Even as Senate Bill 1098, known as the Arizona Firearms Freedom Act, was assigned to the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, an almost identical Firearms Freedom bill was introduced in the House and assigned the number HB2307.
The proposed legislation confronts the position taken by most members of Congress that the “Commerce Clause”, found in Article I, Section 8, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, gives them nearly unlimited power to regulate anything which even remotely affects interstate commerce. Either one of these bills would challenge that claim, by exempting guns manufactured in Arizona from federal regulation, as long as they are stamped “Made in Arizona” and do not leave the state.
The House bill is sponsored by many legislators who also sponsored Arizona’s Health Care Freedom Amendment (HCR 2014), and its Sovereignty Resolution (HCR 2001). Sadly, only Republican legislators in Arizona seem to have any interest in federalism at this time.
The legislative findings contained in both bills assert Arizona’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment and the people’s unenumerated rights under the Ninth Amendment. They also emphasize the fact that when Arizona entered the union in 1912, its people did so as part of a contract between the state and the people of Arizona and the United States.
The Senate bill (1098) will be deliberated by the Judiciary Committee on Monday, January 25th in Senate House Room 1 at 1:30 P.M. and the House bill (2307) will move towards a committee this week. All Legislative Committee Hearings, Meetings, and Floor Actions can be viewed live or on demand by visiting the legislature’s video archives.
It is very likely that a Firearms Freedom bill will pass both houses and be signed by Governor Brewer into law. This will add Arizona to the list of states like Montana and Tennessee that are arresting the evil of Congressional Commerce Clause Abuse (CCCA) by nullifying unconstitutional federal laws.
Derek Sheriff [send him email] is a research analyst for the Tenth Amendment Center. His articles have appeared in various publications, and he writes regularly for the Center on issues related to state sovereignty and nullification. His blog and podcast “Principles of ’98” can be found at www.PrinciplesOfNinetyEight.Com. View his Tenth Amendment Center blog archives here, and his article archives here.