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Gun Registration Vote Misfires

Gun Registration Vote Misfires
June 27
08:05 2017

Davis Filkfred

The Kayenta Township Commission shot down a plan to register the community’s guns.

The measure had first come before the commission in April, but had been tabled to give the community a chance to have some input.

Kayenta Town Manger Gabriel Yazzie held a public meeting on the matter. The meeting including residents from Kayenta, surrounding areas and from Oljato and Kaibeto.

The legislation was introduced by Navajo Nation Council Delegate Davis Filfred.

Kayenta Township Commissioner Jodonna Hall-Ward said that Filfred’s legislation would affect every firearm user on the Navajo Nation.

“We want your input on this issue so we can make the right decision for this community,” Hall-Ward said.

Every community member in attendance at the meeting – with the exception of three Navajo police officers – opposed Filfred’s bill.

Many residents said that responsible handgun owners already adhered to mandatory background checks when buying a handgun. Registering guns won’t combat crime on the reservation, some argued.

The police officers said a firearms registry would benefit them when tracing a firearm – or firearm owner – when a gun is used in a crime.

“In my opinion there are more important things to worry about than registering firearms,” said community member Shonie De La Rosa, a member of the National Rifle Association and the Arizona Rifle and Pistol Association.

De La Rosa said he will oppose Filfred’s legislation “to the very end.”

He said federal laws – such as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System – are already in place to prevent convicted criminals from purchasing firearms.

But while federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies contribute to the NICS the Navajo Nation does not, meaning with a criminal record on the reservation could still buy firearms. De La Rosa said.

The simple fix, he added, was for the Navajo Nation to send information to the NICS.

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