Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Arizona Moves to Correct Contradictions in Firearm Definitions
Gun Watch ^ | 17 February, 2013 | Dean Weingarten

Posted on 02/16/2013 6:45:58 AM PST by marktwain

Arizona, as with many states, has numerous definitions of what is legally considered a firearm. The definition of “firearm” is found in several different places in the Arizona legal code. This makes it difficult for citizens and lawyers to determine what is legal and what is not. People have faced prosecution for possessing items that most would not consider to be firearms, such as BB guns, airsoft replicas, squirt guns, or antique guns that are not legally firearms under federal law.

One man was prosecuted for possession of a firearm for a collection of parts that experts testified could not fire, but could be made to fire if nonexistant custom parts were created and installed on the existing components. By that standard, anyone with steel, files, and a hacksaw could be prosecuted as being in possession of a firearm.

In order to prevent confusion, Arizona bill HB2234 creates one uniform definition of “Firearm” that conforms to current federal definitions and insures that citizens will not be prosecuted under firearms statutes for possession of BB guns, squirt guns, antiques, pepper spray, and replicas.

Here is the proposed definiton, which may become a model for other states to follow:

"Firearm" means any loaded or unloaded handgun, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun or other weapon that will expel or is designed to expel a solid projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosive or a burning gas, that was manufactured after January 1, 1899 and that is designed to use fixed cartridges. Firearm does not include a firearm that is incapable of being fired without mechanical repair by the use of tools or the replacement of parts.

Link to proposed legislation

©2013 by Dean Weingarten. Permission to share granted as long as this notice is included.


TOPICS: Government; History; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; definition; firearm; guncontrol; legislation; secondamendment
I wonder if this legislation could be used to prevent expulsion of students who make an "L" shape out of Legos, and go "bang" with it.
1 posted on 02/16/2013 6:46:08 AM PST by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marktwain

The Fed gov’t can’t even agree amongst itself as to the definitions of cars vs. trucks.


2 posted on 02/16/2013 6:49:06 AM PST by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Makes one wonder what crazy laws one is subject to in one’s own state or municipality.


3 posted on 02/16/2013 6:50:27 AM PST by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

So, if I separate the upper from the lower with my AR, it’s no longer a firearm if I have to use a part or tool to reassemble?


4 posted on 02/16/2013 6:56:08 AM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Finger guns are even scarier.


5 posted on 02/16/2013 6:56:08 AM PST by Flycatcher (God speaks to us, through the supernal lightness of birds, in a special type of poetry.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Isn’t a gun just s special purposed metal pipe?


6 posted on 02/16/2013 7:15:29 AM PST by FoxPro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FoxPro

It looks like “spud guns” are exempt for this definition, as are mortars & “bazookas”.


7 posted on 02/16/2013 7:26:47 AM PST by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

“...One man was prosecuted for possession of a firearm for a collection of parts that experts testified could not fire, but could be made to fire if nonexistent custom parts were created and installed on the existing components...”

That happened to the husband of my sister’s friend. He got 40 years!! His kid was busted for pot. The feds raided his home and confiscated this gun collection. They tied the ‘illegal firearms possession’ to the drug case cause the kid lived at home, even though the parents had nothing to do with selling pot.


8 posted on 02/16/2013 7:30:02 AM PST by Islander7 (There is no septic system so vile, so filthy, the left won't drink from to further their agenda)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I wonder how many new “Laws” are being put on the books across America each day. Does America have the highest ratio of lawyers to population on the globe?


9 posted on 02/16/2013 7:34:25 AM PST by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog

Each part isn’t considered a firearm. Put them together and you have a firearm.

For example you couldn’t be charged with possession of a firearm if you had the barrel of a 1911 in your pocket.

It appears it’s designed to take away some of the power of the state to charge someone with being in possession of a firearm when they are not.

Care need to be taken with this so criminals don’t start using fake guns to commit crimes then claim it wasn’t an armed robbery for example.

I had an idiot tried to rob me one night with an unloaded .38 snubby.

There was a rumor going around you couldn’t be charged with armed robbery if you used an unloaded gun.

My gun wasn’t unloaded, and I probably would have shot him except I was laughing so hard when he crapped his pants.


10 posted on 02/16/2013 7:37:06 AM PST by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I think a tennis ball canon fits the proposed definition.


11 posted on 02/16/2013 7:41:21 AM PST by Cboldt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

An air pistol that can shoot pellets is defined under Michigan law as a handgun with all of the requesite purchase permit and registration requirements.

If it can only shoot BBs then it is a toy.


12 posted on 02/16/2013 7:52:53 AM PST by Yo-Yo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Question: Since AZ enacted its Constitutional carry, are not all restrictions in their state statutes now null and void? If not why not? Is there some reason that the Statutes are greater than the Constitution?


