CREATED Jan 8, 2013
Reporter: Maggie Vespa
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It is the passionate, political fight that always seems to permiate the aftermath of such a tragedy.
We are talking about gun control.
Tuesday night, the city of Tucson became one step closer to tightening its grip on the state's gun regulations, but that step may be symbolic at best.
Arizona lawmakers enacted the state's 'Firearm preemption statute' just months before the January 8th shooting took place.
It prohibits any local governing body from passing gun laws more restrictive than those set by the state.
One city councilman says Tucsonans are fed up with being fenced in, and it's time for Phoenix to open the gate.
Ward 6 city councilman Steve Kozachik says the goal is simple.
"Adopt local ordinances that reflect what we hear from our constituents, not some blanket rule that governs the whole state," he said.
"The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired," argued Ken Rineer at the meeting. Rineer is the president of Gun Owners of Arizona.
He says the city's goal, to ban guns in public buildings and parks, puts citizens' safety and freedom in peril.
"You could be on the sidewalk. You would be completely legal, but if you just stepped one foot over into the grass, you would be illegal."
Nevertheless, a memorial calling lawmakers to once again give local governments leeway with gun laws passes unanimously.
Now it's on to Phoenix.
Kozachik says while the target will be harder to hit, anything is possible.
"I hope that the state legislative caucus that represents this area goes up there and makes a strong argument in favor of the constituents of this city. They represent the same people I do."
And even though he calls it a coincidence, Kozachik hopes the timing of tonight's vote is lost on no one.
"It can't fall off the radar screen like it so often happens, when you have a Columbine or an Aurora or a Tucson or a Connecticut. It can't turn into a news cycle event, and then we go onto the next thing."
Tuesday night's vote is, Kozachik says, a coincidental part three of a gun-heavy 24 hours for the councilman.
Monday night, he hosted a public forum which dealt, in part, with the topic.
Tuesday morning, he held Tucson's first gun buyback program, which raked in more than 200 firearms.