Anti-background check bill heads to Arizona governor’s desk

Arizona’s preemptive strike against universal background checks headed for the governor’s desk Monday.

The state House approved Senate Bill 1122 — a measure outlawing any future background check mandates for the transfer of private property, including firearms — on vote of 32-23.

The one-page proposal, authored by Sierra Vista resident Jere Fredenburgh, specifically prohibits a city, town or county from requiring “as a condition of a private sale, gift, donation or other transfer of personal property, the owner of the personal property search or facilitate the search of any federal or state databases and shall not require that a third party be involved.”

Fredenburgh told lawmakers during a hearing last month universal background check laws in Washington and Oregon compelled her into action.

“The purpose is to protect all personal property,” she said. “I’m asking the legislature to champion personal property rights. I have to believe everyone in this room wants that choice to be able to dispose of their personal property as they see fit.”

Democrats in both chambers opposed to the bill’s vague language and a perceived potential for more criminals to buy guns.

Rep. Randall Friese, D-Tucson, warned Monday the legislation could trigger litigation from cities like Tucson, where a state court previously ruled in favor of the city’s 2001 ordinance requiring background checks for any firearm transferred on city property, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

“This bill will likely result in another lawsuit,” he said. “With this piece of legislation we’ll yet find ourselves in another position where we have another lawsuit costing the state hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars and will lead us really nowhere.”