A Republican-sponsored bill barring enforcement of new federal guns laws affecting semi-automatic firearms or high-capacity magazines sparked passionate debate in an Arizona Senate committee that ultimately passed the bill.

The bill sponsored co-sponsored by Sen. Don Shooter, four other senators and several members of the House of Representatives also allows the state Attorney General to defend anyone prosecuted for violating federal gun laws if the gun was made in Arizona.

Wednesday's Senate Public Safety Committee debate pitted minority Democrats who believe the bill is unconstitutional against Republicans opposed to what they call an overreaching federal government.

An identical bill has been introduced in the House.

The bills and others in the Legislature were prompted by President Barack Obama's push to reinstate an assault weapons ban and ban high-capacity magazines.