Gun Tracking Blockchain Ban Moves A Step Closer In Arizona

An innovative solution to gun tracking that would see data recorded on the blockchain has come a step closer to being outlawed today, as legislation makes its way through the legislature of Arizona.

The bill, which would prevent blockchain technology from being used to track information about firearms and their use, was presented in January, and has made quick passage through the state’s House.

According to an extract from the bill, House Bill 2216 will prevent anyone other than law enforcement agencies from utilizing blockchain technology for recording information about firearms ownership and usage, including automatic electronic reporting whenever a gun is fired.

"For the purposes of this section, 'Electronic Firearm Tracking Technology' means a platform, system or group of systems or devices that uses a shared ledger, distributed ledger or block chain technology or similar form of technology or electronic database for the purpose of storing information in a decentralized or centralized way, that is not owned or controlled by any single person or entity and that is used to locate or control the use of a firearm."

After hitting opposition in the state’s upper house, the bill was ultimately accepted with a vote splitting 34-24, ensuring that the proposals will become state law.

The bill was designed to address concerns that firearms manufacturers or retailers could move toward using Electronic Firearm Tracking Technology as a method of gun control.

While demonstrating one powerful capability of blockchain technology, the bill was designed to suppress this method of tracking gun ownership and use, as a method of preventing further control on the use of firearms within Arizona.

The bill is not the first attention given to blockchain by Arizona lawmakers this year. An earlier bill, delivered by Gov. Doug Ducey in March, gave official legal recognition to signatures and smart contracts derived from the blockchain.

The move was widely seen as giving more legal credibility to data collected and stored on the blockchain, and passed into law after receiving support from both houses of the state legislature.

While the bill seeks to control the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology in gun control, it does still leave exemptions for law enforcement agencies, which could still seek to benefit from blockchain-based solutions for this issue in future.