Proposed legislation that would ban “assault weapons” in Arizona has significantly increased sales at one Phoenix gun shop, the store owner says.
“I’m taking phone calls from regular customers, ‘Hey, should I come get something now?’ And I’m trying to ensure them: ‘Look, don’t panic buy,” Veerachart Murphy, the owner of North Phoenix’s Ammo AZ gun shop, told KPHO TV.
“Each day we know what to expect. And sales have literally been up about 50 to 70 percent over normal volumes for these normal days.”
The AR-15, a lightweight, semi-automatic rifle made by Colt, is his No. 1 seller, Murphy said.
The legislation, introduced last week in the Arizona Senate by 52-year-old Democrat Rebecca Rios, would ban any firearm that is, among other things, a semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine. The bill has 11 co-sponsors. Democrats, however, hold only 13 of the Arizona Senate’s 30 seats.
“Here’s the rub about assault rifles,” Murphy said. “There’s no such thing.
“This is a semi-automatic rifle,” he said pointing to an AR-15.
Butthe billalso includes semi-automatic pistols with a magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds or a fixed magazine capacity that carries more than five rounds.
Murphy appeared to speak for many of his customers.
“As a gun owner, I’m not trying to put a gun in anyone’s hand,” he said. “You don’t want a gun, don’t buy a gun. I’m trying to prevent other people from removing it from my hands. This is my choice. This is how I protect myself and my family.”
To show opposition to the bill, a gun-rights rally has been planned for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the state capitol building in Phoenix.
Government employees, agents and officers would be exempt from the ban. There are also exceptions listed for manufacturers.
But without an exception, owners of any of the weapons would be required to remove it from the state, make it inoperable or surrender it within 90 days to law enforcement.
The Arizona legislation comes as Democrats in the Virginia House passed legislation 51-48 on Tuesday to outlaw new sales of “assault weapons.”
The Virginia bill also would make possession of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 12 rounds punishable by up to one year in prison even if the magazines were legally purchased. If signed into law, it would be among the strictest bans in the country.
Cover image:North Phoenix gun store owner Veerachart Murphy says sales at his shop have climbed 50-70 percent since Democrats introduced legislation in the Arizona state senate that would ban what they call “assault weapons.”