingenuous to paint that as other states dictating to Arizona.

For those unfamiliar with the term "compact," it is an agreement between or among states, similar to a treaty between or among nations. So long as the compact does not violate the federal constitution or the constitutions of the states that sign it, the compact assumes a legal status just below the constitutions of each state. Two compacts that come to mind that currently affect Arizonans are the Colorado River Compact and Driver License Agreement that governs the interstate recognition of driver licenses.


If the hypocritical Ducey and his fellow right wing republican legislators really believe in allowing guns in schools and bars, then they should lead by example and allow all gun owners to carry their guns into the state capitol and do away with capitol security. Their restrictions on lawful gun owners not permitted to carry firearms into the state capitiol ,the people's house, is a clear cut violation of eroding the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens. It is absolutely hypocritical and cowardice for them to pass laws alllowing guns closer and near schools with kids that have been victims of gun violence and at the same time, these republican legislators show their cowardly concern that they need protection from gun owners by not allowing guns in the state capitol. The republican legislator's mode of thinking: Guns mixed with your school children is O.K., but guns mixed with us legislators is not O.K. Hypocritical Cowards!

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