A win for Genna: Tucson looks to adopt 'Genna's Law'
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Nine months of ups and downs and painful memories of a reckless shooting, for a moment drowned out by cheers of joy.
"It's finally a smile," said Toni Solheid, Genna's mother. "I finally have a smile on my face."
That smile thanks to a unanimous vote from Tucson's City Council supporting "Genna's Law". It's a law that would hold people accountable for drinking and hurting someone with a gun.
"Obviously, it brought me to tears," said Rachel Smith, Genna's best friend. "Obviously it won't bring her back, but whatever we can do to honor her, that's what our goal is."
At Wednesday night's meeting, something no one expected happened.
"You guys are about to be very surprised with what Councilman Kozachik's about to do," said Councilman Paul Cunningham.
Spurred by Kozachik's motion, council members agreed to take steps to adopt "Genna's Law" locally, even if the state says no.
"It was just a huge sigh of relief," said Sarah Ayup, Genna's sister. "Finally something positive out of all this tragedy."
It's a vote Genna's family says breathed new life into their hearts.
"There have been so many doors slammed in our fact, this is just amazing," said Ericka Ayup, Genna's sister.
Cunningham says this was the right thing to do.
"We needed to ask ourselves, is this council capable of honoring Genna the way she honored us?" he said.
The answer in Tucson a resounding yes. But the question remains: Will Phoenix feel the same way?
"It's sickening that there is no law and that we've gone through and endured what we've had to for the last 9 months," Solheid said. "So yes, this is amazing. This is for you Genna."
Still a rough road ahead for the bill at the state legislature. Although lawmakers say it should get a hearing next session. In the meantime, Tucson's City Attorney will draft an ordinance for council members to approve. It's expected to pass and that would make Tucson the first city to adopt "Genna's Law."