Friday, September 08, 2017

Tucson Stops Illegal Destruction of Firearms, Grudgingly Follows State Law

Mint condition Colt Python, valued at $3,000, Turned in to Tucson Police in 2013

The City Council of Tucson has finally been forced to stop their irrational violation of state law. For years the city council has been destroying valuable property that could have been sold for the benefit of the public. Instead, they insisted on expensive destruction for political grandstanding. 

Since 2013 they have ordered 4,820 guns to be destroyed, conservatively valued at between $500,000 and $1,000,000. Guns sold at auction by police routinely bring $100-$200. One gun destroyed by the city is claimed to have been a rare collectible valued at $10,000.

 A Colt Python in mint condition turned in to the Tucson Police in 2013 sells for about $3,000 in online auctions that must be processed through dealers. The revolver pictured is presumed to be one of the 4,820 firearms destroyed by the City of Tucson City Council.

Surprisingly, the vote on the council to follow the law was close, 3-4. From
The seven Democrats on the Tucson City Council, after meeting behind closed doors with their attorneys, said their hands were tied by the court’s decision. The city will begin auctioning off guns in the next few months to licensed gun dealers.

The vote Wednesday was not unanimous, however. The reversal of the policy narrowly passed 4-3, with council members Steve Kozachik, Karin Uhlich and Regina Romero voting against ending the practice.

Romero said she simply couldn’t stomach it.

“I couldn’t make myself vote ‘yes.’ I think it is wrong in every way, shape and form,” Romero said.
It is hard to see what logic Council member Romero followed in her decision. Destroying used guns only puts more money in the pockets of gun manufacturers. There are plenty of guns for sale in Tucson gun shops.  Selling the valuable antiques and used guns collected by Tucson police doesn't put anyone at risk. They would be sold out of the same shops that sell new and used guns now, with the same background checks. Demand for new guns can be met with the sale of used guns.

Some of the guns would likely be sold to dealers of shops that are not in Tucson. Romero seems to be making a statement that she does not like guns. Romero approved of a Tucson resolution to divest City funds from any company that profits off the border wall with Mexico.  From
“The goal is to get as many cities around the country as possible to jump on board because puny little Tucson will not make these corporations fearful,” Tucson’s Vice Mayor Regina Romero told ThinkProgress.
"Profits off the border wall" is a broad stroke. Many would contend the entire country will "profit off the border wall". Tucson has often been opposed to policies the majority of Arizonas desire. Romero's attitude helps to explain why.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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