It’s an election year, so a lot of the bills introduced in the Arizona Legislature won’t get very far, but they’ll play well with their sponsors’ constituents back home. That’s what we expect Leo Biasiucci’s bill to make Arizona a Second Amendment sanctuary state will amount to. It’s a symbolic message at the state capitol, but it’s a stronger reassurance to the gun-loving voters who put Biasiucci in office.
Biasiucci, a freshman legislator in his second year in office, is fulfilling a promise he made late last year when Mohave County was considering its own Second Amendment sanctuary proposal. County Supervisor Hildy Angius asked Biasiucci, who was attending the board meeting in support of the county’s proposal, to bring a similar measure to the state capitol, acknowledging such declarations are more effective at the state level. Biasiucci agreed, and three months later, he introduced HB 2093, also called the “Second Amendment Firearm Freedom Act.”
Of course, fulfilling promises is one thing. Getting a bill passed is quite another. This early in the legislative session, it’s hard to say what will happen to this particular bill. It’s not the first time Arizona legislators have twice before considered a nullification law, which is a legal theory that the state can invalidate any federal law it believes violates the U.S. constitution. Those previous bills couldn’t get enough support to move forward.
However, if nothing else, Biasiucci’s bill offers its supporters a soapbox for voicing their concerns over a federal government that is sometimes too eager to enact new gun laws that would seem to conflict with the freedoms offered by the constitution.
The problem is,the proposed legislation offers no teeth to enforce its demands.
Like Mohave County’s declaration, HB2093 doesn’t yet offer any clear indication about what it would mean to be a Second Amendment sanctuary, though it does ban cities, towns and other political entities from complying with any firearms laws deemed unconstitutional.
The bill begs a couple of big questions. First, who decides what federal laws are constitutional? And second, how far is the state willing to go in a theoretical future court battle over firearms laws?
A bill to make Arizona a Second Amendment sanctuary state doesn’t mean much unless Arizona is willing to put some money — and consequences — where its mouth is.
— Today’s News-Herald