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New law designed to stop Tucson's gun laws

Posted at 6:55 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 22:03:36-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Governor Ducey just signed a new gun law that has Tucson in its sights.  It may lead to a fight in the courts.


The new law penalizes cities that pass any gun law more strict than state law.


That could affect several gun laws Tucson has on the books and, there's a larger question: State lawmakers resist rules imposed by Washington.  Should state lawmakers tells cities what laws they can pass?

The City of Tucson has encouraged people to turn in guns so the city can destroy them.  It's also passed laws to require people to report a stolen gun, or submit to an alcohol test if they've been involved in a gun accident.

But state lawmakers passed a law that says the city must take those laws off the books because they are tougher than state gun laws.


City Council member Steve Kozachik says,  "I hope we fight it."


Kozachik worked to get Tucson's gun laws on the books.

He says, “The ideological hypocrisy is just dripping off of these guys.  They talk about the Federal Government over reaching and imposing their will on the states.  They're doing the same thing with the cities."

Todd Rathner of the National Rifle Association says, “We believe they have no authority, absolutely zero authority to regulate firearms in any way unless it's specified in state law that they can regulate those firearms and they haven't complied."

Rathner is a director with the NRA, and lobbies lawmakers on firearms issues.  He says State lawmakers can overrule city laws because cities exist with permission of the State's legal authority.


"There is no Constitutional protection for the City of Tucson from the authority of the State. Why? Because the City of Tucson is a creature of the State.  The State created the City of Tucson and the State can regulate the City of Tucson."


Kozachik says courts have rejected the creature of the state argument because Tucson was created with a charter, sort of a city Constitution.


Both he and Rathner say there may be a lawsuit that will decide which argument wins in this case.