Phoenix beats deadline for new law; destroys firearms - FOX 35 News Orlando

Phoenix beats deadline for new law; destroys firearms

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The City of Phoenix destroyed thousands of guns taken off the street  during gun buyback events before a new law went into effect last week that would force them to put those guns right back on the street.

That law, signed earlier this year by Governor Jan Brewer, states that firearms purchased in buyback programs must be re-sold instead of destroyed.

 The organizers of the gun buybacks held several of them in May, hoping to buy and destroy as many of them as possible before that law went into effect.

The city paid $10,000 in overtime to Phoenix Police - making sure those guns were all destroyed in time.

The organizers of three buyback programs considered them a huge success.

"We originally had a goal, what we thought was very ambitious, but we hoped to bring in 1,000 firearms. And we were fortunate that we doubled that number and brought in almost 2,000 firearms," said Hildy Saizow, President of Arizonans for Gun Safety.

Saizow says the people who turned over their firearms in exchange for $1,000 worth of grocery gift cards did so for different reasons.

"So they felt confident when those firearms would be destroyed. There was no possibility the firearms could end up in the wrong hands," she said.

But the state legislature passed a law saying cities can no longer destroy guns using these buybacks. They will now have to sell them.

Charles Heller with Arizona Citizens Defense League says gun owners who want to get rid of them can make more money selling them on their own.

"What they're doing is cheating people, if you want to know the truth, they're actually cheating people.  In order to achieve some result, some supposed good -- they're cheating people out of the value they could have gotten out of the guns.  That's the dirty secret."

"Well, first of all, that's absolutely ridiculous and ludicrous.  I mean this was an optional program, certainly we just offered it," said Saizow.

If you have a firearm that you want to get rid of, but you don't want to sell it yourself, you can still turn it in to the police department, but that gun will not be destroyed -- it will be sold to a gun dealer and end up in someone else's hands.


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