Tucson plans to raise penalties on those who fire weapons while legally drunk

Ordinance would raise penalties when blood alcohol is above limit
2013-03-28T00:00:00Z 2013-03-28T07:32:03Z Tucson plans to raise penalties on those who fire weapons while legally drunkDarren DaRonco Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

If you are intoxicated when you illegally shoot off a gun in the city, you may face additional penalties.

The City Council unanimously voted Tuesday for the city attorney to draft an ordinance making it a crime for a person with a blood alcohol reading greater than the 0.08 legal limit to fire a gun.

Councilman Steve Kozachik tacked the amendment onto a memorial the council approved urging the state Legislature to pass "Genna's Law."

The proposed state law would make negligently firing a gun while drunk a Class 6 felony and require police to administer a breath-alcohol test if they suspect a shooter is under the influence.

The law is named after Genna Ayup, 27, who was fatally shot by her boyfriend last summer while he was putting a rubber grip on a loaded handgun.

The boyfriend admitted to drinking three or four 23-ounce beers at a bar before returning home.

The Pima County Attorney's Office deemed the shooting accidental.

Councilman Paul Cunningham spearheaded a campaign to pass the law during this legislative session, but the bill never made it out of committee.

Cunningham said if we penalize people for driving drunk, the same rules should apply to gun crimes.

The state bill has a good chance of being reintroduced next year, Cunningham said.

Kozachik said the city should "push the envelope" on this issue and enact the strictest penalties allowed by law.

He said this is just another example where the city can set the tone on gun-control laws for the rest of the state.

Dozens of pink-clad friends and relatives of Ayup stood and cheered the council after they passed the memorial.

Whip to the gun bills in the legislature story on a page that will be known as / A3

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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