Category Archives: Gun Policies

City of Tucson files its response in state preemption lawsuit

Howard Fischer reports, Tucson asks State Supreme Court to toss out AG complaint:

The city of Tucson is asking the state supreme court to throw out a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Mark Brnovich that the claims the city is in violation of state law for its policy to destroy confiscated guns.

lastgreatactofdefianceThe 30-page motion filed Thursday night suggests the legal mechanism that brought the complaint to the state’s highest court – SB 1487 – is unconstitutional and therefore, unenforceable.

Additionally, city officials argue the gun destruction policy – which applies to handguns and semi-automatic weapons – is protected as Tucson is a charter city.

Tucson is among 18 cities that have taken advantage of a constitutional provision allowing them to write their own charters.

The filing also asks the Supreme Court to instead have a lower court to hear the case – the city has filed a case in Pima County Superior Court – so that the issues raised in the superior court action that the City has filed can be heard.

Attorneys for the city, Richard M. Rollman and Richard A. Brown, argue that the state legislature wrote SB 1487 in an effort to force local municipalities into rescinding controversial policies.

“It may be that the Legislature disagrees with the authority given to charter cities by the constitutional framers. But, rights granted by the constitution can only be withdrawn by a constitutional amendment that is approved by the voters pursuant to Article 21 of the Arizona Constitution. Section 41-194.01 seeks to avoid that requirement by coercing any city that seeks to exercise its charter city authority through the prospect of catastrophic financial sanctions without judicial review,” they wrote.

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Arizona Attorney General tests state preemption law against the City of Tucson

Last week, Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the Arizona Supreme Court to cut off the City of Tucson’s $170 million a year in state aid, claiming Tucson is violating Arizona ridiculous state preemption law prohibiting local governments from destroying seized handguns. Brnovich sues Tucson over firearms destruction:

False IdolsIn his legal filing, Brnovich contends the 2005 city ordinance runs afoul of a series of state laws that sharply restrict the right of local governments to make their own gun laws. And he told the justices that a newly enacted state statute specifically gives him the right to intercede and ask the high court to punish offenders.

Officially, the lawsuit asks the high court to give Tucson a deadline by which they have to repeal the ordinance. That is unlikely to occur: Just hours earlier, council members voted unanimously to fight Brnovich in court, though they did agree to voluntarily stop the gun destruction until the Supreme Court rules.

The 2016 law that gives Brnovich the right to take cities to court spells out that any community that wants to fight him must first post a bond equal to half of its annual state aid. Attorneys for the city are expected to ask the justices to declare that requirement illegal or, at the very least, waive it.

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#LD9: Know Your Candidates before You Vote

Pamela Powers Hannley, Ana Henderson

Residents of Legislative District 9 have a clear choice for Arizona House. Two Democrats Rep. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley are running against Tea Party candidate Ana Henderson.

The Clean Elections debate revealed major differences between Henderson’s extreme Tea Party positions and the two Democrats’ views.

To simplify your voting decision, I revised my ven diagram comparing where I stand on the issues and where Henderson stands.

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Legislative District 9 races

Legislative District 9 was considered a competitive district when it was redistricted in 2012. A Republican, Ethan Orr, was elected to the House that year, but lost to Democrat Dr. Randall Friese just two years later.

FarleyDemocratic Senator Steve Farley is unopposed in the general election, mostly because he is popular in his district, and he has risen as a leader in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate.  Farley was named by the Arizona Republic as one of 16 Arizonans to Watch in 2016, and voted Best Arizona Democratic Elected Official in 2016 by readers and reporters of the Arizona Capitol Times. His legislative priorities are public education, jobs and economic development, senior issues, public safety, transportation choices, sustainable growth, fiscal health, and quality of life. He has repeatedly been named Conservation Hero by the Arizona League of Conservation Voters, and Legislative Champion by the Arizona League of Towns and Cities.

If Democrats can pick up enough seats to gain a 15-15 tie in the Senate, Farley will be running for a leadership position.

ld9houseIn the House, there is one Democratic incumbent and a Democrat and Republican newcomer for the open House seat.

Dr. Randall Friese has proven to be quite popular in the district since his election in 2014. Dr. Friese joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine as a member of the Trauma Team. In this role he is a Professor of Surgery where he trains young doctors, he is the Associate Medical Director and he is one of nine UAMC Trauma Surgeons that care for the injured in southern Arizona. Dr. Friese was one of the Trauma Surgeons who cared for the victims of the Jan 8 shootings in Tucson.

Dr. Friese focuses on healthcare issues, including the epidemic of gun violence. Dr. Friese believes that gun violence is a public health issue. Most recently Dr. Friese was instrumental in adding Arizona to the National Violent Death Reporting System. This allows Arizona to gather, and share with the Centers for Disease Control, statistics concerning violent deaths in Arizona. This is an important first step towards finding real solutions to gun violence.

Arizona’s “citizen legislature” definitely needs a doctor with Dr. Friese’s knowledge, background and experience.

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When our less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congress returns in September …

US CapitolOur less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congress decided to start its August recess early, failing to address legislative priorities, as they hightailed it out of town on July 14 for a seven-week recess.

Congress will return the day after Labor Day. “D.C. Work Week” days are only scheduled in the House until September 30. The Senate is scheduled to work the first week of October as well. (Schedules are subject to change).

September 30 is an important date that has not received much media attention. It is the end of the Fiscal Year. The House has passed five spending measures and the Senate has passed just three, leaving Congress with unfinished appropriations bills that need to be addressed following the August recess.

There is not enough time for this dysfunctional Congress to actually complete its essential job function on time.

None of the individual appropriations bills have been sent to the President, and it is likely that a stop-gap continuing resolution (CR) spending bill will be needed to fund the federal government past the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

With our less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congressional members wanting to get back to their districts to campaign some more for reelection in October — as if they deserve to be reelected — it is unlikely that the  Republican House Freedom Caucus has enough support to shut down the federal government in an election year stunt, but you never know.

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Arizona newspapers publish an opinion by an academic fraud

ScreenshotOn Thursday, the Arizona Daily Star published “Media determined to misrepresent Trump’s remarks” (no link), and the Arizona Daily Sun published News media’s interpretation of Trump’s remark is ridiculous by John Lott, the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of “The War on Guns,” attempting to defend Donald Trump’s statement:

Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”

What these newspapers failed to tell you is anything about the disreputable author.

Think Progress reports, The NRA’s Favorite Gun “Academic” Is A Fraud:

John Lott is, if not the most influential, certainly the most prolific “academic” in the gun debate. He has authored weekly columns in local newspapers on the horrors of gun free zones, published widely-distributed books on the ostensible benefits of right-to-carry laws, and his newest book The War on Guns has received rave reviews by prominent conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Newt Gingrich.

Before Lott’s flurry of activity, it was difficult to find anybody arguing that widespread gun ownership made societies safer — even the NRA was reticent to make such a bold claim, defending gun ownership with reference to the constitution, not criminology.

But Lott’s recent successes belie a far more shadowy past. A little over a decade ago, he was disgraced and his career was in tatters. Not only was Lott’s assertion that more guns leads to more safety formally repudiated by a National Research Council panel, but he had also been caught pushing studies with severe statistical errors on numerous occasions. An investigation uncovered that he had almost certainly fabricated an entire survey on defensive gun use. And a blogger revealed that Mary Rosh, an online commentator claiming to be a former student of Lott’s who would frequently post about how amazing he was, was in fact John Lott himself. He was all but excommunicated from academia.

Just like our own sock puppet John Huppenthal aka Thucky!

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