Wednesday, December 6, 2017

NRA "Targets" Dems Sinema, O'Halleran For Today's Concealed Carry Vote; Arizona AG Brnovich Urges Support (READ)

(UPDATE, 3 pm: Arizona's 9 Representatives split strictly along party lines for this vote. All 5 Republicans voted "aye", and all 4 Democrats voted "nay". Overall, 6 Democrats and 14 Republicans split with their party.)

(UPDATE, 2:50pm: The House has passed the concealed carry reciprocity bill by a vote of 231-198. The Arizona delegation's votes will be updated as available.)

The NRA has asked its many Arizona members to "target"* Democratic Representatives Kyrsten Sinema and Tom O'Halleran today as the House of Representatives votes on a law that would require states to accept concealed carry permits from any other state. Meanwhile, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich signed onto a letter urging Congress to pass the measure.

The call to arms went out late yesterday, as the NRA (National Rifle Association) announced that today's vote would also be one of its "scored" votes and called it "the most expansive piece of self-defense legislation to ever garner a vote in the United States Congress".

Like other states, Arizona has its own laws and requirements allowing concealed carry of handguns. However, most states have their own permitting requirements and very few have reciprocity agreements which allow their permit holders to concealed carry in other states.

The bill also loosens some restrictions for concealed carrying in school zones and on federal lands.

Almost all of the Republican House Members are listed as co-sponsors (210 out of 240), while only three Democrats signed on. The NRA is targeting potential Democratic votes to get it over the 217 threshold. (An identical bill in the Senate has similar numbers.)

All Arizona Republicans in the House and Senate are cosponsors.

There were no hearings on the bill in Committee, and it passed there on a strict party line vote last week. Democrats in the House Judiciary proposed a number of amendments that were voted down.

Here is the Congressional Research Service's summary of the bill:
This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.
A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.
Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.
The entire bill can be read here.

Arizona AG Brnovich signed onto a letter with 23 other state Attorneys General urging support. (17 other state AG's oppose the bill, according to Democrats.) That letter can be read below.

* The NRA press release sent to Arizona's Politics uses the word "targets" in its subject line and headline; it does not repeat it in the body of the release or in the sample email sent to NRA members. The use of the word has become controversial in the wake of the attempted shooting of now-former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and this year's shooting at a Congressional baseball practice. Giffords' organization is opposing this bill.

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