13 posted on 02/16/2013 8:06:42 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OneWingedShark
There are legal differences between “firearms” and “airguns”. For example, it is not legal to discharge a firearm inside city limits, except with certain exceptions.

Airguns are exempt, and can be fired on your property inside city limits.

If you have a restraining order against you in a domestic case, you are not allowed to possess fire arms or ammunition.

There are any number of ways a definition can trip you up.

14 posted on 02/16/2013 8:47:18 AM PST by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

My muzzleloading firearms do not use fixed cartridges. By this language these would NOT be considered “firearms”.

At the time of the formulation of the 2nd amendment, muzzleloading flintlocks were considered firearms. I do not think the above definition is properly constrained—it is too tightly constrained.


15 posted on 02/16/2013 9:04:06 AM PST by nonsporting
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

“Airguns are exempt...”

Can you cite the ARS section that spells this out? If not, can you cite the case law?


16 posted on 02/16/2013 9:11:11 AM PST by nonsporting
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: nonsporting

I’m ok with muzzleloaders being exempted from the firearm category.

The first two home invaders get taken out by the .58 ball of double-barrell pistol #1 the next two by pistol #2....


17 posted on 02/16/2013 9:11:56 AM PST by hoosierham (Freedom isn't free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: hoosierham

“I’m ok with muzzleloaders being exempted...”

Then I can shoot them in celebratory gunfire on Independence Day and New Years without running afoul of Shannon’s Law?


18 posted on 02/16/2013 9:18:55 AM PST by nonsporting
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: loungitude

In NY, rifles and shotguns are not firearms.


19 posted on 02/16/2013 9:50:07 AM PST by ctdonath2 (3% of the population perpetrates >50% of homicides...but gun control advocates blame metal boxes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: IMR 4350
Care need to be taken with this so criminals don’t start using fake guns to commit crimes then claim it wasn’t an armed robbery for example.

I had an idiot tried to rob me one night with an unloaded .38 snubby.

There was a rumor going around you couldn’t be charged with armed robbery if you used an unloaded gun.

My gun wasn’t unloaded, and I probably would have shot him except I was laughing so hard when he crapped his pants.


An unloaded weapon (and even a toy one) still appears to be armed robbery in Arizona

13-1904. Armed robbery; classification

A. A person commits armed robbery if, in the course of committing robbery as defined in section 13-1902, such person or an accomplice:

1. Is armed with a deadly weapon or a simulated deadly weapon; or

2. Uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or a simulated deadly weapon.

B. Armed robbery is a class 2 felony.

20 posted on 02/16/2013 10:42:29 AM PST by az_gila
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
There are legal differences between “firearms” and “airguns”.
For example, it is not legal to discharge a firearm inside city limits, except with certain exceptions.

Certainly the defense of one's self is such exception?

Art 2, Sec 26
The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.

If you have a restraining order against you in a domestic case, you are not allowed to possess fire arms or ammunition.

That is despicable and a federal violation of the 5th amendment (curtailing liberty prior to due process, and 6th [requiring the allowance of a defense], via Ex Post Facto law) -- but isn't, strictly speaking, a state-level matter.

21 posted on 02/16/2013 10:59:03 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: BwanaNdege
It looks like “spud guns” are exempt for this definition, as are mortars & “bazookas”.

"designed to expel a solid projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosive or a burning gas"

I wouldn't push that "spud gun" thing too far as potatos are "solid projectiles" propelled by a "burning gas". You could try those 20oz. soda bottles and squeeze by under a technicality.

It looks like mortars and bazookas might sneak by because the projectiles are explosive not solid.

That would seem to give a pass to any sort of artillery firing explosive rounds. Federal (BATF) rules, however limit rifled bore size to .500" or less. Anything larger is a "destructive device" and requires an ATF Form 4 w/ a $200.00 excise tax stamp.

Smooth bores are OK and as long as you stay away from "solid shot" you can build yourself a cannon (the fastest way to convert black powder into fun!).

Regards,
GtG

22 posted on 02/16/2013 1:44:12 PM PST by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Gandalf_The_Gray
Oops, I missed that bit about fixed cartridges. Spud guns get a pass. Still wonder about explosive shells being OK as the smaller mortars use something like a shotgun shell for propellent. It would seem to give a pass to any modern muzzle loader, smooth bore or rifled.

G

23 posted on 02/16/2013 1:57:09 PM PST by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Gandalf_The_Gray
I figure that this phrase, "...and that is designed to use fixed cartridges", will exempt spud guns.

At least until some bureaucrat or "investigative reporter" see this:

"Spud Gun Bullet thru Car Fender"

24 posted on 02/16/2013 6:09:41 PM PST by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: nonsporting
My muzzleloading firearms do not use fixed cartridges. By this language these would NOT be considered “firearms”.

Load them, then, and reconsider the definition, heheh.

25 posted on 02/17/2013 12:18:20 PM PST by no-s (when democracy is displaced by tyranny, the armed citizen still gets to vote)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson