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Pima County, AZ, Wants $1,000 If You Don’t Report Lost or Stolen Guns

March 18, 2024

A $1,000 fine for failing to report a lost or stolen firearm to the government…within two days?

That’s exactly what the Pima County, Ariz., Board of Supervisors brazenly passed this month. But it’s illegal—and they know it. So today, the Goldwater Institute sent a letter to the board on behalf of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, demanding that the county immediately repeal the ordinance or face litigation.

The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right under both the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions.  Arizona law also broadly protects those rights, and prohibits cities, counties, and other local government entities from passing almost any type of firearm-related regulation.

But this is not the first time a local government has ignored state firearms laws. In 2013, the city of Tucson passed an ordinance with almost identical provisions, and the Arizona Attorney General declared it to be preempted and unlawful. Since then, Arizona courts have reiterated that firearms regulation is a matter of statewide concern and have limited the ability of cities and counties to add regulations beyond any enacted by the state legislature.

The Pima County Attorney’s Office and members of the public notified the board of these legal deficiencies before it passed the ordinance. Worse, a majority of the board made comments prior to passage of the ordinance recognizing that firearms regulations belong at the state level. Four of the five supervisors voted for it anyway, ignoring these problems and related concerns raised by the lone dissenter, Supervisor Steve Christy.

That’s why Goldwater’s letter demands that the board repeal its unlawful ordinance at or before its April 2 meeting.

The Goldwater Institute will always defend constitutional rights, as well as keep rogue government entities in check when they thumb their nose at the law.

You can read our letter here.

Click here to read more about our efforts to protect Second Amendment rights. You can learn more about Goldwater’s work defending gun rights organizations here. And our fight to protect the rights of firearm-related businesses is highlighted here and here.

Parker Jackson is a Staff Attorney at the Goldwater Institute.



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