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Senate panel approves 3 weapons bills, holds two others

A handful of bills aimed at easing restrictions on weapons were approved by a Senate committee on Jan. 25.

One of the bills, S1021, would justify deadly force if a person shoots someone who is threatening physical violence. Last year, lawmakers made it legal for a person to display his gun if he feels threatened. The bill is identical to H2015.

The Senate Judiciary Committee also passed S1101, which would allow certain active and retired law officers to carry concealed weapons without a concealed-weapons permit.

A third bill that passed, S1153, would prohibit local governments from enacting any ordinance, rule or tax relating to transporting, possessing, carrying, selling, manufacturing or using a “cutting instrument” with sharpened or pointed blade.”

The three bills that passed were supported by Republicans on the committee.

A few other gun bills were held.

One bill that was held, S1102, would allow people who have a concealed-weapons permit to carry concealed weapons even if they don’t have the permit with them. Right now, a permit can be suspended if a person is caught carrying a concealed weapon and cannot produce the permit for inspection by a law enforcement officer.

Sen. Jonathan Paton, the Judiciary chairman, said the bill will be held until supporters negotiate with stakeholders over the final language of the bill.
Also held was S1098, which states that a personal firearm, accessory or ammunition is not subject to federal law or regulations if kept within the borders of Arizona. The bill stipulates that guns manufactured and sold in the state must be stamped with “Made in Arizona.” 

In 2009, Montana and Tennessee became the first states to enact similar legislation.

The Judiciary Committee also passed the following measures:

*S1061 would modify the felony classifications of incest. The bill outlines that committing incest with a person under the age of 15 can be punished as a Class 2 felony. Class 3 felony charges apply if the victim is 15 years or older. Class 4 felony charges apply if the victim is 18 years or older.

Representatives from the Attorney General’s Office testified that the bill aims to fix a loophole in existing law. Right now, adults who commit incest may be charged with a Class 4 felony. But if an adult commits incest with someone who is 15 years old, the adult may be charged with a Class 6 felony, a lower charge.

*S1059 would modify the definition of sex trafficking and trafficking of persons for forced labor or other services. It would allow sex trafficking charges to be brought against a suspect regardless of whether a crime was committed with the intent to transport the victim to a different location. Right now, prosecutors must prove the suspect intended to transport a victim.

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