Arizona House passes interstate firearms transfer compact

The Arizona House of Representatives has voted to approve a measure establishing an interstate compact that would prevent state governments party to the agreement from imposing firearms transfer regulations more restrictive than federal law.

The Uniform Firearms Transfer Compact, sponsored by Flagstaff Republican Bob Thorpe, passed the Arizona Legislature’s lower chamber Monday afternoon, 35-24, on third reading, with one member not voting.

The bill, which Thorpe has said is a “direct response” to former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to “try to reduce the rights we have here” through ballot initiatives and lobbying, would prohibit member states of the compact from creating or imposing any taxes or regulations, or any civil or criminal liabilities, additional to existing federal laws dealing with the transfer of firearms, according to the legislative fact-sheet

It would also in effect repeal all “conflicting laws, regulations or policies that exist” on its effective date. However, the House’s approval of the legislation is no guarantee of passage.

Last year the House passed a similar measure, HB2431. But that bill was derailed when Everytown for Gun Safety — a Bloomberg-financed group — hired the Dorn Policy Group, who successfully lobbied Senate leadership to stall the legislation until time ran out in the session, according to the Arizona Citizen’s Defense League.

It will next be considered by the State Senate, before going to the governor for his signature if approved by the upper chamber.

The measure is opposed by the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action. However, it also has the support of the AZ-CDL, which has said this is “best opportunity to derail” Bloomberg’s ballot measure “to establish gun owner registration” in Arizona before it comes about.

For the compact to be established, two or more states must pass legislation to enter into the compact.

According to a letter to the editor of The Arizona Daily Sun, Nevada has a similar measure under consideration this session.