Handguns on display at the table of David Petronis of Mechanicville, N.Y., right, who owns a gun store there, during the heavily attended annual New York State Arms Collectors Association Albany Gun Show at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, on Saturday, Jan. 26, in Albany, N.Y. The Tucson city council voted on Tuesday to make background checks mandatory for purchases at city-owned or controlled property.

Gun shows that allow individual sales without background checks are now prohibited at the Tucson Convention Center.

Dozens of supporters and opponents packed Mayor and Council chambers Tuesday afternoon as the City Council voted unanimously to require background checks on all gun sales on city owned or managed property.

Tucson was at the epicenter of the gun control issue and it was incumbent for city officials to pass common-sense laws, even if it complicates a few gun sales, Councilman Steve Kozachik, who along with colleague Councilwoman Karin Uhlich sponsored the measure.

“It’s not our job to make the purchase of guns more convenient,” Kozachik said. “It’s to make them safer.”

Some gun rights advocates protested with taped mouths and neon-green signs that criticized to move.

“They only wanted to hear from people who agreed with them,” said Al Trozzi, Tucson resident and a member of Gun Owners of Arizona and other gun-rights groups.

The ordinance will accomplished little, Trozzi said, since it was mostly symbolic and would have little impact on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

“This is not going to accomplish anything,” he said. “I could see if this could make a difference, but this only (affects) law-abiding people.”


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Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.