Pima County, Arizona Continues to Defy State’s Preemption Law – Bearing Arms

Pima County, Arizona Continues to Defy State’s Preemption Law – Bearing Arms

The purpose behind preemption is to keep cities from all but banning guns, creating a patchwork of various gun control ordinances that is bound to get someone trying to lawfully exercise their right to keep and bear arms in trouble.

Anti-gun communities don’t like preemption for obvious reasons. They’re fine restraining our right to keep and bear arms, they just don’t like being restrained themselves.

Funny, ain’t it?

Most such communities, though, resign themselves to not being able to pass their own gun control. They complain, sure, but at least they’re not just ignoring the law’s existence.

But there’s always an exception.

In the latest of a series of challenges by Pima County politicians to Arizona’s relatively robust protections for self-defense rights, county supervisors earlier this month voted to penalize gun owners who don’t quickly report the loss or theft of a firearm to police. Each violation would draw a potential fine of $1,000, seemingly putting the county once again on a collision course with Arizona law, which bars localities from imposing firearms regulations more restrictive than those enacted by the state.

Deadline and Penalties for Victims of Gun Theft

“Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to fail to report to a local law enforcement agency the knowing loss or theft of a firearm,” reads the ordinance proposed by District 1 Supervisor Rex Scott after two pages of throat-clearing justification for the legislation, mostly involving thwarting access to guns by people legally barred from ownership. “The report of a loss or theft of a firearm pursuant to section A must be made in the jurisdiction in which the loss or theft occurred and within forty-eight hours of the time the person knew or reasonably should have known that the firearm had been lost or stolen.”

The text originally provided for a fine of “$300.00 for each violation,” but that was changed to “up to $1,000 for each violation” on the advice of County Attorney Laura Conover. The revision seems to put the ordinance, which passed by a 4–1 vote, even more at odds with state law than it already was.

“A political subdivision of this state shall not enact any rule or ordinance that relates to firearms and is more prohibitive than or that has a penalty that is greater than any state law penalty,” according to statutes. “A political subdivision’s rule or ordinance that relates to firearms and that is inconsistent with or more restrictive than state law, whether enacted before or after July 29, 2010, is null and void.”

On its face, that clearly preempts Pima County’s efforts. But the county, and its seat of Tucson, have a history of authoritarian windmill-tilting attacks on Arizonans’ self-defense rights.

Yes, there’s a history here, which makes it remarkably clear that Pima Count doesn’t think the law should apply to them.

In fairness, most major cities in pro-gun states don’t think preemption should apply to them. They’re absolutely convinced that they should be free to make gun control laws as strict as they can, all while pretending it’s just about finding what will work, yet they never support a community being less strict in anti-gun states.

It’s because it’s not about finding solutions but controlling firearms. It’s about making the owning and carrying of guns as restrictive as they can, all so people won’t even bother doing it. It’s about denying you your rights in the name of supposedly keeping you safe.

That’s all it’s ever been about.

Pima County is trying to taunt the state, knowing that the state’s Democrat attorney general won’t do anything but all but hoping that a gun rights group will challenge their ordinance and lose.

If not, well, they’ll just keep on being insufferable jackwagons about people’s gun rights.

This is a city’s attempt to thwart a state measure designed to thwart authoritarianism. It’s an abomination in the land of the free, and one that I suspect will do nothing but waste taxpayer money in a forlorn defense.

The problem with preemption laws is that they often lack any teeth. Cities and counties can try, but there are no penalties for the idiots who blatantly ignore the laws in the first place. Until we change that, we’re going to see people continue this vile attack on people’s rights in new and interesting ways.

Originally Posted on: https://bearingarms.com/tomknighton/2024/03/23/pima-county-arizona-continues-to-defy-states-preemption-law-n1224306
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