Arizona Gun Owners Fighting ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban, Universal Background Checks

Thousands gathered at the Arizona Capitol this week to protest the anti-gun bills in the Arizona legislature. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Arizona gun owners are speaking out against several gun control bills making their way through the state legislature. A recent gun rights rally at the capital drew five times more attendees than usual as protestors lobbied against an “assault weapons” ban, a magazine ban, and a universal background check bill.

“There is a Senate bill regarding a ban of assault weapons and we don’t agree with that bill,” one attendee, David Edie, told AZ Central. “We’re here to show our support for the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms.”

Another attendee, Carolyn Sherman, acknowledged that gun control bills have little chance of passing the Republican-controlled legislature, but also encouraged gun owners to stay vigilant.

“Even if they’re not passed now, it’s sort of chipping away at the wall,” she said. “The more you chip at it, the more it cracks, and the more it cracks, the more rubble falls, and pretty soon the wall comes down.”

Rally organizers told AZ Central that the largest turnout before this year was about 500 people. This year, the event drew 2,500.

SEE ALSO: Everytown Slams 2A Sanctuary Movement: ‘They’re Ripping Apart the Constitution’

Republicans hold a 17-13 majority in the Senate and a slim 31-29 majority in the House. Gun control bills are unlikely to reach the governor’s desk, but that hasn’t stopped gun control proponents from introducing legislation to limit Second Amendment rights.

Senate Bill 1625 was introduced by Democratic Senator Rebecca Rios and co-sponsored by 11 additional Democratic senators. The bill would ban the manufacture, importation, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of “assault weapons” as well as magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

Anyone in possession of illegal magazines before the law’s effective date would be required to remove the items from the state, destroy them, or surrender them. The law would require owners of “assault weapons” to do the same, but also allows eligible possessors to register their rifles with the state.

SEE ALSO: With Dems Help, Virginia Senate Blocks ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban (For Now)

Senate Bill 1624 would prohibit the private sale of firearms by requiring that all sales be conducted via a federally licensed dealer. The law requires a prospective firearm seller to surrender his or her firearm to a dealer, who must conduct a background check on the prospective buyer. If the buyer is a prohibited person, the dealer must also conduct a background check on the seller before returning the firearm.

The law makes some exceptions to this requirement. Immediate family members can transfer a firearm to each other as long as the firearm is a “bona fide gift.” People can also temporarily transfer firearms to another person at a gun range as long as the firearm never leaves the range, and to adult hunters as long as the owner stays with the hunter.

Both bills have been assigned to the Judiciary Committee, which has yet to take up either measure.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

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  • William Wood April 2, 2021, 12:05 pm

    sfvshooter, you are misinformed and/or not thinking!

    Background checks are already required for 99% of all gun sales.

    More importantly, background checks do not work.

    None of the mass shootings broadcast everywhere in the news would have been prevented by a background check law.

    Murder is a death penalty offense. Do you actually think a murderer is worried about violating a low level crime like possession of an illegally obtained weapon?

    None of the mass murderers in the news would have failed a background check.

    Any potential mass murderer who would fail a background check can easily get a gun illegally via theft or the black market.

    Any potential mass murderer who cannot get a gun can simply choose a different weapon.

    Would you prefer to be blasted by a pipe bomb, sprayed with acid, stabbed by a knife, driven over by a pickup truck, smashed in the head with a baseball bat, chopped with a machete, etc.

    Back to your basic background check……

    Give us an example of any dangerous gun sale that would have been prevented by a background check?

    You cannot buy a gun anywhere in the country without a background check except from a private individual.
    Even at gun shows most sales require a background check because the seller is a dealer and cannot sell without a background check. All internet sales require background checks, the seller must send the gun to a licensed dealer in the buyer’s state who handles the background check.

    Since only a tiny, tiny fraction of all gun sales/transfers are between totally private individuals in the same state, we don’t need universal background checks. There is no evidence whatsoever that these totally private sales/transfers between private people in the same state are the source of guns used in mass murders. This is not a loophole, since it is not a problem. Since it is not a problem it does not need a “solution”.

    I am a gun person with over 60 years experience and have never seen or heard of a bad private gun sale or transfer. The only private sales/transfers I have seen without background checks occur between relatives or friends or club members. The thought of requiring me to get a background check on my son or daughter or friend or fellow shooter if I want to sell or give them a gun is pure abuse of government power. I would never sell or give a gun to a complete stranger and don’t know anybody who would.

    You are missing the point that the left’s “common sense” gun laws are not common sense, they are the step by step process of taking guns away from the people. More background checks will not stop mass murder or any other gun crime, such laws will only affect law abiding people who don’t need to be hassled since they don’t commit crimes in the first place.

    Most importantly, more background check laws are a step closer to gun registration which is the primary tool for controlling gun ownership and enabling gun confiscation. The real motive behind “common sense” gun laws is outlawing guns step by step.

  • Lindley March 26, 2021, 5:21 am

    Sounds like too many Californians have moved into Arizona and brought their anti-gun bullshit with them!

  • Bad Penguin October 26, 2020, 12:50 pm

    AZ Senators sound like 1937 Nazi’s in Germany. It should be the law that legislator that sponsors, supports or votes for a gun control bill should be forced to turn over all of their guns (including historical guns and black powder firearms) to the state police for destruction and also to permanently lose their right to buy and own firearms and hire or have hired for them public or private security.

