By Dean Weingarten
Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- In September, 2017, the City of Tucson taxpayers agreed to pay the State of Arizona for the legal fees required to stop the City Council from violating State law.
The Council had required that legal, valuable firearms be destroyed rather than sold for the benefit of the public. Even liberal academics understand that is a waste of valuable resources.
In 2012, Arizona made the wasteful practice of destroying valuable firearms illegal for local governments.
This legislation was a follow-up to a 2010 law that required forfeited firearms to be sold to authorized dealers and not be scrapped. Unfortunately, there was a provision in the law that allowed local jurisdictions to determine the disposition of forfeited firearms they acquired. Sadly, this resulted in the loss of revenue to many police departments, short of cash because of ideology based decisions to destroy these firearms. Under the new law, after 60 days unclaimed firearms that can be legally owned must be sold to a business authorized to receive and dispose of fire-arms under state and federal law, for sale to the public. Law enforcement agencies also have the option to trade forfeited firearms to federally licensed dealers for guns, ammo or other law enforcement equipment.
The Council become scofflaws in 2012. Over the next few years they destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars of valuable property. In addition, they wasted City money in a needless court battle with the State of Arizona.
A settlement with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich will have the city of Tucson shelling out $100,000 to cover the state’s legal fees for the court fight that ended the city’s practice of destroying seized firearms.
The figure is identical to the amount the city had estimated it would earn annually in auctioning seized firearms to licensed gun dealers.
The City Council spent tens of thousands more dollars fighting the state before the case went to the Arizona Supreme Court. It spent thousands to illegally destroy the 4,820 firearms from 2013 to 2016. Those firearms could have been sold for about a half a million dollars.
A reasonable estimate is that the Tucson City Council wasted $750,000 for nothing more than making propaganda to show they disapprove of the private ownership of guns.
The seven Democrats on the city council do not have a problem wasting other people’s money. Wasting other peoples money can be attractive, if it serves your political purposes. It can make you look attractive to Democrat donors. It can work with other politicians as well, but you do not see many Republicans campaigning to destroy valuable firearms at government expense.
There are the deep pockets of Democrat donors, such as former Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. He has spent hundreds of millions of dollars attempting to undermine the Second Amendment. Democrats who demonstrate their deep commitment to destroying firearms, might obtain some of that money for their relection campaigns.
It will be interesting to see if any of Michael Bloomberg’s money ends up in the campaign coffers of Tucson City Council.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.