Arizona Rep Looks To Expand Militia Protections to Protect Gun Owner Rights

Arizona Republican State Representative David Stringer has pre-filed four legislative bills that seek to protect the rights of gun owners by expanding protections for who makes up the unorganized militia and what equipment is protected.

Rep. Stringer has introduced three bills, HB 20572058 and 2059, as well as a constitutional amendment that would remove the age restriction of those participating.

Currently, the Arizona Constitution states:

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1. Composition of militia

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Section 1. The militia of the state of Arizona shall consist of all capable citizens of the state between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, and of those between said ages who shall have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, residing therein, subject to such exemptions as now exist, or as may hereafter be created, by the laws of the United States or of this state.

If passed, it would be submitted to the voters in the next general election for approval.

The other bills deal with protecting the arms used as well.

For instance, Stringer wants to rewrite the law that only allow for a two or three shot burst from a weapon with a single pull of the trigger to be understood as a weapon that “IS DESIGNED TO AUTOMATICALLY SHOOT MORE THAN ONE SHOT, WITHOUT MANUAL RELOADING, BY A SINGLE FUNCTION OF THE TRIGGER.”

Rep. Stringer is also seeking to protect firearms that law enforcement are allowed to use as well, such as a revolver or semi-auto firearm, semi-automatic or pump shotgun, magazine or accessories.

Furthermore, one of his bills would establish an Arizona Civilian Marksmanship Program, which would be used for training of citizens of the state and would be allowed to receive monies from the public to maintain the program and the state would contract with gun manufacturers in the state to refurbish firearms or firearms accessories to participants.

Attorney Michael Taylor, who helped Stringer write the bills, spoke to The Arizona Daily Sun and addressed certain issues as machine guns and bump stocks, as well as ammunition.

“We’re not making anything new legal,” Taylor said. “We are simply providing a mechanism for the court to decide in our favor.”

The law first spells out that Arizona needs “a body of citizens within this state who possess and are trained in the use of arms.” It then contains a laundry list of weapons and related equipment that are considered “particularly suited” for such purposes and says that those who are members of the militia may possess and transport said weapons in the state “for all lawful purposes.”

The list includes any semiautomatic handgun, revolver or shotgun as well as any related equipment such as noise and flash suppressors, aiming systems, trigger systems, bayonets, carrying slings, and lights

And it even covers “any other small arms weapons system, ammunition, accessory or equipment that is in use by the armed forces of the United States or that is authorized for use by any law enforcement agency in this state.”

But Taylor said that does not necessarily overrule all federal laws and restrictions.

For example, he said U.S. citizens are, in fact, allowed to possess certain machine guns. Taylor said, though, that nothing in this legislation would exempt Arizonans who want a machine gun from having to go through the special process now in place to get licensed for one. Steps of the licensing process range from a $200 tax stamp and three sets of fingerprints to a background check that could take a year.

A bit less specific is that HB2075 would allow Arizonans to possess “sufficient quantities of ammunition necessary to maintain a high degree of proficiency of arms.”

“If it goes to court, it will obviously have a ‘reasonable man’ standard applied to it,” Taylor said. “It depends upon the specific circumstance, the specific gun.”

Well, again, a “reasonable man’s standard” is not a standard.  It’s subjective and ambiguous.  That part is not good.  There should be no restriction on how much ammunition a person owns.

And while I understand Mr. Taylor wants to recognize federal gun laws, every single one of them is unconstitutional, according to the Second Amendment.

This legislation is good in that it recognizes the right to keep and bear arms.  It is also good because it sees the militia as a valid, constitutional means of repelling an invasion, putting down insurrection and securing the free state of Arizona.

Let’s see what kind of traction it will get this coming year in Arizona.

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