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Tucson Illegally Destroyed a Million Dollars Worth of Guns Since 2013

Monday, October 31, 2016 19:25
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Handguns from an Arizona Turn In Event, 2013
In 2013, the Arizona Legislature passed HB 2455, to prevent the destruction of valuable firearms by lower levels of government in the state. No penalties were imposed.
It is not normal for local governments to destroy valuable property, at least not when the property can be legally sold for the public benefit. But in this case, the property was being destroyed for ideological purposes, not for pragmatic ones. The purpose of destroying valuable guns is to send the propaganda message: guns bad. Some cities, especially Tucson, refused to obey the law.

In 2016, the Arizona legislature passed SB 1487, which allows a state legislature to file a complaint with the State AG if a local government passes a law that “violates state law or the constitution of Arizona.”  If the AG finds the complaint to be valid, the local government entity has 30 days to rescind the law. If they do not, the AG is to direct the State Treasurer to stop sending state funds to the government entity.

Now we find the extent of which the City of Tucson has been willing to push their illegal propaganda. From

The Tucson Police Department has destroyed 4,820 guns turned in by residents or seized from crime investigations since the beginning of 2013, city records show.

The figure is at the heart of a complaint made by state Rep. Mark Finchem, who is arguing Tucson is violating a 2013 Arizona law that requires the sales of otherwise legal guns obtained by law enforcement agencies.

The article gives us more information about the firearms destroyed:

City policies allow only for rifles that are not semi-automatic and shotguns to be sold at public auction. All handguns and semi-automatic rifles taken in by police are destroyed.

Roughly 86 percent of the guns that were disposed of in the last 3½ years were destroyed, according to documents provided by the Tucson Police Department. Of the remaining 14 percent, half were put up for sale at auction and half were kept for law enforcement purposes.

As all the firearms destroyed were either handguns or semi-automatic rifles, a reasonable value would be about $200 each.  We cannot know the exact value, because the firearms were not put up for auction. 

The city of Tucson destroyed about a million dollars worth of firearms in the last two and a half years.

You might counter that local governments have First Amendment rights to make political propaganda, and to spend money on it as they see fit. No, they do not. From  

(Note that local governments and state agencies likely have no First Amendment rights against state governments, because the state is entitled to control the conduct of its subdivisions; likewise, federal agencies have no First Amendment rights against the federal government. The question is whether state and local governments, agents of one sovereign, have First Amendment rights against the federal government, another sovereign.)

The issue of Tucson flagrantly violating state law is coming to a head.  The AG is investigating the City to see if they violated state law.  It seems clear they have done so.  It remains to be seen if the AG will find it to be true, and if the Treasurer will be required to withhold funds from the city.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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Total 1 comment
  • desertspeaks

    $200?? bs! Try buying a handgun for $200, i dare you! if you can find one for $200, it’s either stolen, a piece of crap or a stolen piece of crap!

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