(NOTE: Opinion piece by Charles Heller of AzCDL who is not responsible for the tile on this post.)
Re: “Cops need more gun seizure power, Koz says…” In the Arizona Daily Star.
One of the most regrettable phrases in the English Language, is, “there ought to be a law…”
How regrettable it is that sitting elected officials don’t look up our current law, before suggesting changes in it. Some supposed “emergency,” instead becomes the vapid excuse for more suppression of civil rights. That’s called bigotry, Councilman Kozachik. It wasn’t cool when we did it to Blacks, and it is no more cool to do it to the next minority down the line.
Councilman Kozachik claims to want a “legal opinion” before he proposes an ordinance. He does not need one. All he need do is read ARS 13-3108. In a nutshell, 3108 makes the state the controlling legal authority in terms of firearm regulation. Political subdivisions (cities, counties, boards, districts) cannot enforce restrictions more stringent than state law. See for yourself, at:
If state law does not authorize it, the city cannot do it. Preemption makes firearms laws equal, from Window Rock to Steins. The Arizona Citizens Defense League asks Councilman Kozachik to take what the courts call “legal notice,” of the law.
“Preemption” was strengthened at the urging of The Arizona Citizens Defense League in 2010, specifically to prevent the ideas of people like Councilman Kozachik, from ever burdening the rights of the people of Arizona, again. This was especially true in the wake of the Rineer vs. Tucson case. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/az-court-of-appeals/1447762.html. In that case, Ken Rineer’s rights were not deemed to have been violated by the city ignoring state law, “he need merely have walked around Himmel Park, rather than in it.” Yes, yes, all the animals are equal, just some are “more equal” than others….
This year AzCDL may request an addendum to that law, known as the “this means you, Steve,” clause.
Had Councilman Kozachik done slightly more due diligence, he would have discovered that state law already contains the ability of a law enforcement officer to force psychological evaluation on a person who may be a danger to himself or others, in ARS 36-520 through 526.
Really, councilman, it’s online. You can look it up for yourself at: http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp?Title=36. If a person is judged incompetent by a court, there is already a lawful process to remove his guns. We don’t need any more, sir. Causing a person to prove that he is not crazy, in order to exercise a fundamental right, Councilman Kozachik, amounts to “guilty until proven innocent.”
As Dennis Prager says, “the larger the government, the smaller the citizen.” We do not need any “smaller” citizens, Mr. Kozachik, we need better “hired help” at the City Council. That starts with those who first concern themselves with Article 2, Section 2 of the Arizona Constitution:
“Political power; purpose of government: “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.“
Councilman, you swore an oath to uphold that Constitution. If there is any new law needed, it is a criminal penalty for those elected officials who disobey said oath. Failing that, Ace Hardware is running it’s “tar and feathers special,” and I’m sure the RKBA community would gladly chip in to color match it to your bicycle.
The greatest blessing you could give this community, Councilman Kozachik, is the descending Doppler sound of your bicycle bell.
Arizona Citizens Defense League
Host, Liberty Watch Radio
AM 1030 KVOI Tucson