REFERENCE TITLE: firearms transfers; compact
State of Arizona
House of Representatives
First Regular Session
Representatives Thorpe: Barton, Lawrence
AMENDING TITLE 13, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING CHAPTER 31.1; RELATING TO FIREARM TRANSFERs.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Title 13, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding chapter 31.1, to read:
UNIFORM FIREARMS TRANSFER COMPACT
13-3161. Adoption of compact; text of compact
The state of Arizona enacts, adopts and agrees to be bound by the following Compact:
FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF POLICY
Whereas 4 United States Code section 112 gives congressional consent "to any two or more states to enter into agreements or compacts for cooperative effort and mutual assistance in the prevention of crime and in the enforcement of their respective criminal laws and policies, and to establish such agencies, joint or otherwise, as they may deem desirable for making effective such agreements and compacts."
Whereas every state adopting and agreeing to be bound by this compact, each of which have or may enact reciprocal recognition of regulations affecting firearms transfers, finds that maintaining uniformity in firearms transfer laws as provided herein advances its mutual sovereign interests in protecting the reasonable expectations of its respective citizens and law enforcement community;
Whereas every state adopting and agreeing to be bound by this compact promises and agrees to maintain reliably uniform firearms transfer laws as herein provided to ensure uniformity in public policy in order to promote a better public understanding of the law when its citizens travel or establish residences or domiciles among member states, to govern, coordinate, and guide civil and criminal law enforcement personnel when interacting with such citizens, and to avoid undesirable state burdens on interstate commerce in firearms;
Now, therefore, in consideration of their mutual promises and obligations expressed in this compact, be it enacted by all states enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound by this compact, their agreement to exercise herewith all of their respective powers as set forth herein notwithstanding any law, regulation or policy to the contrary.
As used in this compact, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
Section 1. "Compact" means the "Uniform Firearms Transfer Compact."
Section 2. "State" means one of the several states of the United States. The term "state" shall be construed to include all of its branches, departments, agencies, instrumentalities, political subdivisions, and officers, employees and representatives acting in their official capacity.
Section 3. "Member state" means a state that has passed legislation that enacts, adopts and agrees to be bound to this compact. For any state to qualify as a member state with respect to any other state under this compact, each such state must have enacted, adopted and agreed to be bound by substantively identical legislation enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound by this compact. Legislation enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound by the compact shall be deemed substantively identical notwithstanding the inclusion of a section in such legislation entitled "Addendum to Compact," which specifies laws, regulations, and policies, and related prosecutions or administrative or enforcement actions, existing or pending on the enactment date of such legislation in the respective enacting state that are excluded from the scope of section 1 of article IV of this compact as provided by section 2 of article IV of this compact, provided that such legislation is otherwise identical in all operative terms.
Section 4. "Notice" All notices required by this compact shall be by United States certified mail, return receipt requested, or an equivalent or superior form of notice, such as personal delivery documented by evidence of actual receipt.
Section 5. "Federal law" exclusively means duly enacted, constitutional federal statutes and lawfully and constitutionally promulgated regulations promulgated in conformity with the administrative procedure act, as amended.
COMPACT MEMBERSHIP AND WITHDRAWAL
Section 1. By becoming a member state, each such state offers to perform and comply strictly in accordance with this Compact's terms and conditions, and has made such offer in anticipation and consideration of, and in substantial reliance upon, such mutual and reciprocal performance and compliance by each other member state, if any. Such offer shall be deemed accepted and entry into this Compact complete upon the receipt of notice of the attainment of Member State status by each other member state's governor or other acting chief executive officer, if any. Upon such entry, this compact and each of its articles shall be construed and enforced as a solemn sovereign agreement legally and contractually binding on each member state.
