Mar 18, 2013 8:18 PM by Erika Flores

City proposes new gun ordinance requiring owners to report lost guns

TUCSON - A proposed city ordinance requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms is on the agenda for Tuesday's city council meeting, and it's raising eyebrows in the gun owners' community.

Gun owners said it's just common sense to report a stolen gun, and if for some reason they didn't even realize their gun was stolen, they don't want to be punished.

"My gun about a couple months ago was stolen out of my home," said Chase Smith.

Smith said he reported it without a city ordinance telling him to.

"It's a little bit of common sense, and again it's just a law that really doesn't get anything done," said Smith.

But City Council Member Steve Kozachik disagreed.

"What it will allow the police to do is trace guns back to their original owners if they're found in a crime scene," said Kozachik.

Kozachik said he's proposing the ordinance to help reduce gun violence and prosecute firearm thieves.

The ordinance would require Tucsonans to report lost or stolen firearms to police within 48 hours.

For those who have already had guns stolen, they will have 60 days to report the loss to TPD.

"More restrictions only hurt law-abiding citizens and what they're trying to do is just make more political circus and get more media attention to ban guns and take people's rights away," said Tommy Rompel, owner of Black Weapons Armory.

Those who don't comply, will be charged with a misdemeanor.

"You're penalizing them for being a victim if they don't report it fast enough," said Rompel.

Kozachik said the goal isn't to penalize them.

"If their gun is found in a crime scene and they have reported it stolen, they're no longer implicated as being part of the crime," said Kozachik.

But gun owners like Smith said it's not that easy.

Sometimes it takes a while to even notice the gun is missing.

According to Tucson Police, in 2011, the latest statistics available, they had 11 firearms reported in lost property, 166 in larcenies 56 in burglaries.

"Criminals are going to steal guns and you can't change that," said Smith.

Other critics of this ordinance said it would violate the state preemption law, which prohibits the city from having stricter gun laws than the state.

Kozachik said he disagrees.

Tuesday, the city council will take up the issue in their meeting.


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