Pima County Violates State Law

by | Mar 19, 2024 | News & Alerts | 0 comments

Pima County Violates State Law

The Pima County Board of Supervisors have passed Ordinance 2024-002, Mandatory Reporting Requirements for Lost or Stolen Firearms and Penalties. The ordinance requires lost or stolen firearms to be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours or face a penalty of $1,000 per offense.

Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3108(D) prohibits the state’s political subdivisions from enacting firearms-related laws or regulations which exceed the penalties in state law. Since Arizona has no penalty for such an “offense,” neither can Pima County. In response to the news, AzCDL President Michael Gibbs asked, “Why do Pima County supervisors believe they are above the law?”

The supervisors were advised by their attorneys that the ordinance would survive judicial scrutiny but:

• A 2010 AzCDL-championed law strengthened state preemption to prevent this type of infringement.

• In a 2013 complaint, former Attorney General Tom Horne determined that the nearly identical Tucson ordinance violated state statute and the city was forced to repeal it or face a loss of state funding.

• In 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court interpreted A.R.S. § 13-3108 and observed that, “[i]n no uncertain terms, the Arizona Legislature has declared that ‘[f]irearms regulation is of statewide concern and has expressed its intent to preempt ‘firearms regulation in this state’ and thereby ‘limit the ability of any political subdivision of this state to regulate firearms.'”

• AzCDL has already retained counsel to mount a legal challenge to the ordinance.

The Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL) condemns Pima County’s action and calls upon the board of supervisors to rescind the ordinance immediately.