Arizona communities will no longer be permitted to have gun regulations stricter than state laws.
Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday signed legislation which overrules any local ordinance which is more restrictive than those approved by the Legislature. And even in situations where the rules are the same, cities and counties could not have a penalty more severe than permitted by lawmakers.
Most immediately the law, which takes effect later this summer, would overrule regulations that some cities have against people having handguns in city parks. Instead, that would leave only state laws which spell out how far from a building someone must be to fire a weapon.
Separately, Brewer has penned her approval to legislation to exempt any weapons or ammunition manufactured and sold in Arizona from federal firearms laws. The governor, in a prepared statement, said the new law “should send a clear and convincing message that politicians in Washington should not attempt to get between Arizonans and their constitutional rights.”
Whether that actually happens, however, remains in doubt.
The new Arizona law is adapted from a virtually identical statute adopted by Montana lawmakers. That generated an open letter by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to licensed federal firearms dealers in that state warning them that federal law supersedes the new state statute.
Several organizations then filed suit in federal court challenging the right of the federal government to control firearms and ammunition manufactured and sold within Montana. That lawsuit is still pending.
Brewer was undeterred. The governor said both bills she signed Monday “protect and strengthen Arizonan’s constitutional rights provided under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”