Last month’s destruction of hundreds of guns turned in at a [Tucson] city buyback event may be the last.
A gun-rights group is pressing the Legislature to block municipalities from destroying guns voluntarily turned in to police departments.
The Arizona Citizens Defense League requested a change in the law adding guns “surrendered” willfully by the owner to the list of firearms police departments must recirculate back into the market.
Heller said if another “buy-up” occurs, the new language would make it clear the weapons must be sold to a licensed dealer.
“What that does is, it takes them out of the hands of a person who doesn’t want it, and puts it in the legitimate hands of someone who does,” Heller said.
Councilman Steve Kozachik said the bill underscores an inconsistency among folks who would normally champion property rights.
“This bill clearly illustrates that some people don’t view guns like toasters. When it comes to guns, it’s as though they hold some magical or sacred designation in their lives,” Kozachik said. “They go around proclaiming to be for private property, but civil liberties are out the window when it comes to guns. I guess the message is, we can’t do what we want with our property in this state if that property is a firearm.”
The practical impact of the law is unclear. No more gun buybacks are planned, and TPD spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Hawke said the department doesn’t currently tally or track other guns that are voluntarily turned in.
She said they are logged into evidence under the classification of “safekeeping,” which is similar to guns found by officers or citizens and turned in to the evidence section.
Hawke said once those guns are cleared, they are turned over to a local company TPD contracts with where the guns are destroyed. She said she couldn’t reveal the company’s information for security reasons.
Links to the bill and its sponsors can be found here.