Tucson not able to ban bump stocks

Updated: Oct. 18, 2017 at 6:25 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson city leaders will debate a ban on so called "bump stocks" at its next council meeting on Oct. 24, 2017.

While the text of the agenda item # 10 explicitly calls the item a ban, it's unlikely the city will be able to do so.

a. Report from City Manager OCT24-17-361 CITY WIDE
The materials on this item will be distributed as soon as it becomes available

Under state preemption laws, the city cannot pass any law or ordinance which is prohibited under the Arizona State Revised Statutes.

State law is explicit.

13-3108. Firearms regulated by state; state preemption; injunction; civil penalty; cause of action; violation; classification; definition
A. Except as provided in subsection G of this section, a political subdivision of this state shall not enact any ordinance, rule or tax relating to the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, acquisition, gift, devise, storage, licensing, registration, discharge or use of firearms or ammunition or any firearm or ammunition components or related accessories in this state.
B. A political subdivision of this state shall not require the licensing or registration of firearms or ammunition or any firearm or ammunition components or related accessories or prohibit the ownership, purchase, sale or transfer of firearms or ammunition or any firearm or ammunition components, or related accessories.

A related accessory is a "bump stock".

The item became a focus of attention following the mass shooting in Las Vegas where 58 people were killed.

A bump stock allows a semi-automatic weapon to become fully automatic firing hundreds of rounds a minutes.

The shooter in the massacre used a bump stock.

Calls for a nationwide ban have not been successful in Congress and Tucson is the first municipality in Arizona to call for a ban.

Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin will likely advise the council that it does not have the power to ban the devices. Instead, a resolution with a legal analysis and condemnation will be voted on.

A resolution will outline the city's stance on the issue but carries no legal weight.

The company which sells bump stocks, Slide Fire, says on its website it is not taking any new orders but they are still being advertised on several Tucson websites.

District 9 State Lawmaker Pamela Powers Hannley says she supports Tucson's efforts.

In  a statement to KOLD News 13 she said:

"I fully support the City of Tucson's past attempts to control gun violence in our community by stiffening our laws related to gun show purchases and by initiating the gun-buy-back program. A resolution to ban bump stocks also has my support. Unfortunately, the Arizona Legislature has tied the City Council's hands with its pre-emption of local ordinances. State interference in local government is prohibiting our town from taking a stronger stand to protect its citizens. Gun violence is a public health tragedy-- not a political football. It is time we looked at it that way and took steps to protect the public."

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