“Somewhere in Atlanta, in a room controlled by the city’s police force, is a cache of 6,000 or so guns that have been plucked off the streets over the last three years,” ajc.com reports. This despite S.B. 350, a state law passed in 2012 that directs the police to re-sell confiscated firearms. “We have an obligation to re-sell [the guns] to gun purchasers,” Atlanta Police Chief George Turner told CBS46 last week. After acknowledging his legal obligation, Chief Turner made no secret of his intention to ignore it. Like this . . .
“The city of Atlanta has not done that.” To put those firearms back on the street would be “catastrophic,” Turner said.
So the city has decided to slow-walk its legal obligation. It hasn’t destroyed the weapons, but neither has it held any auctions – which are required at least every six months, online or in the flesh . . .
Deputy Chief Ericka Shields confirmed her police department’s course of action. “We would have to sell guns that have been used in homicides,” the deputy chief said. Those were the exact words she used, but it is impossible to capture the revulsion that accompanied them.
She was revolted I tell you, revolted! Reading the rest of the article, it’s clear that AJC writer Jim Galloway shares Deputy Shield’s disquiet. And isn’t afraid to misrepresent the “issue” to do so.
But a larger issue is at stake in the direction that the city of Atlanta has chosen. Are people safer when there are more guns on the street – or fewer? According to a national Quinnipiac University poll released this week, 49 percent of voters say that more guns mean less safety. Forty-one percent disagree.
It appears someone forgot to tell Mr. Galloway that the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutional right, subject neither to the democratic process or arguments about social utility. In the same way that someone forgot to tell a Peach Tree State legislator what S.B. 350 mandated.
To his current embarrassment, state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, wasn’t among [the Democrats – four of them – who voted against the bill]. Granted, it was a crowded legislative day. “If I voted for that, it was a complete oversight,” Fort said. Nonetheless, the senator described himself “chagrined,” and promised to work to repeal the measure.
Fort doesn’t always agree with the Reed administration, but he does this time. “We’re going to find that those guns are going to be used in crimes. I have no doubt about that. To put that many guns back on the street, when we should be doing the opposite, is bizarre,” Fort said.
Turning your back on a legal mandate, shunning the extra revenue the sale of confiscated guns would bring and assuming that 6k more guns in the hands of law-abiding Georgians would make any difference to the crime rate? That’s what I call bizarre.