RL&L Attorney In The News

RL&L attorney Mick Rusing has made news recently as one of the attorneys representing the National Rifle Association in their claim that Tucson’s policy of destroying seized and surrendered firearms is designed to “deliberate suppress” legal gun ownership in Arizona and “will likely lead to an increase in violent crime and harm public safety.”

Attorneys for the group are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to side with Attorney General Mark Brnovich who contends the city policy is a violation of state law. Brnovich wants the justices to order the city to rescind the policy or forfeit more than $115 million a year in state aid.

Rusing, in his legal brief siding with Brnovich, argues the greatest issue is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms for self-defense. “Tucson’s ordinance implicates this right because it impedes, at the margin, the law-abiding citizens’ ability to lawfully acquire a firearm.”

In essence, Rusing is arguing that allowing Tucson to destroy firearms reduces the supply both in Tucson and around the state. That, in turns, makes them more expensive and difficult to acquire “particularly for lower-income individuals that may already have difficulty affording a reliable firearm.” “The only purpose of the program can be to keep as many firearms as possible out of private hands or, put differently, to deliberately suppress the number of people keeping and bearing arms within Tucson and throughout the state,” Rusing wrote.

Rusing claims “a mountain of empirical evidence supports the Legislature’s judgment that Tucson’s efforts to eliminate as many lawful firearms as possible would ultimately increase the rate of violent crime.”  “The right to keep and bear arms is meaningless, of course, without the ability to obtain them.”  He is contending that the city ordinance proves a “hostility” by Tucson to those rights.

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