    These are the rights (not privilege’s) they want t take from you so they should be permanently stripped from them even if the measure fails.

  • Invictus October 2, 2020, 12:36 pm

    The control freaks will stop at nothing in their conceit and condescension to remove the innate natural right to protect oneself from a government run amok–as well as other violent threats. The lazy indifference allowing the attitude, “It can’t happen here,” is for fools who refuse to accept reality, who do not deserve their liberty.

  • mrpski February 21, 2020, 9:25 pm

    Sadly our pioneers grow old and die. Liberal minded people, mostly of California, move in for the relatively cheap living here compared to there. Arizonians need to be vigilant and teach or children and grandchildren well so they will understand that freedom is not free but must be cultivated. For right now this bill will sit awhile in the state legislature and after the media moves on to better news will quietly go away. I have faith in both the people of our great state and the people of our great nation, that as we rise up to defend what is ours this madness we see in the world today will also go away; quietly or not my friends, this too shall pass.

  • Mr. Sparkles February 21, 2020, 6:31 pm

    So while the democratic anti-gun lobby is wasting time sponsoring these bills and forcing the entire legislature to waste time discussing them nothing useful is getting done but the dems can pat each other on the back and tell each other what a good job they did “trying” to do the right thing for their constituents who are to stupid to know what’s good for them but not really have to accomplish anything at all.

    Gotta live they way the liberal mind works. Or not.

  • sfvshooter February 21, 2020, 12:40 pm

    I didn’t grow up with firearms and came into it late in life, but…

    What’s wrong with basic background checks for people who want to buy/sell guns? How’s it a bad thing to know who is buying/selling firearms if that means we can keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t own them? I know the argument “criminals don’t follow the law so you’re just harming law-abiding citizens” and I agree with it, but just because criminals don’t follow the laws, it doesn’t mean you get rid of all laws.

    Is it give an inch and they want a mile? Refusing to budge on a common sense issue makes one look unreasonable.

    • Mr. Sparkles February 21, 2020, 6:38 pm

      If they worked, I might agree. Not familiar with the laws in every state but if background checks truly worked, Chicago, Detroit and NYC would be Mayberry. Wake up, get the facts and use a little critical thinking. The goal of these folks is not to prevent crime but to prevent anyone other then who THEY allow from possessing firearms and to have a good list of gun owners for when the slope slips and confiscation becomes the next step in the downward slide.

    • Talon Braun July 3, 2020, 5:36 pm

      First and foremost ANY LAW including the 1934 and 1968 firearms acts are UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!! Whether you commited a crime or not you are entitled to your rights. The Dems have always enacted these and will continue to do so. A friend of mine got a felony dui 25 years ago. So he should have his rights taken away after serving his time and is now upstanding citizen???

    • Invictus October 2, 2020, 12:43 pm

      We already have checks out the derriere for everything in our firearms lives. One cannot purchase a firearm from a commercial enterprise without a background check. While we are at it, let’s have background checks for hammers, clubs, bats, lead pipes, knives, and assorted other implements that can be used to assault and harm people. Where shall liberty end. How much intrusion into the lives of American citizens will you accept before “freedom” is contemptible joke?

      There are 100 million American gun owners possessing 300 million guns and hundreds of billions of rounds of ammunition, If there were anything about them and supposed inadequacy of gun laws that we already have, buddy, you would damn sure know it by now. So get wise and spend time and thought on something that matters.

    • DELCO October 26, 2020, 8:42 am

      You make ZERO SENSE SFV. You MUST pass a background check to buy a firearm already. What are you talking about SFVSHOOTER? Please tell us all what Gun shop or any place that sells Guns that allows anyone to walk in, say I want that Gun , pay in cash or CC then say thanks and walk out the door. That’s illegal PERIOD. Get informed. And DO NOT mention gun shows, because less then 3% of all Guns sold are from Gun shows. SFVSHOOTER , you absolutely have never purchased a gun. PLEASE name a place where background checks are not required. I expect either a BS reply or no reply because you are either intentionally trying to be annoying, or a fraud .

    • chauvin November 14, 2020, 10:17 am

      you can go straight to hell that bullshit is the problem you are the enemy of freedom all your reasonable garbage be Damned.
      I think it reasonable anyone that has any issue with GOD given rights to question in any way be removed from our land either on your own or gut shot and thrown in the sea a traitor along with his seed for all to scorn.
      You have not bothered to read any of the founding documents like the federalist or anti federalist papers you have done Nothing to fulfill your responsibilities to GOD the republic or your fellow citizens in regards to the social compact therefore you deserve no rights whatsoever. just get the hell out of our country you have No right to be here any longer.
      two hundred countrys in this world and You want to f- up the USA its GODs country the only place left for him and his followers.
      Screw You. Get Out. and Shut the fuk up regardless.
      your a worthless excuse of a man your no man just a coward with a big mouth and a empty head.

  • Matt February 21, 2020, 8:37 am

    This is probably being funded by Bloomberg. The same thing happened in VA, he bought the campaigns of House Reps and then they introduced a slew of anti gun bills, no doubt repaying the favor of campaign funding. Unfortunately the House, Senate and Governor seat are all Dems and most of the bills went through and will certainly be signed into law. Don’t think it can’t happen in AZ or any state if you are complacent. Get out there and vote and keep the people proposing these bills out of office!!!

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