Sen. Farley Walks Backs Gun Legislation Comments, Arizonans Can Already Own Machine Guns, Tanks

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Monday, April 4, 2016 - 9:51am

A top Democrat in the state Senate is walking back statements he made last week that a proposed gun law will allow Arizonans to own everything from silencers to automatic weapons and hand grenades.

During a debate on a firearms measure, Sen. Steve Farley, Tucson, urged colleagues to defeat it. Farley said he read the measure to essentially forfeit to the federal government the right to decide what weapons Arizonans can possess.

"We're talking about bombs, grenades, rockets having a propellant charge of more than four ounces and that is explosive, and incendiary or poison gas," Farley said.

But it turns out Arizonans already can have those devices-- with or without this new law.

Charles Heller, one of the founders of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, said it just requires patience.

"You go to the gun shop. You buy it. You pay for it, whatever it is. Machine gun. Suppressor. It could be a tank with a cannon on it. All legal to own," he explained. "You can own anything you want. You can own a fighter plane with machine guns on it. It's not a problem."

But what you need is patience to go through what could be a nine-month background check. Farley acknowledged he misread the legislation and it really is just a technical change in state law.

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