Section 2. After this Compact becomes legally and contractually binding on a Member State, that Member State reserves the right to withdraw from or propose amendments to this Compact: (a) during every tenth year after the first State passes legislation enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound to this Compact; (b) during a special session of that Member State's legislature called specifically for the purpose of introducing legislation allowing for withdrawal from or proposing amendments to this Compact, provided that written notice of the call of such special session is given to each other Member State at least thirty (30) days before the session convenes; or (c) upon unanimous consent of each other Member State given in writing by such Member State's respective Governor or other acting Chief Executive Officer. Any proposed amendment to this Compact authorized by this section shall only be effective if and when legislatively adopted by a two‑thirds majority of Member States within three (3) years of the first enactment of legislation proposing the amendment, with the minority of nonadopting Member States deemed to have then-withdrawn from the Compact unless the amendment only affects the Member States that have adopted the amendment. However, a Member State may at any time repeal any or all provisions of an "Addendum to Compact", for which it is responsible, as contemplated in section 2 of Article IV of this Compact, as well as any law, regulation or policy specified therein, that is included as a section within its respective legislation enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound by this Compact; with the remainder of the Compact remaining in full force and effect.
Section 3. A withdrawal, or amendment intended to affect only a particular member state, shall not affect the validity or applicability of the compact with respect to remaining member states, provided that there remain at least two such states.
SECTION 1. Except as expressly provided in Section 2 of this Article, each Member State shall not: (a) create, impose or enforce any fee, tax, penalty, mandate or regulation governing, punishing, restricting, conditioning or otherwise burdening in any respect or at any time the transfer of firearms by any person, if such fee, tax, penalty, mandate or regulation would be in addition to any such fee, tax, penalty, mandate or regulation imposed by federal law; or (b) create, impose or enforce any criminal or civil liability not created or imposed under federal law in connection with the transfer of firearms by any person.
Section 2. Section 1 of this article shall not apply to: (a) the creation, imposition or enforcement of a fee, tax, penalty, mandate, regulation, or criminal or civil liability, or related prosecution or administrative or enforcement action, where the transfer of firearms is an element of a criminal or civil cause of action involving violence, the violation of property rights, attempted or threatened violence or the violation of property rights, controlled substances, actual fraud, breach of contract, or intentional or negligent misconduct actually causing or imminently threatening personal or economic injury; or (b) any law, regulation or policy, or related prosecution or administrative or enforcement action that is specified by a member state in a section entitled "Addendum to Compact" and included within its respective legislation enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound by this compact, provided that the specified law, regulation or policy is existing and effective, or the prosecution or administrative or enforcement is pending, in the Member State on the enactment date of its legislation enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound to this Compact. Said Addendum to Compact, if any, shall be regarded as part of this Compact with respect to the respectively enacting Member State, and, except as it qualifies section 1 of this Article, shall otherwise be construed as subject to the Compact's terms.
Section 3. Unrebutted prima facie evidence that a law, regulation or policy, or related prosecution, or administrative or enforcement action, violates section 1 of this Article shall be a complete defense in all Member States to any civil or criminal proceeding against any person in relation to the transfer of a firearm to the extent that the proceeding arises from the authority of such law, regulation or policy. Any party prevailing in the defense afforded by this section shall be entitled to recover in the same proceeding all legal expenses, including reasonable attorney fees, from any party seeking to enforce any such conflicting law, regulation or policy.
Section 4. Intended Third Party Beneficiaries. Intended third party beneficiaries of this Compact, who are hereby granted a vested right to the strict performance thereof by Member States, include, but are not limited to, residents of Member States who: (a) enjoy the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, defense of home, or defense of community under state or federal law or their respective state constitution or the United States Constitution; (b) enjoy a protected property interest in any firearm under state or federal law or their respective state constitution or the United States Constitution; (c) enjoy a protected contractual interest in the transfer of any firearm under state or federal law or their respective state constitution or the United States Constitution; (d) enjoy a protected liberty interest in the transfer of any firearm under state or federal law or their respective state constitution or the United States Constitution; or (e) qualify for the defense afforded by Section 3 of this Article.
CONSTRUCTION, ENFORCEMENT, VENUE AND SEVERABILITY
Section 1. Any law, regulation or policy existing on the effective date of this Compact, which is in conflict with this Compact, shall hereby be repealed and held for naught to the extent of such conflict. However, nothing in this Compact is intended to supersede federal law except as may be authorized by the provisions of 4 United States Code section 112.
