May 15, 2006: The Castle Doctrine and Burden of Proof laws were clarified and strengthened, and with the Emergency Clause, they went into effect when they were signed in April. Also, the two-hour CCW renewal class was eliminated (though permits must still be renewed every five years), and all legally issued state firearm permits will now be recognized in Arizona, with minor conditions.
The state has not yet released the Statutes Affected list; when this comes out I compare it to every statute in The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide, and typically pick up a handful of changes that slip by, and post those here.
From territorial days until 1997, a person in Arizona was innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It's the American way, and it was our way, as it should be.
Then, in 1997, in the dark of night and through a political trick, prosecutors got the law changed so that people involved in self defense had to admit guilt before proving their own innocence by "justification," a complex and expensive legal process.
It was a return to the Napoleanic Code, an abomination, a reversal of what makes America great, and the prosecutors who snuck this through our legislature without debate should have had their ethics investigated (at least). But it did make it easy for them to convict people. It was a citizen's worst nightmare and a prosecutor's wet dream. Many of your fellow Arizonans suffered under this law, and it put you at grave risk all these years, though you probably didn't know it. The "news" media never mentioned it.
Today, I am happy to report that this travesty has been reversed, and innocence without proven guilt is now the statewide standard once again. With the signing of Senate Bill 1145 (linked below), Arizona joins 48 states that recognize the burden to prove guilt in self-defense cases must remain on the state, and that every person must enjoy the presumption of innocence. Ohio, which suffered a similar deceptive corruption of its laws, now remains the only state out of step with the American system of justice.
This news has circulated already, so if you're hearing this from me, you need to get on the list of the new Arizona Citizens Defense League (linked below), one of two groups that spearheaded this desperately needed reform. The other team working for you of course is the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association (linked below), whose NRA-affiliated lobbyists also carried the water that quenched this awful fire. Links to "get more informed already" are also listed.
SB 1145, also called the Castle Doctrine, did several other things to strengthen your right to defend yourself, your family, your home, and more -- from vicious predators who prey on society -- who are all too often protected by weak or bad law. Plain-English descriptions of the new bills will be posted at gunlaws.com, as soon as I can get to it (there's a lot on my plate). Check there soon.
And now -- please do not gripe about how bad some things are, get on those lists (it's free) and even send them membership dues so you can proudly be part of the defense of civil liberties in our great state.
Also enacted in this session of the legislature was House Bill 2074. This eliminates the two-hour training requirement for permit renewals after it becomes effective (90 days after legislature closes, so probably late summer or early fall); permits will still have to be renewed every five years; also, most other state's permits will be valid here, ending a hopelessly complex tangle of recognition and reciprocity formulas (exact details are still not perfectly clear, I'll post them soon); and it makes other technical corrections and changes.
Also enacted is Senate Bill 1339 (linked below), which affects the rights and limitations on juvenile delinquents to keep and bear arms. Details will be posted shortly.
Also, SB1425, which would have prevented the Governor from confiscating people's firearms during a declared emergency (like we saw happening in Louisiana), was vetoed by the Governor, who said it was too broad, and not to worry, she won't use it. There is currently a Governor-declared emergency at the border, where Minutemen muster to observe and report (minutemanhq.com). An attempt to override her veto failed by one vote.
Finally, the Breakfast at Denny's Bill (the one the lamestream media calls shotguns in nightclubs) was revived by Sen. Jack Harper, as an amendment to an existing bill. It would have allowed CCW permit holders and others to carry firearms while eating in a restaurant, and allowed restaurants to post signs about firearms. It never made it to a floor vote. Activists plan to bring it back next year.
------------ Arizona Citizens Defense League made SB1145 happen
(go support these guys): http://www.azcdl.org
This is the premier new activist gun-rights lobby in the state.
Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association made SB1145 happen
(go support these guys): http://www.asrpa.com
This is the grand old traditional gun-rights group in the state, since 1909,
and the official state branch of the NRA.
"We publish the gun laws."
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
1-800-707-4020 Orders http://www.gunlaws.com email@example.com
Call, write, fax or click for a free catalog.
If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you're reading this in English, thank a veteran.
Encourage politicians to pass more laws...
with expiration dates.