The Second Amendment Preservation Act was introduced to the Arizona Senate on Feb. 3 of 2014 and did not meet its deadline for total Senate approval during the 2014 state legislative session, but it “will likely be reintroduced in the next session,” according to Arizona Sen. Kelli Ward. The act would prohibit state officials from enforcing any federal laws pertaining to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition within the limits of the state, and force any who knowingly fail to comply out of office permanently. It would also prohibit the distribution of any state funds to enforcement of federal gun laws. SB1294 and similar acts have been introduced in 20 states so far, Arizona included. Of the 20 states, three have enacted their versions of it, including Alaska, Idaho, and Kansas.
The 2015 state legislative session is scheduled to begin Jan. 12, when Ward plans to reintroduce the bill. “We believe in our Second Amendment right to bear arms. The bill would allow that to continue in Arizona without federal overreach. To me the Second Amendment means freedom and liberty. We have constitutional carry in Arizona and it is safer because of this. States and cities with gun restrictions are less safe. The majority of the mass shootings in the U.S. have been in ‘gun free zones,’” Ward said.
For SB1294 to pass, it would require grassroots action and support. “This bill doesn’t have a hired lobbyist. We the people must lobby for it to pass,” she said. The bill went as far as being approved by the senate judiciary committee. It reached 25 percent sanction during the 2014 session. Levi Unzeitig is a range officer currently employed by Caswells Shooting range in Mesa. He stated: “I don’t know if the Second Amendment Preservation Act will really affect gun owners that much, but reading about the 150,000 vets that have had their gun rights revoked, obviously that hit a soft spot with me because I am a veteran.”
Steven Lopez, an army veteran and frequent patron of Caswells Shooting Range, believes the Second Amendment should be preserved. “The state of Arizona, in my mind, has always been a state where its citizens have enjoyed the freedoms of the constitution and in particular the Second Amendment. Arizona has low crime, and low gun related crime in particular. When you take out the illegal aspect, it has a low gun crime rate, and I think Arizonans recognize that for what it is,” said Lopez. If SB1294 should pass, it would be put into effect 91 days after the 2015 session ends on April 24.