U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar  spoke to the Gila County Republicans in this 2018 photo.

ARIZONA — U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar Thursday unleashed a fierce attack on a proposed state senate bill to bar the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

“Twelve radical Democrats in Arizona have introduced shocking legislation, Senate Bill 1625, which would flagrantly violate the Bill of Rights and American civil liberties,” wrote Gosar (R-Prescott) in a press release. “Not only do these extremists seek to disarm citizens, leaving them without the ability to defend their families, themselves, or their property, they also directly attack Arizona jobs and the Arizona economy by seeking to unlawfully ban gun manufacturing in Arizona.”

Senate Bill 1625 would ban sale, manufacture, importation or possession of semiautomatic rifles with a detachable magazine holding more than 10 rounds. People who already own such weapons would have 90 days to remove them from the state, turn them into a law enforcement agency or make them permanently inoperable.

The bill would allow police and other categories of people to own assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, but they would have to register the weapons. The bill also has exceptions for firearms dealers and manufacturers under certain conditions.

The bill comes as several counties have declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuary” counties, including Apache, Yavapai and La Paz counties.

Congress enacted a similar, national ban in 1994, which expired in 2004. Courts upheld that law as constitional.

The Gifford’s Law Center website noted that the use of such weapons and magazines in mass shootings has increased significantly since Congress let the ban expire. The website (https://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/hardware-ammunition/large-capacity-magazines/) cited studies showing firearms with high-capacity magazines account for an estimated 22 to 36 percent of gun crimes and 40 percent of the serious violent crimes and murders of police. The share of guns used in crimes with such magazines has risen between 49 and 112% in several major cities since the ban expired.

One study found that during the 10-year period the ban was in effect nationally, mass shooting deaths were 70 percent less likely to occur and the number of people who died in mass shootings was 43 percent less.

Since the repeal of the ban, the number of mass shootings has risen 183 percent and the deaths in such shootings has risen 239 percent. The victim count on average is twice as high when a mass shooter has a high-capacity magazine.

Nine states have since enacted a ban on high-capacity magazines and/or assault weapons, including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Vermont and Colorado only ban the high capacity magazines.

Some states ban importation, sale and manufacture but don’t require people who already own assault rifles and high capacity magazines to turn them in or register them.

Supporters of the ban say a mass shooter with a high capacity magazine can fire off many more rounds without stopping to reload. Incidents they cite include:

• A mass shooter in 2011 in Tucson killed six people and wounded 13 others, including US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. A bystander stopped the rampage by tackling the shooter as he reloaded.

• The mass shooter in 2019 in Dayton, Ohio used an assault weapon and drum magazine with 100 rounds and got off at least 41 rounds in 30 seconds, killing nine and wounding 26.

• The 2017 mass shooter in Las Vegas fired 100 rounds in 10 seconds without reloading using a large capacity magazine, bump stock and assault rifle. He killed 50 people and wounded “hundreds.”

Gosar blasted efforts to enact restrictions on assault rifles and high capacity magazines in Arizona, saying it amounted to an attack on gun manufacturers in the state, including Sturm, Ruger & Co. in Prescott and HWP Ammo in Payson as well as Raytheon missiles in Tucson.

“An attack on one weapon manufacturer is an attack on all,” he said.

Rep. Gosar predicted bloodshed should the state require people who own assault weapons to permanently disable them or turn them in to law enforcement.

“The radical Democrats further seek to create a potentially lethal confrontation between lawful gun owners and law enforcement personnel who would foolishly seek to enforce this law if enacted. The proposed law states that lawful gun owners must “surrender” their guns — or else law enforcement will go house to house kicking in doors. This is completely unacceptable and creates a dangerous police-state confrontation with citizens.”

The issue of gun control may play a role in Arizona’s election this year, given the apparent lock Mark Kelly has on the Democratic nomination for the US senate seat. He will face appointed incumbent Sen. Martha McSally.

