Arizona legislators approved a measure on Tuesday that not only stops authorities from destroying firearms collected from gun buybacks, but orders them to resell the items. According to Reuters, the state senate voted 18-12 in favor of the bill, with the house previously approving the bill in March. The proposal now awaits Governor Jan Brewer’s signature to be passed.
“I believe it’s a waste to destroy something that can supplement their budget and budget line items,” said State Representative Brenda Barton (R-Payson), who sponsored the bill in the House. “We’re at a place in our economy where we need to make the best use of everything we can.”
Around the country gun buybacks are popping up as the gun control debate continues. People who leave their firearms at buyback often expect that it will be destroyed, but Arizona’s new bill will allow officials to sell the firearm. Supporters of the bill, like Barton, argue that the destruction of firearms in buyback programs are a waste of taxpayer money, and instead can prove to be a boost for local budgets.
However, CBS5 reports that gun control advocates vocally oppose this new bill.
“For decades, Phoenix and Tucson police departments had policies that any guns coming in, whether crime guns or voluntarily surrendered, they were all destroyed,” said Arizonans for Gun Safety’s Hildy Saizow. “That’s what police chiefs want, that’s what mayors want, that’s what crime victims want and that’s what citizens want, so it makes no sense for the legislature to be involved.”
While having a strong gun culture and history, Arizona was launched into the forefront of the gun control debate after a shooting in Tuscon injured former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 people.