Rep. Paul Gosar Thursday unleashed a fierce attack on a proposed state Senate bill to bar the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
“Twelve radical Democrats in Arizona have introduced shocking legislation, Senate Bill 1625, which would flagrantly violate the Bill of Rights and American civil liberties,” wrote Gosar (R-Prescott) in a press release. “Not only do these extremists seek to disarm citizens, leaving them without the ability to defend their families, themselves, or their property, they also directly attack Arizona jobs and the Arizona economy by seeking to unlawfully ban gun manufacturing in Arizona.”
SB 1625 would ban the sale, manufacture and importation or possession of semiautomatic rifles with a detachable magazine holding more than 10 rounds. People who already own such weapons would have 90 days to remove them from the state, turn them into a law enforcement agency or make them permanently inoperable.
The bill would allow police and other categories of people to own assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, but they would have to register the weapons. The bill also has exceptions for firearms dealers and manufacturers under certain conditions.
The bill comes as several counties have declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuary” counties, including Apache, Yavapai and La Paz.
Congress enacted a similar, national ban in 1994, which expired in 2004. Courts uphold that law as constitutional.
The Giffords’ Law Center website noted that the use of such weapons and magazines in mass shootings has ballooned since Congress let the ban expire. The website cited studies showing firearms with high-capacity magazines account for an estimated 22% to 36% of gun crimes and 40% of the serious violent crimes and murders of police. The number of these guns with such magazines used in crimes has risen between 49% and 112% in several major cities since the ban expired.
One study found that during the 10-year period the ban was in effect nationally, mass shooting deaths were 70% less likely to occur and the number of people who died in mass shootings dropped 43%.
Since the repeal of the ban, the number of mass shootings has risen 183% and the deaths in such shootings has risen 239%. The victim count on average is twice as high when a mass shooter has a high-capacity magazine.
Nine states have since enacted a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Vermont and Colorado only ban the high capacity magazines.
Some states ban importation, sale and manufacture but don’t require people who already own assault rifles and high capacity magazines to turn them in or register them.
Supporters of the ban say a mass shooter with a high capacity magazine can fire off many more rounds without stopping to reload.
Gosar blasted efforts to enact restrictions on assault rifles and high capacity magazines in Arizona, saying it amounted to an attack on gun manufacturers in the state. “An attack on one weapon manufacturer is an attack on all,” he said.
Gosar predicted bloodshed should the state require people who own assault weapons to permanently disable them or turn them in to law enforcement.