Mandatory Background Checks?

by Vote Felicia Chew

Citizens for a Safer Pima County, is grass-roots group formed several years ago, specifically to eliminate gun sales to prohibited buyers on public property (i.e. Pima County Fairgrounds), is soliciting input to two questions from Candidates for Pima County Office. 

  1. The current “gun show loophole” allows private sellers to sell guns to prohibited buyers (felons, domestic abusers, etc.) without any I.D. or background check. A number of other states and counties have closed this “loophole.” Do you believe that prohibited buyers should be allowed to buy guns at a facility owned by the people of Pima County?
  2. Following the horrific and tragic massacre at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School, our state government passed, and the governor signed into law, provisions that now prohibit any jurisdiction from requiring Universal Background Checks on public property. The law does not regulate non-profits like the Southwestern Fair Commission, which oversees all Fairground activity. Therefore, it’s possible the Commission could require Universal Background checks at all gun shows; but thus far they have refused to even place the issue on their agenda. If elected, would you support efforts to ensure that no firearms are sold on County property without a background check?

In an effort to best answer these questions,  Felicia reached out to several friends who are gun owners, and also to friends in general.

Here is the information Felicia gathered, which Felicia also shared on social media (if you would like to join the discussion):

Some folks said yes, because there are too many deaths by guns.

Other folks said no, because:

  • Almost every firearm sold at the gun show goes through a background check.
  • The county has NO authority per ARS 13-308 to impose a law on background checks between PRIVATE parties.
  • Folks are opposed to mandated checks because:
  • 1) Because it’s a right, not a privilege.
    2) Because it is NONE of government’s business.
    3) Because it is based in the idea the SOMEHOW you can control the flow of guns,
    4) Because it is violates state law for the county to do this,
    5) Because it is a phony issue. Very few bad actors get guns that way. Most bad guy steal guns, buy stolen guns, or send straw purchasers to buy, all 3 of which are ALREADY ILLEGAL.
  • Some women’s lives have been threatened by an ex or stalker who desperately needed a gun for protection for a reasonable fear for ther safety is felt and it takes to long and its automatically denied, or that it takes to long and they are killed before they get a gun to protect themselves.
  • Gun laws dont work… for example, in Chicago. It’s almost impossible to legally get a gun there, and they have the strictest gun laws in the nation yet they have the highest crime rates and gun deaths than any other part of our country. Gun laws don’t work for criminals.
  • Guns are there to protect us from over reaching, tyrannical government.

Felicia’s thoughts:

I think the real solution comes through educating communities about guns, and having gun safety tools available and accessible. For example, in New Mexico just before the onset of hunting season, school kids get a “talk” about gun safety. In Grade 3, there is a complete curriculum in Gun Safety. In many areas, gun locks are free of charge.

I think we first need to address who becomes labeled as a prohibited possessor is.  Some prohibited possessors are deemed so when they are actually the victim, and their abuser is able to manipulate the Courts into believing the victim is actually a criminal.  This is an issue that must be addressed.

I think that time is invaluable, and I do not think the real solution to ending gun violence and reducing accidental deaths is through mandatory background checks at the Fairgrounds; I do not think it is an appropriate or effective stopgap or temporary fix.  It is a divisive issue in the County.  

Instead of allocating time and resources toward mandatory checks at the Fairgrounds, I would do the work to identify how we can reduce gun violence and accidental deaths in Pima County.  This includes education, advocacy, and outreach in gun sense, gun safety, domestic abuse and violence, and mental health awareness.  I hope your group would join me in this work if I am elected to the District 3 Supervisor seat.

Write in Felicia Chew for Pima County Supervisor District 3 on your November ballot!

Learn more about the campaign at: