Arizona Democrats Push Assault Weapons Ban in State Legislature

Arizona Democrats are spearheading a new attempt to ban so-called assault rifles in what’s been known as one of the most-pro gun rights states in the country.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator Rebecca Rios and 11 other Arizona Senate Democrats, would introduce a ban on any “person, corporation, or other entities from manufacturing, importing, possessing, purchasing, selling, or transferring any assault weapon or large capacity magazine.”

High capacity magazines are arbitrarily defined as any magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. 30 rounds is standard capacity for the most commonly owned semi-automatic rifles, such as AR-15 and AK-47 style firearms.

The bill is almost guaranteed to fail in Arizona’s (barely) Republican-controlled legislature, but the introduction of Virginia and California-style gun control measures in the formerly bright red state could be an indication of progressives’ confidence. Arizona is turning purple as new waves of out-of-staters and immigrants arrive, and it’s not entirely impossible that Democrats take at least one chamber of the state legislature in the 2020 elections.

The legislation even includes the shocking proposition of mandatory gun confiscation. “Assault weapons” owners in Arizona would have 90 days to surrender their guns to a law enforcement agency or render them inoperable after the law’s implementation. Such a proposal may have previously been considered to be political suicide in Arizona, a state that arguably has the most permissive and libertarian gun laws in the country.

Arizona is currently the largest state that permits the permitless concealed carry of a weapon.

Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey has declined to aggressively defend gun rights, instead pushing alarming “red flag” legislation that would allow courts and law enforcement to confiscate legally owned firearms without any criminal conviction.

Peaceful gun owners in Arizona don’t need to fear a Democrat-led gun roundup just yet. But upcoming state legislative elections could turn such a nightmare into an imminent reality.