Governor Brewer vetoes bills strengthening Sheriff controls and endorsing the Second Amendment

PHOENIX—Governor Jan Brewer, whose finger-wag was seen ’round the world, vetoed Arizona H.B. 2434 which would have required federal law enforcement officials to report to the County Sheriff prior to taking any law enforcement action.

In her April 11th letter, she informed House Speaker Andy Tobin of her concerns with interference with federal agencies.

“This legislation has the potential to interfere with law enforcement investigations and adds unneeded reporting requirements for law enforcement. Rather than hinder the efforts of our federal law enforcement colleagues, we need to focus on collaboration,” she wrote.

She noted that the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Center gathers local, state and federal law enforcement to jointly fight against terrorism and other serious crimes. Apparently that does not include securing the southern border.

The Governor also vetoed House Joint Resolution 2001 “Authorizing opposition to the use of an international force on american soil that seeks to enforce any united Nations treaty that has not been ratified by the United States senate.”

The resolution reads:

Whereas, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution firmly states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”; and

Whereas, Article II, section 26, Arizona Constitution, states, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired”; and

Whereas, member nations of the United Nations have formed committees with the intent to regulate private firearm ownership; and

Whereas, the United Nations committees have held hearings on the Arms Trade Treaty, which includes regulation of private firearms ownership; and

Whereas, the Constitution of the United States prevents the President from enacting a treaty without ratification from the United States Senate; and

Whereas, the National Rifle Association has secured the commitment from 58 current United States senators that they would not ratify the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty as long as it includes regulation of private firearms ownership; and

Whereas, the United Nations Security Council regularly shows its disregard for sovereign nations and their constitutions and laws; and

Whereas, the United Nations has used force to disarm citizens of a sovereign nation in the past, which led to mass killings by bladed weapons; and

Whereas, the United Nations often uses international forces to impose its will on sovereign nations.


Be it resolved by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

1. That the State of Arizona opposes any use of an international force on American soil that seeks to enforce any United Nations treaty that has not been properly ratified by the United States Senate.

2. That the State of Arizona authorizes using organized resistance to thwart any international force that infringes on the United States Constitution or any of its amendments.

In her veto letter, she assured Speaker Tobin, “I unequivocally support protecting Arizona, our country and its Constitution, and individual gun rights. Moreover, I would not hesitate to exercise all authority vested in me and utilize all available resources to counter any attempt by any international force to cause harm to this State and its citizens.”

The resolution targeted the U.N. General Assembly who are working on, “a United Nations Convention on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012 to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.” (G.A. Res. 64/48 (Dec. 2, 2009)).” The treaty would affect the transfer of private arms among civilians in the United States.

In at least two cases, however, the Supreme Court has ruled that the treaties cannot violate the Constitution of the United States. Justice Noah Haynes Swayne noted in The Cherokee Tobacco Case, “It need hardly be said that a treaty cannot change the Constitution or be held valid if it be in violation of that instrument. This results from the nature and fundamental principles of our government. The effect of treaties and acts of Congress, when in conflict, is not settled by the Constitution. But the question is not involved in any doubt as to its proper solution. A treaty may supersede a prior act of Congress, and an act of Congress may supersede a prior treaty.”

Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray upheld that notion in a later case in 1898. “But this is for want of any statute or treaty authorizing or permitting such naturalization, as will appear by tracing the history of the statutes, treaties, and decisions upon that subject, always bearing in mind that statutes enacted by congress, as well as treaties made by the president and senate, must yield to the paramount and supreme law of the constitution.”

Such a treaty would violate the Second Amendment to the Constitution and force States to release weapons information on private citizens to foreign governments. It would also allow foreign troops to enter the United States to use force to disarm citizens. Foreign troops on U.S. soil has been considered an act of war in the past.

The Governor disapproved of the resolution because of the “vagueness of its language and terminology” which could lead to “misuse, confusion and unintended consequences.” She also stated that it was unclear what the legal and financial ramifications would be of an endorsement of such a project.

In 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution which contained provisions against foreign troops on American soil. They proceeded to back it up with organized force without worrying about the legal and financial ramifications.

The misunderstanding of the role of the militia and the reason for the Second Amendment could mean that S.B. 1083, creating the Arizona Special Missions Unit, is also destined for a veto stamp when it reaches the desk of the Governor.

The Governor further vetoed S.B. 1323 which would have allowed Arizona Rangers to put blue and red police lights on their vehicles. Her letter expressed concerns about confusing citizens with police lights on private vehicles. This actually has some merit since criminals have been known to use lights and pose as police to commit rapes and robberies.