Lawmakers in the Arizona Senate advanced a bill Thursday that would block any state or local law that required people to only buy “smart” guns, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.
House Bill 2216, if it becomes law, would not allow gun sales to only be limited to “smart” guns that in theory would “know” who is supposed to fire them. The bill would also prevent the requirement of any sort of tracking technology built into guns.
Democrat Sen. Steve Farley disagreed with the measure. “This technology holds the promise of potentially, particularly with fingerprint recognition before it’s able to be triggered, of stopping the horrible tragedy of children finding a gun, playing with it, and then killing themselves or others,” he said.
Republican Sen. John Kavanagh rebutted that the technology on “smart” guns is not perfect and may prevent someone from using the firearm when it’s most needed.
Kavanagh also noted that the measure would not prohibit anyone from purchasing a “smart” gun if they so desired.
“It simply prevents any government entity from mandating that’s the only type of weapon you can buy,” Kavanagh said.
Farley remained unsatisfied, noting the government mandated the use of seat belts, which were far less effective than they are now.
Democrat Sen. Martin Quezada also voiced concerns about the bill, pointing to a recent incident in Phoenix in which a 2-year-old boy found a gun and accidentally shot and killed his 9-year-old brother. In that case, Quezada argued, a “smart” gun may have prevented the boy’s death.
Kavanagh reiterated that the technological imperfections are only one side of the coin, as he and other supporters of the bill are also concerned about “the problem with tracking” guns with GPS and knowing when they are fired.
The legislation now awaits a full vote in the Senate.