Tuscon agrees to end gun-destruction policy after court ruling
By Andrew Shepperson
The Tuscon Police Department had destroyed 4,820 confiscated firearms since 2013 but will now be required to sell them at auction. (Photo: Arizona Daily Star)
The city of Tuscon has agreed to repeal a city ordinance that required the destruction of all seized or surrendered guns unless those guns could be used for police training.
The repeal passed last Wednesday on a narrow 4-3 vote in the Tuscon City Council, and the city should begin auctioning off the confiscated firearms within the next few months. If continued, Tuscon’s practice of destroying firearms would have cost the city tens of millions in annual state-shared revenues, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The move to end the ordinance came after the Arizona Supreme Court found the practice to be in violation of state law, which prohibits local governments from enacting firearms laws that regulate the ownership, licensing, or use of firearms. State law also specifies that confiscated guns should be sold at auction to licensed firearms dealers.
The Supreme Court’s ruling upheld provisions included in a 2016 law, Senate Bill 1487, which says cities cannot pass ordinances that conflict with state law and allows the Arizona Attorney General to challenge such ordinances in court.
The Tuscon Police Department had been destroying some seized