Arizona gov vetoes measure aimed at ending discrimination against gun companies

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

While it’s Katie Hobbs’ now former press secretary who’s generating the lion’s share of headlines coming out of the governor’s office at the moment thanks to her implied threat of violence against “transphobes” tweeted out just hours after the shootings at Covenant School in Nashville, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is slamming the governor herself for siding with “woke Wall St. corporations” over Arizona gun stores and manufacturers.


On Tuesday, Hobbs vetoed SB 1096, also known as the Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act, which would have prohibited the state of Arizona and its political  subdivisions from engaging in any contracts with companies that discriminate against the firearms industry by refusing to do business with them unless they “voluntarily” adopt policies like not selling modern sporting rifles to the average public. In her brief statement accompanying her veto, Hobbs described the bill as “unnecessary” and said it could cause banks to leave the state, limit competition, and increase costs for local governments.

NSSF senior vice president and general counsel Larry Keane decried the veto, saying it “shows state residents that their governor’s loyalties are with Wall Street’s ‘woke’ agenda and not with protecting homegrown businesses or protecting the Second Amendment rights of Arizona’s citizens.” The firearms industry trade group also slammed Hobbs veto statement for downplaying the legitimate harm being done to those in the gun industry by these discriminatory practices.

That dismissive statement ignores the reality that Arizona businesses are being targeted by corporate entities discriminating against Arizona businesses based on politics. The veto came on the same day Gov. Hobbs’ spokesperson, Josselyn Berry, posted an image on Twitter showing a woman holding handguns, adding “Us when we see transphobes.” The post was made following the tragedy in Nashville and has since been removed from Twitter for violating Twitter’s rules, but Gov. Hobbs has refused calls to fire Ms. Berry.

This veto, coupled with the vile and violent threats, exposes the animus the Hobbs administration holds for the firearm industry and Arizonans’ Constitutional right to keep and bear arms to protect themselves against violence. NSSF condemns the use or threat of violence by anyone against innocent lives.


Here’s the since-deleted tweet in question (thanks to Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey):

The Arizona Republic provided what little context there is for the tweet, which doesn’t exactly make a strong case for Berry.

Berry posted earlier in the day Monday about transgender rights and progressive politics, saying if you “work in the progressive community and are transphobic, you’re not progressive.” It is unclear what she was referring to.

“Not sure these transphobic-from-the-left posers know who they’re messing with,” another Twitter user replied, prompting Berry’s tweet referencing people who fear or discriminate against the transgender community, and adding the image of a woman with drawn guns stalking forward a few paces.

Was that an actual threat of violence against lefties that Berry would consider to be “transphobic”? Probably not from a legal perspective. I doubt that Berry is going to be charged with inciting violence based on her tweet. From a political perspective, however, it’s both unbelievably dumb and completely uncalled for, especially coming from the governor’s press secretary.

This would have been a pretty easy chance for Hobbs to play the role of non-partisan peacemaker, calling for a tamping down of heated rhetoric and ensuring that her own staffers aren’t contributing to the toxicity of our current political debate. But that would require a desire for non-partisanship by Hobbs, and she certainly hasn’t demonstrated that during her brief time in office. In fact, with her veto of SB 1096, which passed the legislature with support from both Republicans and a few Democrats, Hobbs has made it clear that she’s going to toe the gun control party line, even at the expense of Arizona businesses. Berry announced her resignation as Hobbs’ press secretary earlier today, but it’s telling that the parting of ways came from Berry herself and not because Hobbs took a stand in favor of civility.


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