Tucson bans TCC gun shows without background checks

CREATED Feb 5, 2013

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  • Video by 1041kqth.com

  • Gun rights activists were upset they were not allowed to speak at the study session. Neither side spoke. Unless someone is specifically scheduled for a presentation, Council rules limit public comment to the regular session.

  • Gun control supporters held banners but did not speak during the study session

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Do gun background checks or take your gun show somewhere else--- That was the decision from the Tucson City Council Tuesday as it voted to require background checks even for person to person gun sales normally exempt from checks.

Councilmembers concede state law doesn't let them do much to control gun sales but they say they can keep them out of the city's convention center if they don't do background checks.

Councilmembers Steve Kozachik and Karen Uhlich proposed the ban but all council members voted for it.  Kozachik says there is no reason the city should book gun shows at the convention center if private sellers there are free to skip background checks for buyers.  Kozachik says background checks aren't perfect, but they help.

He says, "Since 1999, 1.7 million dollars of purchases have been rejected by people failing FFL background checks.  Person to person sales do not require those."

He says requiring checks takes away a second chance to someone who shouldn't have a gun, to get a gun.
The chamber was full of supporters like Margo Newhouse of Community Coalition Against Gun Violence.  She says say the council rule makes sense.

 "But that just a baby step.  I don't know if Tucson can do much beyond that because of state regulations and national laws and so forth.  I certainly think in this country we need to go beyond that, and I strongly support President Obama's proposals."

Opponents were angry they did not have a chance to speak.  No one on either side spoke before the vote. Council rules say study sessions only have speakers the council invites.  Citizens can speak at the regular meeting.
Gun rights activists say the city's getting in the way of their rights to sell their guns, and wasting a chance to rent TCC and make money for taxpayers.
Lori McMann, whose family has been putting on gun shows at TCC for 20 years says she usually pays the city about 50 thousand dollars a year.  Now she'll just take her business somewhere else.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked:  "Fair to say, you don't really need TCC?" 

Lori McMann: "We don't really but it's an issue of them stripping the citizens of their sceond amendment rights and I would think the city needs the funding."

Smith: "Are you gonna challenge this in some way other than taking your business elsewhere?" 

McMann: "I can't afford to challenge it in court and at this time I don't think Gun Owners of America or the NRA wants to challenge it."