Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill requiring cities and counties with gun- buyback programs to sell the weapons rather than destroy them.
Republicans in the GOP-controlled state legislature had strongly supported the measure, arguing that municipalities were not complying with a 2010 law, tightened last year, mandating that police sell seized weapons to federally licensed dealers, reports the Huffington Post.
Tucson and other communities reportedly had been destroying guns paid for with cash or gift cards, arguing that since they were handed over voluntarily the laws applying to seized firearms didn’t apply.
Democrats opposed to the bill claimed that it took control out of the hands of local governments and ignored the wishes of those who relinquished their guns to keep them away from children or criminals, according to Huffington Post.
Brewer’s office told the Huffington Post it received nearly 2,000 letters, emails or phone calls about the bill, only 25 of which expressed opposition to the legislation.
One of the supportive letters was from the National Rifle Association, which argued that selling seized or forfeited guns “would maintain their value, and their sale to the public would help recover public funds.”
This measure “would ensure that taxpayer resources are not utilized to pursue a political agenda of destroying firearms,” the NRA letter said.
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