Legislation introduced in wake of NYC probe at Ariz. gun show

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by Alicia E. Barrón

azfamily.com

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 2 at 11:52 AM

PHOENIX – An Arizona lawmaker is launching an effort to close the so-called loophole that allowed New York City undercover officers to purchase guns without a background check.

Arizona’s attorney general is angry he did not know about the New York operation.

“I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for what he has done," Sen. Steve Gallardo said. "He has pointed out a flaw.”

The flaw is that loophole discovered after undercover buyers were videotaped at an Arizona gun show purchasing weapons after admitting to the seller that they could not pass a background check.

“The idea that somebody can walk into a gun show, place down cash and walk out with a firearm without any type of background check is a matter of public safety,” Gallardo said.

Bloomberg’s investigation prompted Gallardo to introduce Senate Bill 1586, which would require a background check for all sales and transfers taking place at a gun show.

“The violation of this law is subject to civil penalty not more than $10,000,” Gallardo said.

Arizona Sen. Ron Gould, nevertheless, said there’s a problem with the proposed law.

“I don’t think it really addresses the problem," Gould said. "We’ve had the Giffords assassination attempt, that gun was bought legally from a gun dealer.”

Gould said the problem isn’t the gun shows, it’s the criminals.

“They generally buy guns that are stolen from your house or mine," Gould said. "I had a gun stolen out of a car recently so that gun is on the street, but that's the nature of living in a free society.”

Bloomberg’s investigation has angered a lot of people in Arizona, including Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.

“He spent money to send people 2,300 miles away to do what's really a political show," Horne said. "His jurisdiction is New York City. Our jurisdiction is Arizona. We should take care of our problems. He should take care of his problems."

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