Proposes state law would place state over federal on gun rights

Arizona

Proposes state law would place state over federal on gun rights

Posted: Updated:
State Rep. Carl Steel says HB 2291 would help preserve the Second Amendment rights of all Arizonans. (CBS) State Rep. Carl Steel says HB 2291 would help preserve the Second Amendment rights of all Arizonans. (CBS)

PHOENIX (CBS) - Within a month of the start of the legislative session, four state legislators have proposed House Bill 2291, which would make federal laws restricting certain firearms illegal in the state of Arizona.

"The gist of (HB 2291) really is to preserve the Second Amendment rights of all the Arizona citizens," said Rep. Carl Seel, who co-sponsored the bill.

According to the legislation, anyone trying to enforce a federal "rule, regulation or order that is effective on or after January 1, 2013" and limits or restricts ownership of a semiautomatic firearm or any magazine of any firearm can be charged with a Class 6 felony.

"When the federal government oversteps its power and trounces on the citizenry, it's incumbent on the states to stand up and say no," said Seel.

Eleven other states have proposed incredibly similar legislation. Some bills even have the same wording. Seel says Arizona's HB 2291 was crafted with the help of what he calls "experts in the field."

CBS 5's Greg Argos asked Seel whether those experts were affiliated with the NRA or similar organization.

"I'm sure the NRA would support this (bill)," responded Seel.

CBS 5 contacted attorney Morris Callaman to see whether HB 2291 is even enforceable.

"This particular bill, while perfectly legal to enact, is not legal to enforce because of the supremacy clause of the Constitution," said Callaman.

Callaman says HB 2291 introduction is likely meant to simply send a message to federal leaders in Washington.

"It does send a clear message to those who are paying attention that this is something we don't like in Arizona, but from a legal perspective, it doesn't have the force of law," said Callaman.

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