News Column

Ariz. Bill Says Cities Have to Sell Turned-in Guns

April 18, 2013

The Associated Press

The Arizona Senate has joined the House in passing a bill requiring cities and counties to sell guns turned in at community buyback events instead of destroying them. The bill now goes to Republican Gov. Brewer for action.

The bill doesn't have any effect on guns seized by law enforcement, which already have to be sold to a federally licensed dealer under a law passed last year.

The current bill is designed to eliminate a loophole in that law. Cities, including Tucson, where former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, have continued to hold buyback events and destroy the weapons, arguing that because they were voluntarily surrendered, they weren't covered by the law.

Republicans argued that allowing the destruction of guns that could be sold is a waste of taxpayer's money.

During testimony before a House committee in February, Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said buyback programs give people who no longer want guns in their homes a safe way to dispose of them.

Some are worried the weapons could be stolen, and others want to prevent a family member from accessing them, she said.

"There are many, many reasons, but they would never fathom that the guns they turn in would be recirculated again," Wilcox said.

The Associated Press

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2013

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