Pima County, AZ Tries – Again – To Defy the State’s Preemption Law

open carry pistol revolver in holster
Dan Z. for SNW

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. …

It’s worth noting that it’s unclear how Pima County would enforce this ordinance against those who don’t report lost and stolen firearms. Arizona doesn’t have firearms registration, which is specifically prohibited by state law. That means Pima County is unlikely to be able to link recovered firearms to their source unless owners supply descriptions and serial numbers when reporting them missing. That’s required by the ordinance, but it’s a step that would likely be taken by any honest owners seeking the return of property—unless, of course, they’re worried that gun-phobic authorities might penalize them for not making a report quickly enough under some dishonestly determined 48-hour timeframe.

The ordinance has the very real potential to discourage reporting of missing and stolen guns by owners skeptical of county officials’ intentions.

Hopefully, that will remain an unexplored unintended consequence of the law when it meets the same fate as so many of its predecessors that also conflicted with Arizona protections for self-defense rights.

— J.D. Tucille in Arizona County Again Defies State Protections for Self-Defense Rights

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