PHOENIX — Calling the technology a method of gun control, a Senate panel voted Wednesday to preclude any mandate that Arizonans have to purchase "smart'' guns.

HB 2216 says the state may not require any individual to use "electronic firearm tracking technology.'' It also bars disclosure of any disclosure of information gathered from such technology that would identify the gun owner or the the person's firearm.

Rep. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix, said he heard a presentation at a conference that suggested the best way to regulate who can own and fire a gun is "block chain technology.''

In essence, the technology can sense and log when a smart weapon has been fired, even sending notices to emergency personnel. It also can send out notifications if an unauthorized person tries to fire the weapon.

"And that's what I'm concerned about,'' Boyer told colleagues.

"The right to defend oneself existed before government,'' he continued. "It'll exist long after government is gone. And so every citizen should have the right to defend themselves.''

Beyond the tracking, Boyer said HB 2216 will ensure that Arizonans are not forced to purchase firearms that are designed to fire only by the authorized owner or user. He contends they are "unreliable.''

Dave Kopp of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, a supporter of the measure, pointed out that nothing in the legislation precludes an Arizonan who wants such a firearm from getting one.

The version of the bill approved by the panel on a 4-3 vote does spell out that law enforcement officials can take advantage of a firearm's tracking technology if they have a search warrant.

HB 2216, which cleared the House 34-25, now goes to the full Senate.

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