Last year the bozos in the Arizona State Legislature passed a bill to prevent government agencies from destroying guns that had been confiscated or "surrendered" to police agencies. Unless the particular firearms were being held as evidence, the law (ARS 12-945) stated that they had to be sold to a federally licensed firearms dealer for resale. It was a way to raise revenue for strapped (pun intended) government entities while, at the same time, protecting the state's primary religious icon.
One of the obvious intents of the law was to thwart this commie-inspired gun turn-in programs. Agencies that ran those programs were destroying perfectly good weapons, and that just reeked of Kenyan socialism. The Arizona State Legislature had once again stood firm in support of little old ladies and drug dealers who needed guns for personal protection.
But the good people of Tucson saw things differently.
Last month, on the second anniversary of the mass shooting in their community that killed six, including a child and a federal judge, and wounded thirteen, including a member of Congress, the local police department held a gun buyback program offering a $50 Safeway gift card for every weapon turned in. People began lining up before the buyback began, waiting patiently to get rid of their unwanted weapons while making their way cautiously past hecklers carrying signs that offered to buy the unwanted weapons at a premium. By the time the event ended, the Tucson Police Department had collected 205 weapons - thus making their fair city that much safer.
The Tucson Police Department made it clear that they were going to destroy the weapons that had been voluntarily traded to them for the gift certificates - a situation that they interpreted differently that being "surrendered." The police department was, after all, the owner of the weapons (thank you Safeway and other local contributors), and the original owners had walked by people making better offers, thus indicating that they wanted the guns to not be resold and put back into use.
Right on cue, the National Rifle Association (NRA) went nuts (an extremely short trip) and threaded to take the police department to court. The police sent the guns to an outside agency to be destroyed, and the NRA headed off to Phoenix where it
Today HB 2455 passed out of committee on a 5-3 party line vote. The proposed legislation would prohibit cities, counties, and the state from destroying guns that are voluntarily surrendered to them, even in buyback programs. The entire legislature, being majority Republican, will probably follow suit and pass HB 2455, and Governor Brewer, being Governor Brewer is likely to sign the crackpot bill into law. (If only Arizona's political leaders would put that much effort and creativity into fixing the state's economy or educational system!) But hey, this is the Scorpion State, a place where firepower trumps commonsense every time!
Tucson, you rock!