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Arizona Gun Resell Law Forces Firearm Owners To Sell Weapons, Not Destroy Them

Travelers Today       By    Maxine Wally

Updated: Apr 30, 2013 09:17 PM EDT

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New legislation in Arizona that passed Monday will force municipalities to sell firearms acquired from buyback programs, rather than destroy them.

Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill that prevents local governments from melting down firearms obtained through buybacks-programs that try to get guns off the street by providing incentives, such as cash or gift certificates for weapons.

Prior to this, the state allowed guns to be destroyed if unwanted. This new legislation will close a loophole in Arizona-a historically conservative state-law.

According to Reuters, Brewer is a Republican and hardened advocate of Second Amendment Rights.

Both The National Rifle Association and Arizona's primarily Republican legislature supported the bill. It made it through the state Senate earlier in April, with an 18-12 vote. The state House had approved the bill the month before.

Those that support the legislation claim municipalities were squandering tax money but not cashing in on reselling these returned weapons.

Opponents, however, say that the more important issue lies in gun control-what if the passing of this bill sent the wrong message?

That's how Senator Steve Gallardo, Democrat and leading opponent of the bill, felt about it all.

"This action by the governor is not only outrageous, but it is insensitive for us now to be putting these guns back on the streets," he said. "That's just plain wrong."

Brewer also signed another bill Monday that prohibits local government officials from making lists of firearm owners. The cities cannot track buyers, sellers, or other citizens who attain guns.

Although gun buyback programs have collected record numbers of weapons in high-crime areas like Oakland, California and Camden, New Jersey, an NPR article from January questioned the efficacy of it all.

They say buybacks were "largely ineffective in reducing gun violence because they weren't getting the right kinds of weapons off the street." 

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