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New Arizona Gun Law Signed, Nobody Notices

by James Tarr   |  May 2nd, 2013 15
Gun buyback

Tucson Police officers work a gun buyback outside a police station in Tucson, Ariz., in January. (Photo by Brian Skoloff/The Associated Press)

Whenever a city has a gun buyback program, the media likes to praise their efforts at “reducing crime.” Gun buybacks have never been shown to reduce crime, and why would they? Let’s look at this logically—who is going to turn in their guns, and which guns are they going to turn in? Criminals intent on using their guns at some future date sure aren’t going to turn them in.

Most of the guns turned in—usually for a small cash incentive or gift card—aren’t even functional. Some of the guns turned in belonged to deceased family members, and are turned in because the survivors just don’t want guns in the house. Does it sound like that would reduce violent crime in any way?

A few months ago, some gun collectors made the news when they showed up at a gun buyback offering to pay more for good finds than what the city was offering. This did not sit well with the media or the authorities, even though the guns would be going to law-abiding citizens. Why didn’t they like this? Because honestly, they are against anyone owning guns.

In this national media and left-driven hysteria pushing for new gun laws, you would think that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signing a new gun law last Monday would have made national news. In fact, almost nobody heard about it. I’m not sure why, but my guess is because this law makes sense. What is it?

In 2010, Arizona passed a law dictating that police are required to sell seized weapons to federally licensed dealers. Many cities, including Tucson, were ignoring this law when conducting their gun buybacks because they stated the weapons weren’t “seized.” Instead, they were destroying the weapons they seized. Well, the new law has addressed this perceived loophole.

Brewer is a strong Second Amendment supporter and has signed many other pro-gun bills. Proponents of this bill argue that destroying valuable property turned over to the government instead of selling it is a waste of taxpayer resources. Democrats who argued against the bill said it usurps local control and goes against the wishes of people who turn over their unwanted weapons to keep them out of the hands of children or thieves.

The “usurps local control” argument is valid, although one we never hear from big government types unless it suits them. The “keeping the weapons out of the hands of children or thieves” argument is completely irrelevant, in my opinion, as the guns will be sold to federally licensed firearm dealers.

The governor’s office said it received nearly 2,000 letters, emails or phone calls about the bill, with only 25 opposed. The NRA sent a letter in support of the bill on April 22, which argued that selling seized or forfeited guns “would maintain their value, and their sale to the public would help recover public funds.” The NRA letter said the bill doesn’t prevent a private group from holding an event and destroying the weapons, so watch the gun-grabbers try using that tactic in Arizona.

“However, this measure would ensure that taxpayer resources are not utilized to pursue a political agenda of destroying firearms,” the NRA said.

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox—a Democrat who champions the buyback events and survived being shot in the buttocks at the end of a 1997 Board of Supervisors meeting—sent a letter to Brewer urging a veto. The bill “would force the resale of guns that would otherwise never have been used for violence,” she wrote. “How many lives would be lost through the use of weapons our citizens hoped to be removed from the hands of criminals?”

Her statement shows a bit of a disconnect from reality—the guns didn’t come from the hands of criminals, and they’re not going to the hands of criminals. It also is a perfect example of many liberals’ point of view; in their minds, guns are evil, and are never used for good. Ever. Period.

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