Guns purchased in buy-back programs must now be resold by Arizona municipalities instead of melted down and destroyed.
As of Monday Arizona cities will now be forced to resell the firearms collected in buy-back programs instead of sending them to be destroyed. Republican Governor Jan Brewer, who is an outspoken gun rights advocate, signed the bill which, according to Reuters, closes a “loophole in the conservative state’s laws.” Before this new law, the destruction of firearms obtained in these “popular civic events” had been common practice.
The bill, which was supported by the NRA and the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, was approved by the House in March, and then by an 18-12 Senate vote earlier this month. Opponents of the measure assert that the new law sends the “wrong message,” and that the legislature needs to be focusing on the “broader issue of gun control.” However, supporters of the bill insist that Arizona cities are, “wasting taxpayers’ money by not realizing the revenue from reselling turned-in weapons.”
State Senator Steve Gallardo, a staunch proponent of gun control legislation and a leading opponent to the new law said, “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. That’s just plain wrong.”
The bill does not outline any type of penalties for municipalities which chose not to follow the new law, so what those may be or how they may be enforced is yet to be seen.
Photo: AP/Brian Skoloff