Section 2. Any violation of Article IV of this Compact, whether by state constitutional amendment, legislative act, popular initiative, or administrative act, or related prosecution, administrative or enforcement action, is a material breach of this Compact. Any breach of this Compact by any Member State, whether by state constitutional amendment, legislative act, popular initiative, or administrative act, or related prosecution, administrative or enforcement action, shall be regarded by all Member States as a substantial impairment of the obligation of a solemn contract between Sovereigns, and as an ultra vires and void violation of United States Constitution, Article I, section 10, clause 1. Further, any such breach by virtue of any Member State's criminal investigations, prosecutions or adjudications shall be regarded by all Member States as an ultra vires and void violation of United States Constitution, Article VI, clause 2, due to the existence of advance statutory congressional consent under 4 United States Code section 112 for the criminal law enforcement coordination required by this compact.
Section 3. Any member state resident, who is an intended third party beneficiary of this compact, shall have standing in the courts of any member state to seek declaratory, injunctive or other appropriate relief to enforce this compact as a duly authorized agent of the member state of his or her residency provided that the following conditions are first met: (a) such resident shall give reasonable notice of the alleged noncompliance with this compact to the entity directly responsible for such noncompliance and also to the attorney general or other chief law enforcement officer, if any, of the member state in which such entity is domiciled, within sixty (60) days of said resident's actual discovery of the first instance of noncompliance; (b) the aforesaid responsible entity fails to cure such noncompliance within thirty (30) days of such notice; and (c) the attorney general or other chief law enforcement officer, if any, of the member state in which such entity is domiciled shall fail to enforce this compact by filing an appropriate action, as necessary to ensure compliance within sixty (60) days of the expiration of such cure period.
Section 4. This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate its purposes. To the extent that the effectiveness of this compact or any of its articles or provisions requires the alteration of local legislative rules, legislative drafting policies or statutes, or parliamentary procedure to be effective, the enactment of legislation enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound by this compact shall be deemed to waive, repeal, supersede, or otherwise amend and conform all such rules, policies, statutes or procedures to allow for the effectiveness of all provisions of this compact according to their terms and conditions to the fullest extent permitted by the constitution of any affected member state, consistent with the prohibition on states impairing the obligation of contract under United States Constitution, article I, section 10, clause 1. In the event that the purposes of this compact cannot be fulfilled due to defects in form or style, each affected member state shall take all reasonable steps, both legislative or otherwise, that will remedy such defects and ensure that the purposes of this compact are not frustrated by formal or stylistic defects. However, the definitions specified in this compact shall govern this compact unless the context clearly and unequivocally indicates otherwise.
Section 5. If any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact, or the applicability of any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact to any government, agency, person or circumstance, is declared in a final judgment to be contrary to the United States Constitution, contrary to the state constitution of any member state, subject to the prohibition on states impairing the obligation of contract under United States Constitution, article I, section 10, Clause 1, or is otherwise held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such phrase, clause, sentence or provision shall be severed and held for naught, and the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability of the remainder of this compact to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected. Furthermore, if this compact is declared in a final judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction to be entirely contrary to the state constitution of any member state, subject to the prohibition on states impairing the obligation of contract under united states constitution, article I, section 10, Clause 1, or otherwise entirely invalid as to any member state, such member state shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the compact, and the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to any remaining member state. Finally, if this compact or any amendment thereto is declared in a final judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction to be wholly or substantially in violation of article I, section 10, of the United States Constitution, then it shall be construed and enforced solely as reciprocal legislation enacted by the affected member state(s).
Section 6. Through the passage of substantively identical legislation, a simple majority of the member states may organize an interstate alternative dispute resolution commission with binding and/or nonbinding authority to mediate and/or settle any dispute, claim or cause of action arising between and/or among the member states and/or third party beneficiaries regarding the interpretation or applicability of any provision of this compact.
Section 7. The effective date of this compact is the earliest date permitted by law.