Fatal shooting may spur new law

On June 26, 2012, Genna Ayup was shot and killed in her East side Tucson home.

The 27 year old was killed by her live in boyfriend, Ronald Corbin.

He says his gun went off accidentally while he was holding it in his lap.

Manslaughter charges were filed against him several weeks after the shooting but later dismissed by the Pima County Attorney's office.

Police reports say Corbin has admitted to drinking three or four 23-ounce beers in the hours before the shooting.

That has some Tucson city leaders and state lawmakers proposing a new law concerning people who drink and handle loaded weapons, especially when it causes injury or death.

"I think society holds us responsible when we drive a vehicle and when we handle a firearm, that person should not be intoxicated," says State Representative Bruce Wheeler, a District 10 Democrat. "I think that's pretty basic."

The idea for the law is very clear but the wording is not.

"We have to make sure it does not violate someone's civil rights," he says.

And for that he will turn to the National Rifle Association for help.

He says he will talk to the organization before the law is submitted to the state legislature in its next session, but the fact "they haven't dismissed it outright" is cause for hope.

An NRA spokesman, Todd Rathner says "the gun folks are going to be very cautious about this."

He says he hasn't read it yet or talked to Wheeler but adds "I'm very skeptical." But added, "We'll have to give it some careful thought."

Wheeler says the law will give law enforcement and the legal system another tool to bring cases forward.

"The ability is lacking now," he says.

He says he will take into consideration people who drink and hunt but is not sure what form that will take.

"One should not be handling weapons, loaded weapons particularly in front of other people while they've been drinking," he says.

Wheeler says people are allowed to carry weapons in bars in Arizona "but only when they're sober."

He adds this is a bi-partisan, common sense issue which should find support in the legislature.

Wheeler believes state legislative staff should begin drafting the bill after he meets with family and the NRA.

Paul Cunningham, Ward II Tucson city councilman, also supports the legislative action.