gun laws

Arizona’s New Gun Laws

Although Arizona has been deemed one of the most lenient states on gun control, new gun laws are still difficult to navigate and if not followed correctly, consequences can be severe.

How will Arizona’s new gun laws affect citizens?
Governor Doug Ducey recently signed two new gun bills which go into effect on August 6, 2017, one allowing guns to be closer in range to schools and the other, discipling cities with harsher gun laws than Arizona’s.

What is Senate Bill 1266?
This bill states that opposing local regulations which go against Arizona’s statute to withhold the power of regulating firearms within the state’s counties and cities will allow courts to fine those counties and cities up to $50,000. The individual involved can sue a county or city and be awarded up to $100,000 in damages.

What is House Bill 2338?
This bill denies K -12 all the way up to university school governing boards from “banning someone from legally possessing a deadly weapon on a public right of way adjacent to campus,” according to AZCentral.

While the state’s new gun laws may seem simple, the slightest mistake can result in trouble and in Arizona, weapon possession charges are prosecuted aggressively.

Weapons charges include:

  • Concealing a weapon illegally
  • Possessing a firearm or other weapon illegally
  • Prohibited possessor under Arizona law
  • Using a firearm or other weapon during a crime

In the state of Arizona, an experienced criminal defense attorney is necessary when it comes to weapon possession.

Why?

  • The knowledge and experience of an Arizona criminal defense lawyer who has dealt with similar cases is crucial in fighting for the best outcome.
  • You need a criminal defense lawyer who will protect your rights along the way.
  • Consequences can be severe including:
  • Expensive fines
  • Jail time
  • Prison

Our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience defending weapons charges in Arizona. Schedule your free consultation today and let us help you. Call (480) 471- 4616.

A Legal Perspective on the Government’s New Gun Plan

A new gun plan was recently presented by the government, proposing new rules and increased regulations for gun control. Despite political differences on the freedoms of gun control, the legal perspective of gun laws is separate, important topic.

Here’s a summary of what these new, potential gun laws could mean legally.

The proposed requirements seek to change the status of a “gun dealer”. A gun dealer will no longer be categorized by the number of armed weapons they sell but instead by the “totality of the circumstances”, looking to change the way in which firearms are sold, according to The Wall Street Journal.

According to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the new rule is focused on those selling guns online saying, “It’s really an internet loophole. Gun sales are moving online.”

Will this be fair to certain individuals? If prosecuted for not following the regulation due to disagreeing with the proposed status, one has the opportunity to present the government’s criteria as that of “too vague”.

Assessing the mental health of a person prior to them purchasing a gun is another key factor in the proposed plan. The White House stated the Social Security Administration will implement regulations, working to help the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) distinguish those who have mental health concerns, preventing them from purchasing a gun.

The problem here is this piece would require new laws, not just new regulations. Additionally, those who would be identified as mentally ill, might be wrongfully identified at that, resulting in an entirely separate issue of taking away the rights of those who should be allowed the right the purchase a firearm.

Lastly, The White House seeks to fix the current problem of those bypassing restrictions, purchasing guns through trusts and corporations.

Lynch addressed this in saying, “The trust loophole is something we’ve been looking into for a long time.” Legally, despite stronger restrictions and regulations with this type of ruling, a person who fits into this category but still wants to purchase a firearm could go to court to challenge their purchasing status.

As this complex, proposed new gun plan arrives, Texas too is adjusting to a new normal, Open Carry. The new gun has caught many Texans off guard, especially causing confusion for Texas law enforcement.

Kevin Lawrence, executive director of of the Texas Municipal Police Association said, “ What authorities do the officers have? We need to get that clarified as much as possible so the officers know what’s expected of them going into any given situation.”

In these situations, where a new and different law is now active, it takes time to understand how things will work. With others besides law enforcement exposing open firearms, citizens wonder the intention of each gun holder. The new law has also forced businesses to make a decision on whether they allow those carrying openly in their stores.

If a business chooses to not allow guns inside their doors, they must post a 30.07 sign, banning handguns on their property.

Some business have adapted other regulations, such as Walmart, where when employees see someone openly carrying a gun, they must tell their manager who then asks the gun holder to see their paperwork.

Overall, as the nation sees changes in gun laws, it’s important for citizens to recognize and understand their rights.

New Laws to Look Out for in 2016

Can’t pay your ticket? This year, Arizona is making it legal to work off what you owe with community service. This, and several other new laws to make note of are going into effect in 2016 in Arizona and around the country.

New Laws in Arizona 

Pay Your Ticket with Community Service

Senate Bill 1117 permits anyone who is unable or unwilling to pay the cost of court fees, fines, and tickets to work off what is owed by participating in community service. Each hour of community service pays for $10 of debt.