Kelly is the husband of former Rep. Giffords, gravely wounded in an assassination attempt in Tucson in 2011. She and Kelly started the Giffords Law Center in response, which has lobbied for gun control measures like closing registration loopholes and banning assault weapons.

In addition, Gov. Doug Ducey has supported “red flag” laws, which make it possible for police officers to at least temporarily take guns from people thought to pose a danger to themselves or others, pending a formal court hearing.

Some 60 to 70 percent of Americans support tougher gun control laws, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. That includes 86 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of Republicans. (https://www.npr.)

Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at paleshire@payson.com


Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at paleshire@payson.com

(16) comments


First off, do they really think that a "bad person" with these types of weapons is just willingly going to take them to law enforcement and give them up? No, law abiding citizens or "good people" will follow the law which still doesn't solve the problem of taking guns out of the hands of bad people, it just hurts good people. Lastly, texting and driving kills way more people than guns do, lets just take cell phones away and see how that goes.


Spot on, Jordan. Only the law abiders would be left defenseless. Of 30K TOTAL gun deaths in the US each year, 65% are suicides, 17% are gang/drug-related, 17% are 'other' including justified police actions. 1.5% die in mass shootings.

40K Americans die annually from drug overdose, 36K from the flu and 34K in car accidents. STOP IT with this gun hysteria!! It's still true: Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Bob Smith

Isn't this the guy whose family published an open letter urging voters to avoid reelecting him? A tool for the Koch's his self-sanctimonious halo is on so tight it's restricting blood from circulating in his brain. But you have to hand it to him: in Arizona all you have to do is hold up a baby, a gun and a bible and you'll get elected.


Doubt the ban would be effective but sure would like to ban Arizona's national embarrassment Gosar, the shoe shine boy for our orange president.


It's high time that voters call the sponsors/supporting politicians of these communistic laws and give them an earful of discontent. I support our constitution in whole and the 2nd Amendment gives we the people the ability to do that when these gun grabbing liberal commies try denying our rights. The 2nd Amendment has NOTHING to do with hunting or sport shooting and everything to do with keeping our freedom


Got to be a Communist or liberal if you want to reduce gun violence?


2linden, Read your post. Now read it again. Are you Archie Bunker resurrected?


I am a gun owner, not a liberal, progressive or a Commie, but I am open to ideas that may reduce gun violence. Thank you 2linden.


What part of "shall not be infringed" do the libruls not understand?


I'm proud to be a liberal, here's what liberals have gotten done. How has your party contributed the the betterment of the U.S.

The 40-hour work week, and thus, weekends!

Overtime pay and minimum wage.

Paid Vacations.

Women’s Voting Rights

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

The right of people of all colors to use schools and facilities.

Public schools.

Public libraries

Public transportation

Public universities

Public broadcasting

Public police and fire departments

Worker’s rights

Labor safety and fairness laws

Child-labor laws.

The right to unionize

Health care benefits

National Parks, Monuments, and Forests, “America’s Best Idea”

Interstate Highway System

Safe food and drugs (via the FDA)

Social Security


The Moon Landing and other space exploration


The Office of Congressional Ethics.

The Internet

National Weather Service

Product Labeling/Truth in Advertising Laws

Rural Electrification/Tennessee Valley Authority

Bank Deposit Insurance

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Rights of the disabled (via Americans With Disabilities Act)

Family and Medical Leave Act

Clean air and water (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency).

Civilian Conservation Corps

Panama Canal

Hoover Dam

The Federal Reserve


The United States Military



Peace between Israel and Egypt

Peace between Israel and Jordan

Veterans Medical Care

Federal Housing Administration

Extending Voting Rights to 18 year olds

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Religion/Separation of Church and State

Right to Due Process

Freedom of The Press

Right to Organize and Protest

Pell Grants and other financial aid to students

Federal Aviation Administration/Airline safety regulations

The end of slavery in the USA (The Emancipation Proclamation, The 13th Amendment)

Unemployment benefits

Smithsonian Institute


Mandatory Foo Labeling

Peace Corps

United Nations

World Health Organization

The Lincoln Tunnel

Sulfur emissions cap and trade to eliminate acid rain

Earned Income Tax Credit

The banning of lead in consumer products

National Institute of Health

Garbage pickup/clean streets

Banning of CFCs.

