Arizona lawmakers aim to derail gun buy-back programs
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some state lawmakers want to shoot down gun buy-backs, with a proposed state law to make sure cities must sell--not destroy guns they collect.
The bill closes a loophole that let the City of Tucson hold a buy back earlier this month.
On the anniversary of the January 8th mass shooting, people turned in more than 200 guns in return for 50 dollar Safeway gift cards.
Nearby, some gun aficionados offered cash for guns that interested them. They say they bought about 40.
Gun rights activists said state law required the city to sell the guns instead of destroying them.
The City of Tucson contends that law is for guns found or seized in crimes, not turned in voluntarily.
Now some state lawmakers are working to change the law to make it apply to all guns, even if someone turned them in.
State Representative Adam Kwasman says he can't understand why cities would not want to build up their budgets by selling firearms.
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith said to Representative Kwasman: "Sometimes you hear city officials who do approve of these buybacks argue that the city has a public safety interest that goes beyond money in removing these weapons."
Rep. Kwasman: "I think those that believe individuals that are in good standing, that are law abiding citizens utilizing their 2nd Amendment right to purchase firearms is not a problem with society it's a benefit when good people are exercising their God-given Constitutional rights in being able to purchase a firearm as they see fit."
City Councilmember Steve Kozachik organized the buy back.
He says, "I'm used to the Legislature making fools of themselves. Clearly they're...so what about civil liberties, right? We're talking about peoples' personal property and these guys want to claim they're big civil libertarians when it comes to everything except a firearm."
Representative Kwasman says people do have a right to destroy a gun if they like, but cities should not be destroying guns instead of trying to make some money from them.
The bill, House Bill 2455, has a ways to go yet. It's already passed second reading in the House. It'll have to be considered and approved in two committees before House Members vote on whether to move it to the Senate for consideration there.