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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Governor Brewer Signs HB2535 into Law Forcing the Hand of AZ CLEOs for Firearms Transfers

We have read a lot about the two pro-2A bills recently vetoed by Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona. She has had many shining moments as a pro-2A politician over the course of her term as Governor and we are happy to say that the bills she vetoed overshadowed one she signed into law, which requires a CLEO must respond to certify or deny any application for an NFA transfer if required by law within 60 days of receipt. 

There are Chief Law Enforcement Officers out there that will just sit on their hands in the face of providing any any certification of such transfers, which becomes a huge hurdle for law abiding folks trying to obtain suppressors, SBR, full auto, or other firearms requiring their stamp of approval. We have provided the full final language of the bill below, which is now part of Arizona Revised Statutes. It does appear a CLEO can withhold certification of a transfer even if one is legally able to obtain the firearm in question, however this could open a big can of worms for the officer if probable cause is not given.

While I have not heard of there being a non-singing CLEO problem in AZ, it only takes one bad apple to decide he simply doesn't want the "liability" or is determined to keep such products out of the hands of anyone even law abiding citizens. Many people are utilizing Trusts or Corporations to obtain NFA items without the needs for a CLEO, however politicians in the Federal Government are working diligently to stop this practice, which would cut anyone off that lives in an area where their CLEO simply won't sign anything. While the practicing of obtaining a CLEO certification is antiquated period, we applaud the Governor for having the foresight to sign this bill into law. 

Section 1.  Title 13, chapter 31, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 13-3121, to read:
13-3121.  Firearm transfers; chief law enforcement officer certification; notification; definitions
A.  IF A CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER'S CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW OR REGULATION FOR THE TRANSFER OF A FIREARM, THE CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITHIN SIXTY DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF A REQUEST FOR CERTIFICATION BY AN APPLICANT, SHALL PROVIDE THE CERTIFICATION IF THE APPLICANT IS NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM RECEIVING THE FIREARM OR IS NOT THE SUBJECT OF A PROCEEDING THAT COULD RESULT IN THE APPLICANT BEING PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM RECEIVING THE FIREARM.  IF THE CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE A CERTIFICATION AS REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION, THE CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER SHALL NOTIFY THE APPLICANT, IN WRITING, OF THE DENIAL AND THE REASON FOR THIS DETERMINATION.
B.  THE CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY THAT HAS FIFTEEN PEACE OFFICERS OR FEWER MAY REFER AN APPLICANT WHO IS REQUESTING A CERTIFICATION PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION TO THE COUNTY SHERIFF.  A COUNTY SHERIFF WHO RECEIVES A REQUEST FOR CERTIFICATION FROM A REFERRED APPLICANT SHALL PROVIDE THE CERTIFICATION REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION.
C.  SECTION 12‑820.02 APPLIES TO A CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WHO PROVIDES A CERTIFICATION PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
D.  THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO A COUNTY ATTORNEY OR A TRIBAL AGENCY.  THIS SUBSECTION DOES NOT PROHIBIT A COUNTY ATTORNEY OR A TRIBAL AGENCY FROM PROVIDING AN APPLICANT WITH A CERTIFICATION.
E.  A CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IS NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A CERTIFICATION PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION THAT THE OFFICER KNOWS IS UNTRUE BUT MAY NOT REFUSE TO PROVIDE A CERTIFICATION THAT IS BASED ON A GENERALIZED OBJECTION TO PRIVATE PERSONS OR ENTITIES MAKING, POSSESSING OR RECEIVING FIREARMS OR ANY CERTAIN TYPE OF FIREARM THE POSSESSION OF WHICH IS NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW.
F.  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
1.  "CERTIFICATION" MEANS THE PARTICIPATION AND ASSENT THAT IS REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW FOR THE APPROVAL OF AN APPLICATION TO TRANSFER OR MAKE A FIREARM.
2.  "CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER" MEANS ANY OFFICIAL THAT THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES, OR ANY SUCCESSOR AGENCY, IDENTIFIES BY REGULATION OR OTHERWISE AS ELIGIBLE TO PROVIDE ANY REQUIRED CERTIFICATION TO MAKE OR TRANSFER A FIREARM.
3.  "FIREARM" HAS THE SAME MEANING PRESCRIBED IN 26 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 5845(a).
4.  "PROCEEDING" INCLUDES AN ONGOING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION THAT COULD RESULT IN THE APPLICANT BEING PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM RECEIVING A FIREARM.