LGBT rights

Erie Canal

Bailout — and thus continued existence — of the American Auto Industr

Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Established the basis for Universal Human Rights by writing the Declaration of Independence

Miranda Rights

Banning of torture

The right to a proper defense in court

An independent judiciary

The right to vote

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Fair, open, and honest elections

The right to bear arms

The founding of The United States of America

The defeat of the Nazis and victory in World War II


Woman’s Right to Choose

The Civil Rights Movement

National Science Foundation

Vehicle Safety Standards


The income tax and power to tax in general, which have been used to pay for much of this list.

911 Emergency system

Tsunami, hurricane, tornado, and earthquake warning systems

The Freedom of Information Act

Water Treatment Centers and sewage systems

The Meat Inspection Act

The Pure Food And Drug Act

The Bretton Woods system

International Monetary Fund

SEC, which regulates Wall Street (weaked by conservatives)

National Endowment for the Arts

Campaign finance laws (weaked by conservatives)

Federal Crop Insurance

United States Housing Authority

School Lunch Act

Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act

Vaccination Assistance Act

The creation of counterinsurgency forces such as the Navy Seals and Green Berets.

Voting Rights Act, which ended poll taxes, literacy tests, and other voter qualification tests (weaked by conservatives)

The Brady Bill (5-day wait on handgun purchases for background checks)

Lobbying Disclosure Act

"Motor-Voter" Act

Civil Rights Act of 1968

Job Corps

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

Teacher Corps

Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966

National Trails System Act of 1968

U.S. Postal Service

Modern Civilization


I hate to burst your bubble but here's a couple points for you to ponder.. 1. the democrat party is so far from being the party it was in the 40' 50' & 60's there are no similarities today, it's now aligned with the CPUSA ( communist party USA ).... 2. there are items you listed as accomplishments that were actually republican such as the interstate highways ( Eisenhower did that) among others.... and 3. anyone who thinks the 2nd Amendment is about hunting or sport shooting should go back and re-study history because it isn't


The 40-hour work week, and thus, weekends! Overtime pay and minimum wage, Paid Vacations. = Henry Ford...... Interstate highway + Dwight Eisenhower..... you should've said you're proud to be a misled, misinformed sheep liberal


[thumbdown] Gosar should be voted out of office at our earliest opportunity. The facts are against him because the ban on military weapons has been shown to reduce gun violence; and the law is against him because the "right to bear arms" that should not be "infringed" as understood by the founders were single shot, black powder loading muskets used to hunt food and protect the family in the wilderness, not military weapons of the 21st century. Gosar, you are the radical, extremist here in insisting that an 18th century constitutional guarantee should somehow, retroactively, protect 21st century military weapons. This is absurd, sir! I suppose this line of argument (reason has little to do with it) would just as easily be stretched to protect 22nd century pocket nukes. In my opinion, Gosar is just another left-over, wanna be radical, right wing, fascist extremist from which my beloved, but beaten, Arizona, must seek a quick divorce!


keep your head buried in those liberal false talking points and I might consider saving you when the commies come to take away everything you currently own including your life


Seems like the dictator Trump and his commie partner Putin with the help of republicans are already busy destroying the U.S. Constitution, all our national security intelligence agencies, the DOJ and seeking revenge on patriots who voice opposition to their unamerican activities. Trump has TWICE taken the word of communist Putin over all 17 American intelligence agencies. (Edited by WMI)

(Edited by staff.)

che guevara

Ever see a commie drink water ?

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