Lawsuit Challenges Pima County Ordinance Aimed at Preventing Gun Violence | Arizona News

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KPNX) – Pima County is at the center of a new debate over guns in Arizona.

The conservative think tank Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit against the county over an ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors in March.

Megan Spector has all the details.

The ordinance requires gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons within 48 hours, or potentially face fines of up to $1,000.

“The ordinance is illegal because the board does not have the authority to pass it,” said Parker Jackson, an attorney for the Goldwater Institute.

The group claims the county’s decision violates Arizona law that prohibits local governments from passing gun regulations.

Arizona currently has two statutes that prevent local municipalities from regulating firearms.

Jackson said they learned through a public records request that the ordinance had been under discussion for a few years. He also claims to not target criminals and revictimize gun owners for the second time.

“Arizona lawmakers have done a great job in recent years with gun laws that are in sync,” Jackson said. “That uniformity and predictability is important because those rights should be the same throughout the state.”

Pima County District 1 Supervisor Rex Scott spearheaded the change that was approved in a 4-1 vote.

“If you are a law-abiding gun owner here in Pima County, you have nothing to fear from this ordinance,” Scott said.

Scott said the county is looking to target prohibited possessors and purchases of firearms.

“Often when guns are alleged to be lost or stolen, it is actually a cover for a fictitious purchase,” Scott said.

He calls the change another tool to address gun violence in the county. The violence is often at the hands of prohibited possessors, who legally should not have a gun, Scott said.

“This is a major public health and safety issue. I wish Arizona legislators wouldn’t limit us to finding solutions to help our communities,” Scott said.

The ordinance was drafted in conjunction with the Pima County Prosecutor’s Office, Scott said, and that the office has discretion over how to enforce the ordinance.

“We’re not interested in going after people who legitimately had a gun lost or stolen,” Scott said.

The lawsuit is currently pending before the courts.