Editorial: Legislators should not bend the rules

Arizona elected officials are flouting federal requirements - you could say - again.

It's practically legendary how then-Gov. Jan Brewer wagged her finger in President Barack Obama's face at the airport, and Arizona put forward SB1070 to do what the federal government would not with people who are in the country illegally, among other things.

Now - under the guise of "local control" - we have the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, this week granting exemptions to federal Smart Snacks requirements that restrict the types of foods that can be offered at school fundraisers. The action mirrors what SB1267 would do, if passed.

And, the House Military and Public Safety Committee on Thursday, Feb. 5, passed House Bill 2527 in a 5-3 vote. Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, said the bill would add the word "transfer" to an existing law so only the state legislature can regulate the transfer of firearms, in addition to storage and possession.

"There's no harm in that. I think it just adds to the rights of the Second Amendment," Kern told the Associated Press.

However, Sen. David Bradley, D-Tucson, said communities should be able to craft their own laws based on the Constitution. "It's funny because sometimes we talk about local control, and when it's not convenient we view this as a restraint on Second Amendment rights," the AP reported.

I agree that local communities should not have to worry about the type of snow cones a school offers at a fundraising event, as what got Douglas to act; if you don't like them, don't buy them. Her correct contention is that's a decision for parents to make.

Arizona also already has some of the strongest Second Amendment protections in the country and HB2527 would further protect those rights.

However, the federal government is the classic 900-pound gorilla in the room not to be forgotten or ignored.

All we need is another court ruling, akin to SB1070, making the two steps forward become three steps back.

Exercise caution, folks.

- Tim Wiederaenders, city editor

Follow Tim on Twitter @TWieds_editor