Tucson moves toward requiring reporting of lost or stolen guns

2013-03-20T00:00:00Z 2013-03-20T08:59:53Z Tucson moves toward requiring reporting of lost or stolen gunsDarren DaRonco Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A proposed city ordinance requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons moved one step closer to becoming law.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to draft a measure making it a civil infraction to not report a missing or stolen firearm to the Tucson Police Department within 48 hours. The measure still must receive final approval at an undetermined date.

Councilman Steve Kozachik said what's required of citizens under the proposed law is clear.

"If somebody rips off your gun, report it to TPD," Kozachik said.

He stressed the law isn't intended to harass law-abiding citizens and no one will be punished if they "reasonably couldn't know" a gun was missing.

The law is to provide law enforcement with another investigative tool, Kozachik said.

TPD doesn't now track stolen guns or know the history of many of the guns it recovers in a crime, which slows investigations, said Police Chief Roberto Villasenor.

The new ordinance would give TPD more information on the chain of ownership, Villasenor said.

"Legal gun owners are the whipping boys here. Criminals aren't going to report a stolen gun," said Ken Rineer president of Gun Owners of Arizona and a critic of the measure. "I don't see the reason for it."

Violations would be civil infractions, not crimes, and carry fines up to $2,500.

Plastic Bags

Large retailers in Tucson will soon have to train their clerks and baggers and begin educating the public on ways to reduce plastic bag usage.

The council voted unanimously to amend the city's plastic bag ordinance in an attempt to better track, and possibly reduce, consumption.

Retailers are now subject to mandatory reporting periods when they must document the average bags used per transaction, the total number of bags handed out and the weight of plastic collected for recycling.

Retail representatives must also meet quarterly with city officials to review the retailers' progress.

The idea is to collect data over a two-year period and see what a fair reduction goal would be for the city to set for retailers in the future.

Councilman Paul Cunningham, who pushed for an ordinance change, said it's an ecologically friendly step in the right direction for the city as it tries to get a handle on its pollution problem.

In addition to the tracking and training requirements, retailers will have to formulate a public information campaign geared toward "school-age children" and the general public. The campaign must include contests and in-store promotions while incorporating videos and social media.

There are no penalties for not complying with the amended ordinance, which takes effect July 1.

On StarNet: Read more about local and state government and political news at azstarnet.com/politics

Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or ddaronco@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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