Tucson council does not approve ordinance allowing guns in parks

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- When state lawmakers pass a law all cities must follow, Tucson generally falls in line, but not this time.

City council members say "not so fast" to a change allowing guns in public parks.

They claim it has nothing to do with this months shootings.

"Look around, there's kids. It's a vulnerable place."

A new state law says guns are now allowed in public parks. Tucson hasn't followed it yet.

But last night one city council member was ready to pass a new ordinance to put the city in compliance with the state law.

"I did not get a second and do not know why my council members did not move forward with it," said Councilwoman Shirley Scott.

Councilwoman Scott says it was supposed to be a simple vote.  If the state says guns are allowed in public parks, then that's the way it has to be in Tucson.

"That particular bill passed.  It is now state law and we must implement what they have said," said Scott.

But across town council member Steve Kozachik says not so fast.

"If we start allowing people to carry loaded weapons into our city parks we are creating a problem that doesn't exist right now," said Councilman Kozachik.

The council's refusal to change local law code is pretty meaningless Because state law trumps local law.  And Kozachik knows that.

"It won't have any effect in terms of compliance.  It will have an effect, I hope, in terms of the message we're sending to state," said Kozachik.  "If you've got problems deal with them in your jurisdictions, don't mess with ours."

Kozachik says there's no need for people to carry in parks.  But in Phoenix, a difference of opinion.

"To deny citizens the right to defend themselves, their constitutional liberty, their god given right as recognized by our founders, is inappropriate," said District 18 Senator Russel Pearce.

"If you go to parks now and ask, 'Do you feel more safe that little Suzie's birthday party is going to be surrounded by people carrying weapons?'  None of them are going to say yes."

So we went to local parks to see if that was the case.

"Guns should not be allowed at parks under any circumstance."

"To think that someone's walking around with a gun I wouldn't feel safe."

Whether you feel safe or not, whether or not the Tucson city council's message is heard by the state, in Arizona, in parks, guns are here to stay.