On July 6th, 2016, the Tucson City Council banned the sales of any gun capable of firing 10 or more rounds without reloading, at gun shows held at the Tucson Convention Center. From tucson.com:
Any weapon capable of firing 10 or more rounds can no longer be sold at the Tucson Convention Center.
The Tucson City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to add more restrictions on private gun sales at the city-owned venue.
We request the following item be agendized at the July 6th Study Session: The City of Tucson has a policy by which any group using the Tucson Convention Center for the sale of firearms must ensure that every person purchasing a weapon undergoes a background check. We are proudly the only city in the State of Arizona with such a protection.
For the July 6th study session, please set aside 20 minutes for Mayor and Council to give direction to staff to expand that policy to include the prohibition of the sale of any weapon, .22 gauge or larger, that is capable of firing 10 or more rounds without reloading, and the sale of any clip or magazine that is capable of holding 10 or more rounds of ammunition.
Not one member of the six person Tucson City Council spotted the gross error. A .22 gauge would be a weapon with a bore of 2.75 inches. Such weapons are not sold at gun shows. Assuming they meant .22 caliber, the resolution would have banned the sale of nearly all .22 rimfire rifles that have been made in the United States for the last 130 years.
The City of Tucson’s attorney says there’s precedent backing-up the city’s restriction of firearms sales on its property. Without citing actual court cases, he refers to Resolution 22007 adopted in February of 2013.
In that resolution, the City banned all firearms sales in the Tucson Convention Center unless the seller conducted a federal background check. No mechanism exists for the actual performance of such background checks by individuals who are not firearm dealers.
Since the resolution in 2013, there ahem been no gun shows in the Tucson Convention Center.
In Arizona, all firearms regulations are the sole jurisdiction of the state. In 2016, the Arizona legislature passed legislation to punish scofflaw local and city governments who violate state firearms law. When the law goes into effect August 6th of 2016, it allows for penalties for up to $50,000 a day. That would seem to be a significant amount for a cash-strapped city such as Tucson.
From Section 13-3108 Arizona Revised Statutes:
3. The regulation of commercial land and structures, including a business relating to firearms or ammunition or their components or a commercial shooting range in the same manner as other commercial businesses. Notwithstanding any other law, this paragraph does not:(a) Authorize a political subdivision to regulate the sale or transfer of firearms on property it owns, leases, operates or controls in a manner that is different than or inconsistent with state law. For the purposes of this subdivision, a use permit or other contract that provides for the use of property owned, leased, operated or controlled by a political subdivision shall not be considered a sale, conveyance or disposition of property.
A year ago, Roadrunner Gunshows was considering such a suit. From kvoa.com:
Lori McMann of Roadrunner Gun Shows said it is not that simple. People without a federal firearms license do not even have access to the instant background check system. She estimated about 70 percent of her sellers do not have the license.
Ken Rineer, the President of Gun Owners of Arizona, said the city policy is an obvious violation of state law . . .
McMann said she is not making us much money at other venues. She said she is looking at her options in court.
Karin also stated that Tucson will not negotiate “from its knees.” What Tucson does she live in? I see a city that she has helped escort into squalor. CNN money ranks us in the Top 5 “worst cities to operate a business.” Cops and fire are at historic low staffing levels and response times are horrendous. The city pension in in the toilet. The Tucson Convention Center is falling into a pit. Oh, but Sun Tran and related public transit are at all-time highs. Look in the mirror Tucson, you are on your knees right now.
It’s too bad he didn’t paint the city’s financial picture in darker strokes. Years of dubious political decisions combined with an economic meltdown plus financial hits from the state have left us in a dire situation. New scale houses at the dump aren’t going to fix it.
The projected budget deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is $25.6 million, but without dramatic action that will rise steadily to around $57 million per year by 2020. Increasing pension costs are one part of the problem, but only a part.
Link to Gun Watch