PHOENIX - If you go bust in Arizona, you can keep all kinds of things.
Your bicycle, sewing machine, family Bible and even your typewriter, if you still own one.
Your clothes, computer, possibly even your car, and much more.
You won't have to sell that stuff in bankruptcy to help pay back what you owe.
"You want to get ... a fresh start," said bankruptcy attorney Pernell McGuire, of Davis Miles McGuire Gardner in Tempe.
"We don't want people to start over with nothing after they file a bankruptcy."
But people filing for bankruptcy also have a choice to make. Under current Arizona law, they can keep only one shotgun, one rifle or one pistol.
The Republican-controlled Legislature wants to change that. The Senate is one step away from passing a bill allowing bankruptcy filers to keep up to $2,000 worth of weapons - any kind of weapon. The exemption expands to $4,000 for a couple.
"You could own four AR-15s in your household and still fall within that exemption amount," McGuire said.
Supporters says citizens must retain their ability to defend themselves.
"Keeping a cat in every room's not going to do it," Rick Dalton, of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, told a House hearing in February.
Advocates also argue a constitutional right is at stake.
"The Second Amendment is the only amendment that says the government shall not infringe upon the ownership of firearms," said the bill's sponsor, Republican State Rep. Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff.
McGuire said he wasn't aware of any bankruptcy law that touches on the Second Amendment.
"The issue here is money," he said. "We just want to get the money for the item and use it to pay the creditors."
The bill, HB 2211, awaits approval by the full Senate before being sent to the governor.