Regina Romero
Democratic Tucson Mayor Regina Romero (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
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By the Associated Press

Officials in the city of Tucson plan to ignore Arizona’s new “Second Amendment sanctuary” law that bars state and local governments from enforcing certain federal gun regulations, possibly setting up a court fight as a growing number of cities and counties in the United States declare themselves similar firearm havens.

The move by Democratic Mayor Regina Romero and the City Council again puts Tucson and Republican-led state at odds over how to regulate gun sales and use.

The southern Arizona city has long tried to enforce gun laws stricter than the state’s, including mandating background checks for guns purchased on city property and destroying seized firearms. Over the years, those measures have been challenged after the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted laws barring the actions.

The new action came after GOP Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill in April declaring that Arizona is a so-called Second Amendment sanctuary. It was partly a response to the election of President Joe Biden, who has vowed to enact tighter firearms regulations.

A growing movement of at least 1,200 local governments have declared themselves sanctuaries insulated from state and federal gun laws since 2018, when high-profile mass shootings prompted calls for stronger regulations. Many are symbolic but some carry legal force.

In addition to Arizona, a handful of other legislatures, including in Kentucky, Tennessee and Wisconsin, jumped on the idea this year when Biden took office. During his campaign, Biden pledged to enact universal background checks and an assault weapons ban, among other measures.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the state and city could be headed for a legal battle over Tucson’s June 22 resolution to continue enforcing all federal gun laws.

The resolution unanimously passed by the council proclaims that “federal laws, orders and acts that regulate firearms in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of the United States Constitution” will “remain in full force and effect” within city limits “regardless of whether those laws, orders or acts are more restrictive or prohibitive than regulations established under the laws of this state.”

US sanctuary counties map
Courtesy sanctuarycounties.com

Councilman Steve Kozachik introduced the resolution last month and said he believes the new state law is unconstitutional.

“Let them challenge us,” he told the newspaper.

Kozachik said his aim is to have the law “declared unconstitutional and thrown out plain and simple, so we continue to have free rein to enforce federal gun laws locally.”

Arizona’s law says the state is not beholden to upholding U.S. gun laws and prohibits “any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the U.S. government that is inconsistent with any Arizona law regarding the regulation of firearms.”

Federal statistics show Arizona has the 15th-highest gun-related mortality rate.

Ducey spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Tuesday that the governor’s office expects all Arizona cities to follow the law.

“The Second Amendment is clear on our right to keep and bear arms,” Karamargin said in an email. “This law protects Arizonans’ Constitutional rights from federal overreach.”

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey  (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)

When Ducey signed the law, he described it as an effort to protect “an enumerated right” and that it “was a proactive law for what is possible to come out of the Biden administration.”

Charles Heller, communications coordinator for the gun rights group the Arizona Citizens Defense League, said he doesn’t think Tucson’s resolution will do anything to change state law.

“They’re attempting to wave a flag, no matter how weak, that says they don’t like it,” Heller said.

In his view, passing the law was a step in the right direction for Arizona, which has relatively relaxed gun laws, because “the federal government shouldn’t be enforcing unconstitutional laws, and we’re not going to help them.”

Meanwhile, the Tucson resolution notes that the “United States Supreme Court has explicitly rejected the idea that the states can nullify federal law.”

 

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60 COMMENTS

    • The tucson mayor is the exact kind of democRat Party garbage that cheered on the Gun Control military wing of the democRat Party better known as the. KKK. In other words the ignorant b supports what dropped out of the behinds of racists and nazis…Sieg Heil Sieg Heil Sieg Heil fraulein romero you have a bright future in the socialist nazi party. Sieg Heil Sieg Heil Sieg Heil.

      • I wonder home much money that Tuscon mayor is getting from the Mexican drug cartels to look the other way as illegals and narcotics stream across to border and into her city?

    • Wanna bet she has no intention of getting rid of her armed security detachment, and in fact has enlarged it.

