Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Utah has joined the growing list of states that forbid the destruction of valuable firearms. The law is as rational as can be. Why destroy valuable property when it can be sold and the proceeds used for the public good?
Why destroy perfectly legal guns so that gun manufacturers can make more profits?
If older guns are destroyed, there are plenty of new guns to meet the demand. Utah's new law went into effect on January 1, 2017.
Another new law says authorities can sell abandoned guns or give them to a firearms dealer for sale or to the Bureau of Forensic Services for testing.
But law enforcement officials can only destroy a gun if its condition prevents it from being sold or if it’s associated with a notorious crime.
“I never saw the need for a perfectly good firearm to be destroyed,” the law’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Brad Daw of Orem, told lawmakers during a hearing on the measure.
At least twelve states now ban police from destroying valuable and legal guns that come into their possession. They are:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
Other states, such as Indiana, have come close to passing the money-saving legislation.
The people that push for the expensive destruction of legal, safe, useful, and valuable firearms do so for emotional or political reasons, not for rational ones. The numbers are relatively small.
The U.S. stock of private, legal guns has been increasing by over 13 million a year. Chicago has the highest numbers, with about 6,700 guns taken into possession each year. Los Angeles collects about 6,000, and New York City about 3,000.
Altogether, they amount to 16,000 to 17,000 guns. They amount to half of one day's increase in the civilians stock in the United States, or .0004 percent of the private stock that exists in the United States at present. If you assume the laughable proposition that no guns would be added to the private stock in the future, it would take 2,353 years to reduce the private stock in America by 10 percent.
It only takes a tiny increase in firearms manufacture to meet the demand that would be satisfied by older guns destroyed by police.
Why do otherwise rational people push for the destruction of firearms that serves no useful purpose, that diverts valuable police resources and prevents valuable assets from being added to the public purse?
There would be some perverted sense to it if the United States made the private ownership of firearms illegal, and defined firearms as contraband. That is unlikely to happen. America is better armed than ever. The American people have a higher opinion of the advantages of being armed than ever. There are more than 400 million firearms in private hands in the United States.
There is reason to believe that a significant percentage of the firearms sold recently went to new owners. California state analysis of firearm sales shows that 36 percent of recent handgun buyers were new firearm owners. It is likely, contrary to some ownership surveys, that the number and percentage of firearm owners in the United States are increasing.
The only reason to destroy firearms in the hands of the police is to send the propaganda message that guns are bad. That is another good reason to outlaw the practice. The message sent is the wrong one, in direct contradiction to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the rule of law. Reversing that message is an added benefit to the saving of valuable resources.
The sale of legal firearms into the normal channels of commerce reaffirms the legitimacy of firearms ownership and the Second Amendment.
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.