TUCSON — A Tucson City Council Member is looking to change the city’s policy on how it does business with gun dealers.
Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik is asking the Tucson City Council to discuss the way they choose gun dealers to buy or sell too.
He says he’d like to see a series of questions answered by gun dealers and only have the city do business with companies that don’t sell military-style weapons to the public.
“The state a couple of years ago sued us and said effectively we are their arms dealer. The idea behind what I’m proposing is very simple. If we have to sell guns we have a right to know the policies behind which the companies are buying them,” Councilman Kozachik said.
“We want to make sure that were selling guns or we’re buying guns from socially responsible gun dealers. It is my belief and I believe the rest of the council will agree that selling military-style assault weapons to civilians is not socially responsible,” Councilman Kozachik said.
A lobbyist for the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association Todd Rathner says the move won’t stop mass shootings and says it could put the city in front of the Supreme Court again.
“The way that TPD purchases firearms is by putting out a bid that goes across the country and they can’t regulate what firearms dealers do across the country. They can’t even regulate what firearms dealers do in the state of Arizona. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the city can not regulate firearms,” Rathner said.
Instead, he says the solution to help lower crime and deter shootings is to put more funding in Tucson’s police force.
“If he really wanted to have an effect on crime Steve Kozachik and the rest of the city council would get focused on improving the Tucson Police departments abysmal and horrible response times,” Rathner said.
The Tucson City Council is expected to discuss this item on December 4th in a study session.
DATE: November 9, 2018
TO: Honorable Mayor and Council Member FROM: Council Member Kozachik
City Manager, City Clerk
SUBJECT: Discussion and Action regarding Socially Responsible Gun Dealers
Please set aside 20 minutes during the December 4th study session for a discussion and action on Socially Responsible Gun Dealers.
I write this the day after 3 people were shot and killed in Lakeside Park, Tucson, 2 days after 12 people were shot dead in a Thousand Oaks bar, and 12 days after the massacre of 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue. We have become numb to the carnage caused by the proliferation of guns and ammunition in our society, much of which has no legitimate civilian application.
Governments need to purchase weapons and ammunition. Civilians have a constitutional right to do the same. Gun dealers have an ethical obligation to ensure guns they sell to civilians are appropriate and that they balance the needs of the gun owners with the safety of the remainder of the general public.
I would like the city to implement a policy by which gun dealers with whom we do business answer as a part of the bid/selection process the following list of questions for the public record:
A) Do you manufacture AR15’s or similar weapons for civilian use?
B) Do you sell AR15’s or similar weapons for civilian use?
C) Do you sell armor piercing ammunition to civilians?
D) Do you sell magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition to civilians?
E) Does your company have a policy in place to invest in gun and ammunition tracing technologies?
F) Does your company support a policy of all gun sales, including private sales, to be subject to background checks?
G) Describe the policies you have in place for inventory control and transactions.
H) What firearms and related attachments does your company agree not to sell to civilians?
In order to protect the safety of our citizens and our law enforcement officers, the city will reserve the right to choose the buyer or seller of weapons bidding on a given solicitation who best meets the needs of the community. As a part of this item, I will be asking the city attorney to craft within our weapons solicitation processes a means by which socially responsible gun dealers are given preferential treatment in how we award bids.
In the absence of nationwide rational gun policies, local jurisdictions must act.