  1. Oooooh boy – that could turn into a really tangled mess.

    First, Democrats set up ‘sanctuary cities’ so they could break federal law. Now, we have sanctuary cities and counties that vow to break state and federal laws – and even a couple states. So, some city located within a sanctuary state defies the state law. Does the governor send in his National Guard to enforce state law? Does the Fed send in more National Guard to nullify the governor’s move? Where does it end? Just a few mis-steps could spark that Civil War that so many seem to be looking for.

    BTW, matters haven’t been resolved back in Virginia, either. I was really expecting more trouble there than what we’ve seen.

    • “Does the governor send in his National Guard to enforce state law?”

      yes. well-precedented.

      “Does the Fed send in more National Guard to nullify the governor’s move?”

      no. the federal government has no “national guard”, it only has regular army which iirc are prohibited from operating within the united states.

  2. Yep…Breaking! Sorta. Iowa dude arrested in Chiraq for having a 308 rifle on his window sill at his 12th floor hotel room across from the beach.
    His wife & 2 kid’s were with him. He also(gasp)had a 45 pistol. After 100 shot they spent several minutes on THIS😕

  3. States don’t nullify federal law. The Constitution does. Repugnant laws are null and void. The state has the right to enforce the constitution even if the federal government and the judiciary work against it.

  4. 1) if state law supersedes municipal law, does this favor or disfavor freedom?
    2) if municipal law supersedes state law, does the state exist?
    3) if either is true, does this apply to counties?

    • What is in place is a law that does not allow cities or counties to be in conflict with state law and preempts any attempts to pass or enforce laws contrary to Arizona state law. It is not an infringement of freedom or right to govern, but protects your rights as an individual, as a Republic should. Democrats do not accept that an individuals’ rights are paramount and out weigh the the majority rule of socialism.

    • What so often seems ignored or forgotten is that the ONLY law enforcement entity that is authorized by the Constitution is the County Sheriff…because he is ELECTED and therefore accountable to the people.

  5. Doesn’t Ducey’s sanctuary bill mandate penalties for state and local law enforcement who don’t follow the law?? If it doesn’t, it should.

    • Agreed. the only way to reign in these renegade Mayors is to start putting their liberal asses in jail! Hear that Lori Lightweight!

  6. Arizona is not “nullifying” Federal law, it is simply not enforcing or cooperating with federal authorities when it comes to enforcing federal gun laws. As it is, one cannot be arrested by a local or state police officer and charged with a federal crime, as the state courts do not have jurisdiction to entertain criminal complaints raising such issues. Moreover, courts have already ruled that a state or local government cannot be compelled to assist federal law enforcement (in the context of immigration laws), so this is really no different. Tucson, however, is a state subsidiary, and as such it can be compelled to apply state law.

    • Quite right, Mark N. The state law uses the same logic that sanctuary cities have used for more than a decade to avoid helping the federal government with immigration-related issues. In those cases, the states do not have state laws contrary to how the cities are operating. If, for example, CA had a law restricting illegal immigration, the state could enjoin the city of San Francisco to abide by the state law.

      In this case, the state of Arizona can compel Tucson to abide by state law which is well within the boundaries of federal law and SCOTUS judgments.

    • “Let’s split”

      the left is a parasite slaver cult. they have nothing, they are nothing, except for what they get from you. they will never let you go. they will pursue you to the ends of the earth demanding your slavery or execution, and won’t be mollified until one or the other is enacted.

  7. Tucson has been an example of liberal extremism for an extended time. As a state police officer retired from Arizona, it shames me to see Tucson’s mayor and city council thinking they speak for the numerous pro gun citizens and even their own pro gun officers, while they allow illegals to camp in the city and commit crimes. They have wasted tax payer dollars fighting the States preemption laws and have lost every time. They’ll lose this one too. Maybe those left wing loonies need to go back or move to California and leave our citizens in peace.

