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 four 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 Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • 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???

  • 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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