Phoenix Police Took in at Least 800 Guns in Latest Buyback

Categories: Guns
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Phoenix police estimate that more than 800 guns were turned in during this weekend's buyback event, billed as being the biggest gun-buyback event in the history of Arizona.

Those guns will all be destroyed, since the new law preventing the destruction of guns turned over during buyback events in Arizona won't go into effect until later this year.

See also:
-City of Phoenix Gun-Buyback Program Not Affected by New Law, for Now
-Jan Brewer Signs Bill for Gun Rights (As in Giving the Rights to the Guns)
-Mayor Stanton, Unveils Gun-Buyback Program in State of the City Address

For comparison purposes, Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos tells New Times a gun-buyback event in December 2011 brought in 220 guns.

The official count won't be known for a few days, as the folks in Phoenix PD's property room have to process each one.

Now, the program touted by Mayor Stanton and Police Chief Daniel Garcia, which uses private funding, takes place on only two more dates -- May 11 and May 18.

It would seem that the new law -- which specifically bans agencies from "facilitat[ing] the destruction of a firearm," and instead forces them to turn around and sell the guns to dealers -- completely defeats the purpose of the gun buybacks, and would end any future dates for the Phoenix program.

However, we caught an Associated Press story quoting Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik -- also known as "gun Hitler," if you watch the Colbert Report -- saying the law has plenty of potential loopholes.

Since the law says the cops and governments have to sell the guns collected in buybacks, Kozachik suggested putting price-tags on the guns of $100,000, or sell them for a penny each to someone who would destroy them.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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12 comments
bgray59
bgray59

In a time when we are facing budget problems why do we continue to spend money on  programs which the Department of Justice has deemed ineffective.

Greg Ridgeway, Ph.D.Deputy Director, National Institute of Justice in a white paper prepared for the Department of Justice reported the following:

Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented. 1. The buybacks are too small to have an impact. 2. The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime. 3. Replacement guns are easily acquired. Unless these three points are overcome, a gun buyback cannot be effective.

This is an example of another feelgood program which will have no impact on crime or violence.

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

Did any of the 1,000+ missing guns from Fast and Furious get turned in ? Maybe a gun buyback in Sinaloa would be more productive. peace

veritasvincit52
veritasvincit52

Why should the taxpayers foot the bill for a "feel-good" political circus?  How much did it cost for all the police officers who operated the event - when they could have been actually on the streets thwarting crime?

How much is it costing the taxpayers to process all these guns?  The facts are gun buy-backs do nothing to reduce violent crime.  A 2012 ASU research study found that out AND an April 2013 survey of 15,000 law enforcement professionals also addressed what the professionals think.


The Phoenix Police Chief is a political creation who's job depends on keeping the council and mayor happy so what do you expect him to say about the subject??  Really.

Automobiles used in homicide hit-and-run accidents are SOLD to the public at auction for their market value as are all other property received, seized, and forfeited to city police.  Assets are SOLD.

Firearms are assets.  Saturday's event would have raised about $300,000 IF PHX PD had sold those 800 firearms to local FFL's AND background checks would have been done on all buyers.

Lets see, cost of police to operate event plus cost of administration and processing of this event to the taxpayer PLUS the potential loss of $300,000 in market value sales equals a whole waste of money for what?  To feel good?  Do you really think any criminals turned in their guns Saturday? <LOL> 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

First, most people don't realize that Arizona law already required that firearms that were seized by the police be sold to dealers under ARS 12-945(B) - DPS has been trading seized weapons for ammo for years. This law only extends that requirement to gun buy-backs so it’s really not that ground breaking or remarkable.

Second, there were almost 150,000 NICS background checks conducted in the first four months of 2013. Assume even just 50% are new gun sales - that's 75,000 new guns sold in Arizona so far this year. Taking 800 or even 8,000 guns off the streets isn't going to make even a small dent in the number of guns available in Arizona so whether the guns are destroyed or sold back into the community doesn't matter one iota.

Third, the law does not dictate where the guns are sold so it seems to me that a city that does not want these guns back on their streets can sell them, potentially, to a gun dealer in Texas or Florida or elsewhere so they end up in the community there and not here (assuming there are no issues under federal law).

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

If a person chooses to turn their gun in to a "buyback" program, it should remain their right to do so.  This buyback legislation only bolsters the argument that the State Legislature feel compelled to create laws in order to feel a sense of accomplishment.  Rather, they should do as little as possible so not to mess things up.  What the entity does with the guns (typically items of little or no value or use) that purchases them should remain entirely up to them.

This particular buyback is nothing more than Mayor Stanton making political hay.  The negative press only added to it's success. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

This doesn't really defeat the purpose of buyback programs, it just improves the purpose.

Think of it as taking guns out of the hands of people who probably either inherited or stole them, and therefore never passed a background check, and ensuring that the new owner is somebody who can pass the check.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

An alternative to quoting what other people say the law might allow would be to read the law:


... the agency shall sell the firearm to any business that is authorized to receive and dispose of the firearm under federal and state law and that shall sell the firearm to the public according to federal and state law, unless the firearm is otherwise prohibited from being sold under federal and state law.

So (a) they must be sold.  That means you can't set the price so high that it won't sell, and (b) they can't be sold to somebody who will just destroy them.  They must be sold to somebody who will sell them to the public.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@yourproductsucks  If a person wants to sell their gun, they have a right to do so.  If a person wants to destroy their gun, all they have to do is to disassemble it and throw the pieces away separately.  Why should the government be destroying any public property rather than selling it to those who could use it?


JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative All you ever do is quote what other people tell you that a law might allow or might restrict.  All you do is pontificate without regard to what an actual or proposed law might actually say - your comments on Manchin-Toomey being a prime example. At least Matthew disclosed who he was getting his comments from, which is more than you do

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@valleynative old ammunition is turned in with a great deal of regularity to "the government" for the express purpose of destruction.  There is no difference.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public @valleynative  I can't imagine who it is that you think I must be getting my ideas from.  I have a copy of Manchin-Toomey on my desktop, and any comments I made about it came from reading it.


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