    • You’re absolute right. This is one of the example-setting reasons thus motivations for the corrupt of the corrupt to plot and ultimately steal elections. No matter the area of the country, how long it takes, nor who gets burned in the process their goal is to achieve total domination and control.

  8. Stop all state funding of Tucson programs. Shut down all contracts with Tucson businesses. Shut down all state services to Tucson. These will bring the rogue city in line.

  9. It must be really great to be a leftist politician, picking and choosing which laws to obey. I wonder what would happen if mere normals had the same latitude.

    • “It must be really great to be a leftist politician, picking and choosing which laws to obey.”

      That’s a Leftist for you, they consider the ‘Bill of Rights’ to be a buffet, to only recognize the rights they agree with.

      When in reality, it’s a dinner plate that you don’t walk away from until you eat every damn thing on that plate…

  10. Maybe half of the population, but not half of the land. We have really stupid people living in the cities and have come detached from their roots. My grandfather carried to school in 1907 because some yutes tried to steal his horse and paper route money(he was 10-11 in Tulsa). I am not going to say it was normal, because a kid that owned a horse and a Colt revolver was not the norm then, many adults could not afford either.
    Many of the people living in cities grew up in them and family came from places that did not allow residents to own firearms, so the concept is beyond their understanding. And many are just hysterical Karens that are scared because guns kill!
    I am the first to admit that I believe many people are not mature enough for the responsibility of having a firearm. I am not going to deny them, but I am going to be on my guard around them just as anyone should be.

    • Stupid indeed. Mark Dice’s “on the street” questions are great. Here he is asking people on a San Diego beach if they know the reason we celebrate July 4 (I’m accessing TTAG by phone right now, and the site sux on a phone, so I hope this link works):

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BKG43cB2p-c

  11. A country based on the ‘rule of law’ is in a free for all with the Federal govt. ignoring and violating its own laws. States ignoring/violating its own laws and Federal laws. County’s and City’s ignoring/violating County, State and Federal laws. Welcome to Democrat utopia.

    • Thats it right there. dems twist or outright ignore laws they don’t like and rino sissy repubs do nothing. Buy let a real conservative do anything and its lawfare.

  12. Well, of course federal laws remain enforceable within Arizona, that’s not the issue. The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine blocks the feds from compelling state actors to enforce federal laws. The laws remain in effect, it’s just the role of the feds to enforce them themselves.

    But there is no Anti-Commandeering Doctrine between state governments and municipalities. And while local D.A.s can use their discretion to not prosecute certain state law violations, I don’t think they can get away with a direct violation of a “shall not” directive in state law.

  13. If the law allows the state to penalize the municipal/county actors that break said law, ENFORCE IT.. Actually serve or arrest the mayor, council whomever is responsible for the encryption.
    If said law allows the state to withdraw funding,DO IT. Make them see the error of their actions.
    Their immunity from prosecution is BS

  14. If the law allows the state to penalize the municipal/county actors that break said law, ENFORCE IT.. Actually serve or arrest the mayor, council whomever is responsible for the enfraction.
    If said law allows the state to withdraw funding,DO IT. Make them see the error of their actions.
    Their immunity from prosecution is BS

  15. By challenging the Second Amendment sanctuary law they also open the Pandora’s box to challenge and show the ” illegal alien sanctuary law” that they have established. They stepped into the trap. The state should remove all state programs etc. from the city. Do not allow any state police to assist local authorities with problems that may arrive.

