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The Tucson City Council has become a notorious scofflaw for ignoring a state law regarding firearms. Arizona has a state preemption law to avoid a confusing patchwork of local laws, something which could easily entrap innocent people who exercise their Second Amendment rights. The Tucson City Council has ignored the law.
Arizona also requires that firearms that come into the possession of the police must be sold to federal firearms dealers so that their value can be used for the public good. Tucson has been accused of destroying these valuable items, presumably to make political statement. Or something.
This year, the legislature seems to have had enough of this. They passed a bill that required the attorney general to investigate claims of political entities violating the law when the AG is asked to do so by a member of the legislature. If an investigation indicates a violation of the law, the political entity could be punished in them manner most likely to get their attention — by withholding state revenue.

From an AzCDL email:

Great news! Representative (and AzCDL member) Mark Finchem (LD 11) has asked the Arizona Attorney General to investigate the City of Tucson for the routine destruction of firearms in violation of ARS 13-3108.F. If the Attorney General’s investigation reveals that legal action should be brought against Tucson, the city could face withholding of State Shared Revenue funds.

So it appears there will be an official investigation into the alleged violations of law by the city of Tucson. The next few months should reveal whether violations of the law have occurred or not.

The Arizona Citizens Defense League was instrumental in promoting the legislation to hold scofflaw political entities to account. Similar legislation has been passed in Florida and Pennsylvania, and is being considered in other states.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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21 Responses to Kimber Gun Rights Bulletin: Arizona AG to Investigate City of Tucson for Illegal Destruction of Firearms

  1. Too bad California has no such provision and probably never will. Cities in California make their own gun laws in direct conflict with federal and state laws and face no consequences which emboldens them all the more to increase infringements every year.

  2. The city of Tucson didn’t violate the law. Those council members did. They should be the ones paying fines, or even facing jail time, for abusing their power to violate the rights of the people of Tucson.

        • I cannot speak for KY (because while I have seen reliable, confirmed articles on what I am about to relay, I don’t remember the state), there are states which say that after a finding of impropriety on the part of individual council, etc., the city is no longer liable for attorney fees, fines, or anything else.

          Everything above, jail time, all that falls on the individual. Mostly this is in cases where citizens or even the local attorney informed the politician of the illegality, and they did it anyway. I saw an article (may not have been gun related) where the councilman was arrested, fined, etc. on his own dime.

        • Nanashi,

          Google Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 65.870

          That is the KY state preemption law. It goes into detail about gun laws being only at state level. Then just in case the Louisville city council members get an idea to fiddle around with it, their lawyers point them to the bottom of it to:

          (6) A violation of this section by a public servant shall be a violation of either KRS 522.020 or 522.030 depending on the circumstances of the violation.

          522.020 Official misconduct in the first degree. Official misconduct in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

    • Agreed.

      ” the political entity could be punished in them manner most likely to get their attention — by withholding state revenue.” isn’t true, the manner most likely to get the attention of the lawbreakers is to fine or jail the lawbreakers.

    • Good story, but any such assignment of responsibility would be up to the citizens of Tucson who elected them. If all is fine with them, the punishment should be paid by them.

  3. What good does banning .22 caliber firearms sales do? Aside from the fact you could just drive out of Tucson and buy one at the next available gun shop. Is there any evidence or data to show they are a danger or threat?
    Also banning anything seems like a roundabout way to curb an action; shooting someone still requires a human operating the firearm.

    • Don’t strain your brain looking for logic or consistency in anti-gunners’ positions; you’ll just find yourself with a headache for no good reason.

      • I know not go too far down the rabbit hole, but even the NFA has a basic logic behind it. Even if the logic is wrong. This just seems silly and petty.
        On a side note the bullet point says .22 caliber, does that mean any .22 like: .22LR, .233, and .25 or just .22LR?

        • If I had to guess (and this IS a guess), I’d say that restriction might be based on the old, widely held belief that small caliber handguns are more lethal. This was a commonly repeated theme during the handgun-control discussions in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and it was based on a single study done in Chicago in the early 70s. Back then, .22 and .25 handguns were the most commonly carried and used handguns in the city, so they were somewhat over-represented in the shooting stats. Here is a link to the study:

          http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1403&context=facpubs

          If you run an online search for “.22 caliber more lethal” you’ll find other similar comments, some quite old.

        • The actual wording of the law states “.22 GAUGE”…..which someone has already done the math to show a bore diameter of ~2.75 inches!!

    • I guess to keep people from buying the “gateway” guns? .22 is just that perfect middle step from bb to centerfire. Oh the children!!!

  4. If you or I violate laws, we get fines of hundreds/thousands of dollars and jail/prison time. If politicians in Tucson violate laws, they get … nothing.

    The state withholding money that the state would have given to the city is hardly a punishment.

    • It is when the lack of state funds causes major budget cuts and city worker and police lay offs. The punishment is that they won’t get re-elected when the finances fail.

      • So it also hurts the citizens who depend on city services.

        … who elected the city pols who got the funding chopped. Okay. I was about to say this would punish the innocent, but then the light bulb went on.

  5. Tucson is a left-wing stronghold. A crumbling, Democrat-run sanctuary city. I have lived here for decades but will be moving within the next year. Hopefully to a well-run Phoenix suburb. Where guns and job$ are not dirty words.

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