Various states across the country have passed laws that either encourage or outright ban the destruction of seized firearms.
However, officials in Tucson, Arizona, and Savannah, Georgia, have recently decided to challenge these laws, arguing that destroying confiscated weapons – instead of auctioning them off – makes cities safer by keeping guns off the streets and out of the wrong hands.
“I favor destroying those weapons. I don’t want them sold to pawn shops or gun dealers. These guns seem to always wind up in the poor neighborhoods,” Savannah City Councilman John Hall told Fox News.
“A lot of people say these guns won’t end up in the hands of the wrong people. These guns do,” he said. Of course, Hall couldn’t cite a specific example when asked.
Fox News pointed out that these firearms could be a cheap alternative for people looking to buy a gun for protection who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford one.
Hall’s response: “Most people who buy for legitimate purposes – they buy new weapons. That’s what I believe.”
Hall knows lifting the ban in Arizona won’t be easy.
“We are facing an uphill battle to get that [the ban] changed because of the heavy gun lobby in the state,” he said.
Many pro-gun activists heavily oppose removing the ban, calling the destruction of seized firearms wasteful.
Jerry Henry, executive director of GeorgiaCarry.org, told Fox News, “There is absolutely no reason to destroy a perfectly good legal item just because the item was stolen and is now in the hands of law enforcement.”
It is important to note that these seized weapons are resold just like new guns; the buyer must undergo the necessary background check and have the proper permits before purchasing the firearm.
Auctioning off confiscated guns is also a great way for police departments to raise money for training, equipment, and even community outreach programs.