  16. The city of Tucson had to be taken to court on two state law issues they violated. The first was the right to conceal or open carry in city parks. They lost because of the state preemption laws. The second had to do with the destruction of firearms seized by the police. Normally, lawful weapons, either recovered, from estates with no heirs etc. Not illegal firearms but lawful to own. State law required the firearms to be sold to licensed federal firearms dealers and the funds turned over to the Law Enforcement Agency who had them as recovered property. Tucson and Pima County took their firearms and dumped them in a Copper Smelter an hour away to destroy them. A lawsuit ensued and the county stopped but Tucson spent a lot of tax dollars to fight the law. They lost. But hey, how much money do you think those guns would bring the underfunded City of Tucson Police? Well $250,000.00. Not much considering the City Budget for Police, but enough to fund equipment purchases and guess what? It was supposed to be spent in its’ entirety for the police, not for some welfare city project. A friend of mine had his pick up stolen with three guns. Arizona Highway Patrol recovered the truck with the shotgun and a load of illegals. A Colt 1911 9mm Light Weight Commander was recovered by Phoenix PD off a gang banger. Both were returned along with his truck. Tucson recovered a Beretta 25 auto, from another gang banger, destroyed it, and sent him a check for $50.00. Really? It was his lawful property. This kind of action resulted in the state suing Tucson for violating the law and destroying lawful property of otherwise totally legal persons, just because it was a gun.

  17. Tucson was originally settled by slave owning Democrats. During the Civil War it was considered part of the Confederacy until captured by Union forces. Today it is a Democrat stronghold in a mostly Republican state. No wonder it wants to push leftist anti-gun policy!

  18. Our choices to retire to came down to Tuscon, Arizona and Texas, we ended up in Texas, in a wonderful town and with a great county sheriff who is a 2A supporter in the most conservative county in Texas. Seem we made the right choice.

  19. Hello Mayor. We the people of Tucson have decided to ignore your mayorship. Two can play at this game and like all games there can be only one winner.

      • Opossums tend to eat the quartz and the coal. I play the corners. Game is always a draw with (good players?)

    • Is there a Democrat-run city in this nation where tighter gun laws have reduced the usage of guns in crimes?

      Since we all know the answer, this mayor and her city council are exhibiting the height of both hubris and insanity. Hubris is believing they can do better when larger, better funded (by increasing enormous tax rates) cities have failed miserably. Insanity in thinking that more of the same unconstitutional and racist gun control will help this time, when it never has before.

  20. What else is to be expected from an open borders socialist? Highly likely she got in to office by stealing the election there like all the rest of the Democrat communist party has all over the country.

  21. Minor point: I think you meant “city limits” instead of “city property”, unless the City of Tucson is setting up their own gun shops. And I don’t think that’s going to happen.

  22. all Tucson residents arrested for city violations need to demand jury trials that will be pushed into circuit courts…then the DA for the state will refuse to prosecute under state law guidlines…then sue the Municipal government…

  23. “Freedom is not free.”

    “The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.”

    If a private individual violates another private individual’s civil rights. That person is prosecuted by the government. But if the government violates your civil rights, the government individuals responsible are never prosecuted. They get to keep their job and retirement. Only the criminal civilians lose everything and go to jail.

    No one went to prison for Ruby Ridge.

    You can get involved in fighting for your rights, or you can just sit back and continue to be the non-voting, non attending meetings parasite.

    “Why It’s OK Not To Vote – Katherine Mangu-Ward” , video 1 hr long

  24. Maybe they can help enforce federal immigration laws while they are at it. Yeah, didn’t thik that was going to happen.

  25. So I assume that inasmuch as Tucson is enforcing federal law, they are turning in illegal aliens to the Border Patrol on a daily basis. What? They don’t agree with that federal law and have no intention of turning in illegals arrested for felonies to the Border Patrol or whatever they are calling themselves this week? Can’t have it both ways, Babe. Well, perhaps not Babe, perhaps Witch is more appropriate.

  26. The Second Amendment prohibits any State or Federal government officials and law enforcement from Restricting any Law abiding US Citizen from owning, possessing or using any firearm of any type or any AMMO for any purpose. What part of “shall NOT be INFRINGED” do they fail to understand. Ask the US Supreme Court! Can we just arrest these radical left wing socialist/communist idiots for violating our GOD GIVEN RIGHTS? We will remain armed and locked and loaded and if these idiots get in our way we will take them out by all lawful means, including our God Given Rights to own/possess any weapon and ammo we personally choose. Let the Hunt Begin!

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