Sen. Gary Stubblefield, the sponsor of the gun bill vetoed by the governor, has now introduced new legislation, SB 717, aimed at correcting flaws in the bill vetoed by the governor.
The Senate overrode the veto yesterday after sharp debate because of flaws in Stubblefield’s bill. He promised to address the questions. The House has not yet acted on an override, but this morning a House committee approved a proposal also aimed at solving problems seen in the bill.
Stubblefield’s bill continues to nullify federal law, but prospectively so as not to endanger pending cases.
It preserves federal fees that go to the Game and Fish Commission.
It eliminates a criminal penalty for state officers who cooperate with federal offices on gun investigations.
The Senate went into recess before debate on Stubblefield’s bill, to return at 2 p.m. Minutes later, the House approved a motion to suspend the rules to consider today the compromise bill approved in House committee this morning.
I was reminded this morning that all these measures would imperil future joint investigations such as the investigation by North Little Rock police which produced, in cooperation with federal agents the indictment of Louis Rockefeller last year for converting weapons into machine guns. He’s the son of the former Republican lieutenant governor, Win Rockefeller. His family remains a major financial supporter of Republican politicians. His trial is scheduled for July.
UPDATE: The governor was asked about pending bills at his weekly coronavirus briefing.
He said, “We have to have a bill that does not do harm.” All those under consideration are extreme and “repudiate” portions of federal law. He said they do send a strong signal on the 2nd Amendment. But he said he’d be studying them to see if “they do harm to public safety.” He said the Jeff Wardlaw bill approved in committee this morning “has protections for law enforcement.”
He added. “I’ll leave it to General Assembly to see if they can get that passed.”