Among the wonderments snaking their way through the Arizona Legislature is a pre-emptive strike on any assault weapons ban that Sen. Feinstein's bill might possibly create.
In Arizona, of course, the Supremacy Clause of the federal Constitution is just so much excess verbiage, like the well regulated militia language of the Second Amendment. Curiously, the same U.S. Supreme Court that ignored the "well regulated militia" in the Heller case remembered all the words in the Constitution when it came to the infamous S.B. 1070.
State Representative Carl Seel has a creative remedy for those Arizona assault rifle afficionados who are concerned that Senator Feinstein's bill might make it out of Congress more or less intact. To better understand his solution it helps to have a picture of who Carl Seel is.
Would you have a better idea of what Rep. Seel is all about if you knew that the PACyderm Coalition, a uber-Conservative website that deifies those memories of Ronald Reagan they find convenient, gave Carl Seel the highest rating of any member of the Arizona House last session? Only then State Sen. Steve Smith, deservedly nominated as possibly the worst legislator in America in Mother Mags rec listed diary, scored "higher."
Would you have a clearer picture of Carl Seel if you knew that he had a 0% rating from, say, NARAL/Arizona Right to Choose or the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter, but 100% from the National Rifle Association.
If you grok that, maybe you'll be able to wrap your head around Carl Seel's latest legislative achievement.
Carl Seel has introduced a pair of bills into the Arizona House which can only clearly be understood when taken together. The first, HB 2431
Would permit persons eligible for service in the Arizona State Guard, in accordance with all other laws, to purchase semiautomatic handguns, semiautomatic rifles and pump shotguns with standard military or law enforcement magazine capacities. Would also allow those weapons to be configured with flash suppressors, pistol grips, vertical foregrips, detachable magazines, bayonet lugs, bayonets, collapsible or folding stocks, carrying slings, aiming systems, lights and any other firearm mounted equipment in use by the Armed Forces of the United States or any Arizona law enforcement agency.This language is remarkably similar to the targets of Sen. Feinstein's bill
All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.Don't ever think Conservatives aren't creative, or forward looking. Look carefully at who would be permitted to possess weapons and equipment otherwise prohibited by the assault weapons ban, should it pass. "(P)ersons eligible for service in the Arizona State Guard." That's a pretty remarkable sentence.
All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
"Persons eligible for service," not persons actually serving. In the Arizona State Guard. Which does, and does not exist.
Two years ago, in 2011, the Legislature created, but did not fund, the Arizona State Guard with Gov. Jan Brewer signing the legislation. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, took note.
Last year, in SB 1083, the Legislature attempted to flesh out their creation
A. AN ARMED FORCE, KNOWN AS THE ARIZONA STATE GUARD, IS ESTABLISHEDIt's important to note that the Arizona State Guard, like many State Guards take an oath to uphold the Constitution of their states, but not the Constitution of the United States, and cannot be federalized.
FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECURING THE SAFETY AND PROTECTION OF THE LIVES AND
PROPERTY OF THE CITIZENS OF THIS STATE. THE INTENT OF THE ARIZONA STATE
GUARD IS TO PROVIDE A MISSION-READY VOLUNTEER MILITARY FORCE FOR USE BY THIS
STATE IN HOMELAND SECURITY AND COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES AS A SUPPLEMENT
TO THE NATIONAL GUARD OF ARIZONA AND STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCIES. THE ARIZONA STATE GUARD EXISTS AS PART OF THE MILITIA UNDER
ARTICLE XVI, SECTION 2, CONSTITUTION OF ARIZONA, AND A DEFENSE FORCE UNDER 32
UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 109.
B. THE MISSION OF THE STATE GUARD IS:
1. TO SUPPORT THIS STATE IN SECURING THE BORDER WITH MEXICO AND
SUPPLEMENT THE EFFORTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND STATE AGENCIES.
2. AUGMENT THE NATIONAL GUARD.
3. SUPPORT COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL LEADERS IN COMBATING INTERNATIONAL
4. RESPOND TO NATURAL AND MANMADE DISASTERS.
5. SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS.
6. SUPPORT COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES.
7. OTHER MISSIONS DIRECTED BY THE GOVERNOR.
Per Wikipedia there are twenty two other "state defense forces," plus Puerto Rico.
SB 1083, introduced by Rep. Sylvia Allen, a name well known to those familiar with Arizonan politics, and the aforementioned Steve Smith, would have, on enactment, been funded by a one time appropriation from the General Fund and then a cool million and a half a year from the Anti-Gang Task Force Fund. With four, count 'em four, full time employees. Perhaps it was the provision taking control of this private army away from the Governor and vesting it in the Lege that prompted the Governor to veto it.
So the Arizona State Guard is sort of a toothless lion, authorized in name but unfunded in fact. No employees, no budget, it's mission left tattered on the State House floor. But just in case, just in case, Carl Seel has another big idea. HB 2433.
HB 2433 provides that all able bodied citizens, and resident who have declared their intention to become citizens, above eighteen years of age, who are not idiots, lunatics, totally blind or convicted of infamous crimes; or judges or clerks of courts of record; or elected officials; or ministers of the gospel, are members of the militia.
Leaving aside cheap political jokes about redundancy, etc., that list compromises the vast majority of the adult citizens of Arizona. The vast majority are "eligible for service in the state militia." Under Seel's bills federal firearms restrictions would not apply to them.
Should this proactive end run around a federal assault weapons ban succeed it will, in time, no doubt fall to the Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Clause 2, of the Constitution of the United States
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.but not before the citizens of Arizona waste millions more dollars tilting at the windmills of "states rights." And this time the Roberts Court will probably rediscover those opening words of the Second Amendment.