Councilman looks to ban gun shows on city property, until background checks are put in place

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Councilman looks to ban gun shows on city property, until background checks are put in place

CREATED Jan. 16, 2013

Reporter: Maggie Vespa

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - While it will likely be months before we see any federal action concerning the president's plan, it appears the city of Tucson may already be in the process of tightening its grip on gun sales, especially when it comes to background checks.  

But many gun advocates say the idea is off target.

The only positive to come of the president's call for stricter gun laws, says Tommy Rompel, is sky high sales.

"I can tell you right now, this is the most fearful I've seen people."

The owner of Black Weapons Armory estimates the spike applies outside the realm of licensed dealers.

As gun owners get wind of potential crackdowns, via mandatory background checks, on person-to-person sales and gun shows.

"They're trying to get these goods,” said Rompel.  “They're trying to get firearms.  They're trying to get ammunition, magazines and stuff to protect themselves and have for their families."

And that crackdown might come sooner that expected in southeastern Arizona.

"If you're buying a gun from somebody, we ought to know who you are,” said Tucson city councilman Steve Kozachik.

He says he isn't waiting for Washington to step in.

"What I would be asking the Mayor and council to agree to, is simply not issuing permits for gun shows on city property until the federal or state government takes an action proactively in saying 'we're going to require background checks,’” he said.

This comes roughly a week after council passed a memorial asking Phoenix for the ability to enact stricter gun laws than those set by the state.

Currently Arizona law prohibits any wiggle room.

But councilman Kozachik says the law doesn't apply gun show measure and calls it an issue of public health and safety.

Still he says, he welcomes the argument.

"For someone to walk up and hand someone a wad of cash and walk away with a gun without knowing anything about them, we think that's a good thing.  You tell that to the people in Columbine, in Aurora, in Connecticut, and you tell that to the people in Tucson, and we reject it."

Wednesday night, 9OYS received a news release from Gun Owners of Arizona. 

They argue Kozachik’s proposal would violate state and federal statutes.

They say it would also cost the city a pretty penny in lost revenue, by shutting down a longtime Tucson gunshow, the McMann Roadrunner show.

That’s set to take place here at TCC in mid May.

Kozachik plans to put the plan up for a vote before the council on Feb 5th.

He adds host of the gun show would be responsible for administering the background checks.