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New lawsuit challenges Pima County ordinance on reporting stolen guns

An ordinance passed in April in Pima County that requires gun owners to report when their weapons are stolen or lost is being challenged in a new lawsuit. 

Under the rule, gun owners must report a missing or stolen firearm within 48 hours. Failing to report a weapon you know or should have known was missing could result in a $1,000 fine. County officials say the move will help keep track of missing guns and fraudulent gun purchases, known as straw sales.

Joe Setyon is a senior communications manager at the Goldwater Institute — the group behind the suit. He says the new ordinance is illegal.

"This re-victimizes law-abiding gun owners when their firearms are lost or stolen. People might not even realize that they are victims of a crime until later," he said.

Setyon says Arizona law also prohibits local governments from passing their own firearm regulations. His firm filed suit on behalf of a Christopher King, a military veteran and firearms trainer in Pima County, and a local non-profit called the Arizona Citizens Defense League. They’re asking for the court to put a hold on the mandate through a preliminary injunction. 

A Pima County representative said the county does not comment on litigation.

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Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.