In 2005, the Tucson City Council passed an ordinance requiring that unclaimed or forfeited firearms, that were not used by the Tucson Police Department, or transferred to other police agencies, be destroyed. Destruction of firearms is an act of political theater designed to delegitimize firearms, branding them contraband. This political propaganda strikes at the heart of the Second Amendment.
In 2013, the State of Arizona banned the practice of destroying valuable property, particularly firearms. The firearms were to be returned through ordinary channels of legal commerce. The proceeds from the sale benefits the political entity selling the firearms.
The Tucson City Council ignored the state statute and destroyed about 4,800 legal firearms between 2013 and October, 2016. Firearms sold at auction by police routinely bring between $100 and $200. The value of the firearms destroyed was likely between $500,000 and $1,000,000. The processing cost of destruction is approximately the same as the cost of legal sale.
The Arizona legislature was not pleased with the scofflaw actions of the Tucson City Council. In 2016, they passed amendments to put teeth into the 2013 statute. It provided a procedure to gain compliance. Penalties are available if a political subunit of the state continued to defy the legislature by destroying valuable property.
by Dean Weingarten