Gov. Doug Ducey is refusing to force Arizona to join with other states to restrict what kind of gun laws each can adopt.
The governor said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. But he said HB2524 would essentially surrender Arizona’s right to decide what laws it does and does not want about things like requiring background checks when a weapon is purchased.
“I believe it’s important that Arizona continue to chart its own course and retain its sovereignty,” he wrote in a veto message.
The legislation sponsored by Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, would have required Arizona to enter into compacts with one or more states, with each agreeing not to enact new laws on the transfer of firearms. That would have tied the hands not only of future legislatures but also preempted the constitutional right of Arizona voters to propose their own gun laws.
Ducey said he has nothing against protecting the rights of gun owners. In fact, he signed two other measures today, one to allow gun owners to carry their weapons on public streets near and through college and university campuses, and the other to allow lawsuits against cities that enact their own gun laws beyond what the Legislature permits.
But the governor said these are Arizona decisions, unfettered by any interstate compact.
“I see no reason for Arizona to tie ourselves to other states’ decisions on public policy relating to the transfer of firearms,” he wrote. “We know what’s best for our state, and I trust the citizens of Arizona and their elected leaders to continue to make wise decisions to protect our Second Amendment rights, whenever and wherever those rights are infringed.”