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House votes to forbid enforcement of some federal gun laws

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The state House voted 33-21 Wednesday to forbid state and local governments from helping to enforce any federal law, act, order or rule that deals with the personal possession of firearms and infringes on the constitutional right of people to have weapons.

Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, said HB2300 spells out what he says is already the right of state and local governments to refuse to help the federal government implement its laws. But the legislation goes beyond that, cutting off state funds from any local government that does agree to cooperate.

The measure also subjects any employee who knowingly violates the law to a $3,000 fine for a first offense and up to six months in jail for subsequent violations.

Proponents see the measure as a way of countering any moves by the Obama administration to impose regulations on the transfer of firearms. That would include closing what some see as a“loophole” in laws that say those who buy weapons at gun shows are not subject to the requirements for a background check.

Wednesday’s vote came over the objections of Rep. Randall Friese, D-Tucson. He said a 2015 online poll shows that close to two-thirds of Arizonans want stiffer gun regulations to keep weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them.

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