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Arizona now forcing municipalities to sell guns from buy-back programs

By DAVID SCHWARTZ
April 30, 2013

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer . REUTERS/Darryl Webb

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer . REUTERS/Darryl Webb

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Monday signed legislation forcing municipalities to resell firearms from gun buy-back programs rather than destroy them, closing a loophole in the conservative state’s laws.

Brewer, a Republican and staunch gun rights advocate, signed the bill preventing local governments from melting down the weapons obtained from these popular civic events. Before the new law, the state had allowed such firearms to be destroyed.

A spokesman for Brewer could not immediately be reached for comment late on Monday.

The bill had the support of the National Rifle Association and Arizona’s Republican-controlled legislature. It cleared the state Senate earlier this month by an 18-12 vote. The state House approved the bill in March.

Supporters of the measure said municipalities were wasting taxpayers’ money by not realizing the revenue from reselling turned-in weapons.

Opponents argued that it sent the wrong message and that the state needed to focus on the broader issue of gun control.

“This action by the governor is not only outrageous, but it is insensitive for us now to be putting these guns back on the streets,” said state Senator Steve Gallardo, a Democrat and a leading opponent of the measure. “That’s just plain wrong.”

The law does not specify what penalties communities would face for violating its provisions.

Arizona became a battlefront in the national gun debate after a 2011 mass shooting outside a Tucson supermarket killed six people and left U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords gravely wounded.

Giffords, who has since left Congress, and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, have been pushing for tighter gun laws, especially in the wake of the December 2012 massacre at a Connecticut school in which a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 kids.
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3 Responses to Arizona now forcing municipalities to sell guns from buy-back programs

  1. Suzanne

    April 30, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Really? Another giant step backwards for Az. even with the tragedy that struck our own Congresswoman and several of her constituents including an 8 year old girl? And in the wake of so many other national tragedies involving guns. What if the Gov. had had the same fate as Gabby? Would she feel differently then? Really what does it take to make someone like Brewer feel empathy and make decisions that positively impact the citizens of the state? Clearly she is all about the special interests and her own interests. How do such persons get elected in the first place? She doesn’t seem to have even ONE redeeming or outstanding qualification.

  2. Pondering_It_All

    May 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    A lot of those buy-back guns are in very poor condition. Selling somebody a defective gun that then blows up and hurts them could open the communities up to law suits. Does the law say they have to take care of the guns they buy, have them tested by a gunsmith, or repair them?

    It might be safer, from a liability standpoint, if they just melt each gun’s chamber area with a cutting torch so it is in a known non-functional condition and then sell the guns to a scrap metal dealer for the fair market value.

    • Jon

      May 2, 2013 at 12:48 am

      That’s what they do with old military equipment. Deliberately ruin it, then sell as scrap.

      (Except for those that go to small-town SWAT teams, but hey).

      It shouldn’t be long before a ‘buyback’ gun that gets resold gets traced to a homicide, and perhaps then they’ll get the idea that this particular ‘revenue stream’ isn’t such a good idea.

      J.