Committee testimony underscores necessity for anti-discrimination protections
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – The Senate Appropriations Committee this week passed HB 2473, legislation sponsored by State Representative Frank Carroll that would prohibit state contractors, who receive taxpayer money, from discriminating against firearm-related businesses, and therefore the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 2, Section 26 of the Arizona State Constitution.
“Anti-firearm banks have expressed interest in denying services to the firearm industry to effectively impose de facto gun control by making it hard, if not impossible, to do business,” said Representative Carroll. “While I don’t believe that government should dictate private business decisions, businesses that exercise political ideology, agendas and values antithetical to our constitutional rights should not be supported with taxpayer money.”
During consideration of the bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, the Arizona Bankers Association conceded that banks are making determinations to refuse business of firearm-related companies based strictly on their political views, rather than financial decisions, and that it should be allowed.
“It is a troubling admission that actually makes the need for anti-discrimination legislation crystal clear,” Carroll added. “Without protections in law, Arizonans can expect that some companies will increasingly engage in political activism to enact progressive social agendas upon the public that could not otherwise pass at the ballot box.”
Arizona state law already prevents public entities from awarding contracts to companies or individuals that engage in boycotts of Israel. HB 2473 would have a similar effect with companies that discriminate against lawful firearm-related businesses.
The legislation now awaits consideration by the full Senate.
Frank Carroll is a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives serving Legislative District 22, which includes Surprise, Sun City West, Peoria, and Glendale. Follow him on Twitter at @RepFrankCarroll.