Expanded Protection Against Identity Theft

Arizona is one of the worst states for identity theft crimes, but expansions to existing laws are in place this year to help protect citizens by allowing people to place a credit freeze on themselves so that credit reports can’t be released without permission from the individual. This law is designed to prevent thieves from applying for credit cards or loans using someone else’s identity and credit history.

Vexatious Litigants Law Update

Judges can no longer waive court fees and costs for any person designated a “vexatious litigant,” or someone representing themselves, who files repeated court actions largely to harass others, unreasonably delay court proceedings or bring actions without “substantial justification.”

The only exception would be in family court cases involving divorce and child support.

Previously, judges could waive fees for those unable to afford the cost of filing a lawsuit so that financial standing couldn’t prevent someone from going to court.

New Laws Around the Nation

Minimum Wage Increases

Several states are increasing the minimum wage this year, including those known for a high cost of living like California, Hawaii and New York.

Fast-food workers in New York will receive the initial increase in pay now for an overall plan to bump minimum wage up to $15 by 2018 in New York City and by 2021 in the rest of the state.

Other states increasing minimum wage in 2016 include Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

Gun Laws in Texas

Texas started off the New Year with a bang as new open carry laws went into effect on Jan. 1. Now, anyone who previously had a concealed carry license can openly carry a holstered handgun in designated areas.

Another new gun law coming to Texas in August will allow the carry of concealed handguns on university campuses.

Vaccinations Required in California

As a result of last year’s measles outbreak, which left 147 people in the U.S. sick, California will no longer accept personal and religious belief exemption waivers, requiring vaccinations for all children at public and private schools.

How Will Campus Carry Impact You?

Ever since the Campus Carry bill was signed into law in June, we’ve discussed how this controversial piece of legislature is being received. The law allows those who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses. As expected, not all Texans are showing their support.

University of Texas professor Daniel Hamermesh recently sent University President Gregory Fenves his letter of resignation due to the new law. Hamermesh strongly believes this law will not only bring more danger and violence to campuses, but specifically to his classroom, a large auditorium of more than 400 students.

In Hamermesh’s letter to Fenves he states, “I cannot believe that I am the only potential or current faculty member who is aware of and disturbed by this heightened risk.” He also believes the new law will make recruiting students and staff to attend and teach at the University of Texas much more challenging.

In ending the letter, Professor Hamermesh touches on one of the University’s most important aspects – its reputation. “Applying this law broadly will detract from the…national and international reputation of this University.”

While Hamermesh feels the risk of gun violence is now enhanced, he’s not the only one who has voiced his opinion publicly on the matter. Several student groups and other Texas professors have spoken out about the potential dangers this new law could bring.

On the other hand some say that students are already bringing concealed weapons onto campuses, this law is just making it legal. Texas state representative Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress) stated that even though those on campus are not allowed to do so, they already carry concealed weapons on them because it is legal outside of campus.

Big business is also getting involved, including national fast food chain Whataburger.

Campus Carry is set to go into effect at the start of the year on January 1, 2016. A separate license will not be required for those who already have licenses to carry a concealed weapon and no additional fee will be charged.

Gun Violence in America – Are Mass Shootings on the Rise?

For Americans, it’s a basic right to bear arms, but at what cost? The U.S. has a significant number of gun-related deaths each year, including an increase in mass shootings.

This type of public, violent crime takes place every two weeks on average, according to Sherry Towers, a research professor at Arizona State University. She estimates 20 to 30 percent are inspired by previous attacks. This is triple the number of public mass shootings since 2011.

When it comes to the total number of firearm-related deaths in America, some of the most striking statistics revolve around how common these deaths are compared to other countries around the world.

When compared to Canada, Australia or France, Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by a gun, according to David Hemenway, professor of public health at Harvard School of Public Health.

In fact, more than 30,000 people are killed by guns across the country every year, and this number is considered a low estimate due to the fact that many gun-related deaths are unaccounted for as some shootings slip through the cracks and are not reported by the Centers for Disease Control.

How is this possible? One argument could be the availability of guns in the U.S.

In Arizona, for example, state law mandates that any resident over the age of 21 who is not a prohibited possessor may purchase a gun from a retailer and carry a weapon openly or concealed without a license.

They must undergo and pass a federal background check, unless they already have a permit or license, when purchasing from a retailer, but that’s not the only way to obtain a gun.

Firearms are often sold privately, auctioned, passed down or acquired illegally, which are all processes that don’t require background checks or licensing.

As a result of this increase, gun control laws are being questioned by Americans. After the mass shooting in Oregon, CNN released a poll that found 52 percent of people in the U.S. are opposed to stricter gun control.

Will these numbers inspire lawmakers to revisit current laws? That remains to be seen.