Jan 20, 2013 12:27 AM by Sam Salzwedel
TUCSON - Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik will introduce a measure requiring background checks for gun sales on city property.
"It's intuitive," Kozachik said. "If I walk up to you on the street and hand you a wad of cash and walk off with a firearm without any kind of knowledge of my criminal history or my psychological background, that's just not safe."
The proposal is targeted at gun shows at the Tucson Convention Center.
Most sales at gun shows do require FBI background checks, because they are from federally licensed dealers. Person-to-person sales do not have the same requirements.
Bob Templeton owns Crossroads of the West Gun Shows. He does not go to TCC but does go to the Pima County Fairgrounds.
"It's an opportunity for a lot of politicians to express their concern or their biases," Templeton said, "or whatever they are by saying, ‘We're going restrict and regulate this.'"
Critics believe Kozachik's proposal would break state law.
Arizona Revised Statute 13-3108 states, "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."
Kozachik justifies the move by saying people regularly buy guns illegally at gun shows.
"They can't tell us that we have to participate in something that may be illegal," he said, "and so we're just going to push the envelope and say, ‘You know what? You hold a gun show on City property we're going to require a background check.'"
Gun advocates say regulating private party sales is not reasonable.
"There are a lot of measures which can be taken prior to the extreme step of implementing measures such as background checks for private individuals," Bob Templeton said.
Kozachik will introduce the measure on February 5 and expects support from the council.
If gun shows do not agree to the terms, they would not be issued a permit for the TCC.