The legislature dropped the dime on Tuscon for refusing to repurpose confiscated by the police department, contacting the AZ AG to impose penalties on the recalcitrant city. And now we find the extent of which the City of Tucson has been willing to push their illegal propaganda. From tucson.com:
The Tucson Police Department has destroyed 4,820 guns turned in by residents or seized from crime investigations since the beginning of 2013, city records show.
The figure is at the heart of a complaint made by state Rep. Mark Finchem, who is arguing Tucson is violating a 2013 Arizona law that requires the sales of otherwise legal guns obtained by law enforcement agencies.
The article gives us more information about the firearms destroyed:
City policies allow only for rifles that are not semi-automatic and shotguns to be sold at public auction. All handguns and semi-automatic rifles taken in by police are destroyed.
Roughly 86 percent of the guns that were disposed of in the last 3½ years were destroyed, according to documents provided by the Tucson Police Department. Of the remaining 14 percent, half were put up for sale at auction and half were kept for law enforcement purposes.
As all the firearms destroyed were either handguns or semi-automatic rifles, a reasonable value would be about $200 each. We cannot know the exact value, because the firearms were not put up for auction. The city of Tucson destroyed about a million dollars worth of firearms in the last two and a half years.
You might counter that local governments have First Amendment rights to make political propaganda, and to spend money on it as they see fit. They do not. From thewashingtonpost.com:
(Note that local governments and state agencies likely have no First Amendment rights against state governments, because the state is entitled to control the conduct of its subdivisions; likewise, federal agencies have no First Amendment rights against the federal government. The question is whether state and local governments, agents of one sovereign, have First Amendment rights against the federal government, another sovereign.)
The showdown over illegal firearms destruction is coming to a head in “Old Pueblo.” It remains to be seen if the AG will find against Tucson and direct the Treasurer to withhold funds from the city. Watch this space.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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