AZ Senate Bans Destruction of Guns From Buy-Back Programs

Over the years many cities have held gun buyback programs in an attempt to get guns off the streets and reduce crime. Many of the cities offer anywhere from $100-$200 worth of gift cards generally to grocery stores.

Back in December it was reported that gun buyback programs make little to no difference in crime rates. According to a report from the National Research Council of the National Academies report (Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review) in 2004, the buyback programs’ effect on crime rates was minimal if any.  Most of the guns that were turned in were broken and in need of repair, were old and rusty and some were inherited from family members.

Once the guns are collected their serial numbers and other information are recorded. The law enforcement agencies collecting the guns check to see if they’ve been used in any crimes and then the guns are generally destroyed and turned into scrap.

Lawmakers in Arizona believe that destroying all of the guns obtained during buyback programs is a waste of resources that could be utilized by the cities or the state. That is why the House and Senate have both approved HB 2455. This bill now goes to Governor Jan Brewer to be signed into law, stipulating that guns obtained voluntarily would be treated like those confiscated by law enforcement and be sold to federally licensed firearms dealers who would then have the option to resell them.

In 2010, the Arizona legislature passed the measure that required the state courts to sell off weapons that had been seized by law enforcement officials. This was done to help generate additional revenue for the state.

The new bill was highly controversial with the liberal Democrats in the state who argued that people give up their guns in buyback programs to have them destroyed, not resold. They also argue that this takes the prerogative of destroying the firearms away from city officials and sponsors of the buyback program.

State Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford, (D-Tucson), opposed the measure because of an obscure report that linked gun violence to lose gun laws. She went on to state that Arizona has the fourth highest rate of gun deaths in the nation. What she fails to realize is that a large number of those gun deaths are directly related to the illegal trafficking of drugs and people across the Mexican border.

Having lived in Mesa, Arizona for over 30 years, I have personally seen the crime rates and violence increase with the influx of illegal Hispanics in a number of neighborhoods. The neighborhood where my wife grew up was one where at one time you never had the lock your door or worry about anything you had setting outside. In the last 15 to 20 years that neighborhood has seen a huge influx of Hispanics. As they moved in, graffiti, burglaries and assaults drastically increased, changing the entire character of the once peaceful neighborhood.

State Senator Judy Burges, (R-Sun City West), says that those people pushing to see all of the guns obtained and buyback programs destroyed failed to understand what’s really happening:

“Many here in this body want to blame 30-round magazines and semiautomatic weapons for violence. Unfortunately, murder, violence and insanity are built into the human condition and likely always will be. There are two types of animals: predators and prey. When we take away individuals’ right to defend themselves, we create more predators.”

State Senator Rick Murphy, (R-Glendale), said:

“It’s about protecting taxpayers. It deals with valuable property that is being destroyed. What this comes down to is it’s not appropriate to tell taxpayers that they must subsidize with their dollars the destruction of useful property for no good reason, to accomplish nothing more than make people feel good.”

Murphy also spoke to the Democratic Senators who opposed the measure claiming that guns were the cause of the violence in the state. He told them about how years ago he had been a mentor to young man who was killed by gang violence. He then told the rest of the Senators:

“I am not a slave to blind emotion. I do not believe that the gun had anything to do with the crime. It was the gang-banger who committed the crime.”

Over and over and over again we hear the liberals running around like Chicken Little screaming, “The guns are killing! The guns are killing!” And just as it wasn’t the sky falling with Chicken Little, guns aren’t killing people, people kill people. In the last week we’ve seen knife attacks and bomb attacks. They only reinforce the facts that it’s not guns, it’s not knives, it’s not bombs, it’s not pressure cookers, it’s not baseball bats that kill people; it’s people that kill people.