This Wednesday the Tucson City Council decided to approve two new, somewhat controversial, gun ordinances that are meant to further regulate the gun control regulation on the city wide basis.
As is usually the case when stricter gun laws are imposed on the populace, a number of gun rights activists have raised their voices in protest claiming that their constitutional rights are being violated and demanding the retraction of the new laws. We’ll leave you to judge whether the new laws are in congruence with the constitution of the United States.
The first law dictates that any citizen who has had his or her firearm stolen is obliged to report the theft within 48 hours of the moment that they realize that the weapon is missing. Failure to do so in timely fashion will incur a $100 penalty. One of the most serious and founded arguments against this law was vocalized by a member of Arizona Citizens Defense League, Charles Heller, who noted that, according to the state’s constitution, local government shouldn’t be allowed to pass policies to adopt laws that would preempt the laws made by the state. Since there are no similar state ordinances forcing citizens to report a theft within such a short deadline, his argument, and the argument of other gun rights advocates seems to be holding water.
The other ordinance is compromised in a similar manner, as it was modeled after a bill that was rejected on a state wide level, and it prescribes that a police officer is allowed to charge with criminal negligence anyone who is found shooting a gun within the city limits, provided that that person is suspected to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of shooting. This ordinance has another problem, though, encapsulated in the fact that this would allow the police forces to make an arrest without first getting a warrant that would allow them to test the person in question for drugs or alcohol abuse.