Gun control is a highly contentious issue in the United States, and the debate is especially heated in Southern Arizona. Recently, Tucson city officials announced their plan to ignore Arizona's new “Second Amendment” law, which prohibits state and local governments from enforcing certain federal firearms regulations. This move has put Tucson and the Republican-led state at odds over how to regulate the sale and use of weapons. Tucson has long tried to enforce gun laws more strictly than those of the state, including requiring background checks on weapons purchased on city property and the destruction of seized firearms.
However, these measures have been challenged after the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted laws prohibiting them. The new action came after the Republican governor, Doug Ducey, signed a bill in April declaring that Arizona is a so-called Second Amendment sanctuary. This was in response to the election of President Joe Biden, who pledged to enact stricter regulations on firearms. In addition to Arizona, a handful of other legislatures, including those in Kentucky, Tennessee and Wisconsin, adopted the idea this year when Biden took office. During his campaign, Biden pledged to enact universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons, among other measures.
The Arizona Daily Star reports that the state and the city could be starting a legal battle over Tucson's June 22 resolution to continue to enforce all federal gun laws. The resolution passed unanimously by the City Council proclaims that “federal laws, orders, and acts that regulate firearms in a manner consistent with the requirements of the United States Constitution “shall remain in full force and effect within the limits of the city”, regardless of whether those laws, orders, or acts are more restrictive or prohibitive than the regulations established under the laws of this state. Councilmember Steve Kozachik introduced the resolution last month and said he believes the new state law is unconstitutional. He hopes that it will be declared unconstitutional and rejected so that Tucson can continue to have free reign to enforce federal gun laws at the local level. Arizona law says that the state is not required to defend U. S.
gun laws and prohibits “any personal or financial resource to enforce, manage or cooperate with any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the United States Government that is incompatible with any Arizona law relating to the regulation of firearms”. Federal statistics show that Arizona has the 15th highest rate of gun-related mortality. Karamargin said Tuesday that the governor's office expects all cities in Arizona to comply with the law. Charles Heller, communications coordinator for the gun rights group, the Arizona Citizen Defense League, said he doesn't think the Tucson resolution will change state law. Meanwhile, the Tucson resolution notes that “the United States Supreme Court has explicitly rejected the idea that states can override federal law”.Gun legislation has lagged behind in many sessions of Congress, although some states that have become reluctant to suffer such a tragedy have passed new laws following shootings in their own communities.
These laws address background checks for gun sales, warning systems and buyback programs, among other changes. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) supports measures such as background checks on gun sales and transfers and closing the Charleston loophole, which allows some licensed gun dealers to transfer some firearms before required background checks have been completed. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called for support for specific policies such as universal background checks and implementation of federal extreme risk protection order laws. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) has conducted interviews over the years about weapons. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has been working on The EAGLES Act which would expand The United States Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) focus on preventing school violence. The bill also establishes an initiative that focuses on preventing school violence and expanding research on school violence. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) asked senators to examine his bill - The Luke Warberg Act - which would provide grants for schools to purchase metal detectors and other security equipment.
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) supports extending background checks to all commercial sales of firearms as well as limiting magazine capacity and banning assault weapons. It is clear that inaction is not an option when it comes to gun control legislation in Southern Arizona or anywhere else in America. Politicians must be held accountable for ignoring public opinion when it comes to reducing gun violence in our communities. Real solutions must be implemented such as universal background checks, magazine capacity limits and bans on assault weapons if we are going to make a difference.